Maintaining Relationships

October 16, 2014

Do you remember as a kid asking for “just five more minutes?” when your parents said it was time for bed?

My three year old does it now all of the time; we’ll tell him “twenty more minutes” and he’ll fire back with, “No! Just two more minutes!” The poor kid has no concept of time yet, but he already gets the art of negotiating a little more time.

As an adult I don’t have to justify my bedtime with anyone, so if I want those five extra minutes, I can have them. However, I now realize how precious sleep is, so you won’t find me negotiating that time too much. But good grief, I do wish there were more hours in the day! Can I have five more minutes, or really three or four more hours to accomplish my to-do list without sacrificing sleep too?

She’s Intentional’s Assistant Editor, Charity Hall, wrote an inspirational post about living intentionally and it was a great reminder that our life on a to-do list can sometimes cause us to live without intention.

Her post made me wonder if crossing things off of a list causes us to sacrifice meaningful time with people? Are we making time for spouses, children, and friends, or are we running around like robots to finish what’s on a list yet at the same time forgetting to touch other’s lives? The quote in the picture above states that with overwhelmed schedules we can “ache with the sadness of an underwhelmed soul.”

As humans we crave relationships and connections. We want so badly to maintain relationships and find new friends, and when we’re doing this we find ourselves with a happier countenance. Yet we don’t have enough time in our days to care for those relationships the way they need to be maintained. When our schedules are overwhelmed, our souls are underwhelmed. Is the daunting thought of an underwhelmed soul enough to make us take a few steps back from the mundane tasks of the day to be with people?

Taking a step back from our busy lives is easier said than done.

If anyone knows how hard that is, I do. It’s hard for me to stop during the day and take some down-time and enjoy the people who are with me. I have guilt if I stop what I’m doing when my list is longer than the hours in a day. My son recently asked me to sit with him for a few minutes, but our house was a mess and that’s all I could see. After I said I couldn’t, he said, “Momma, you sit with me five minutes. I saved a good spot for you.” I quickly put my unfolded laundry back in the basket, put the broom against the wall and sat down with him. I knew that if I didn’t sit with him and give him the time he wanted, he could eventually stop asking. Do I really want to give that up just for an organized junk drawer?

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but your list isn’t going anywhere. We can cross everything off of our list but when we wake, we’ll realize that we need to organize another something, run another errand, complete another task, and list list will grow yet again.

So instead of us trying to be superwomen and pretending we’re not overwhelmed, why not take some time for yourself, go to lunch with a friend, have a date night with your husband, or color with your children? Because while your list may never go away, people will.

When life is completed, you won’t reflect on how many to-do lists you completed, but you will remember the relationships that mattered.

From now on, I am going to take a few unnecessary tasks off of my list and to find more time for people and I hope that you will join me in living an intentional life by maintaining your relationships and keeping your soul from being underwhelmed!