Truly, our life is what we make of it. Yes, there will be times when there are extenuating circumstances (like a pregnancy that takes you out of the game for nine months!), but for the most part our lives are a direct result of the decisions we make on how to live it. Bottom line: if there is something in your life that you don't like, then do something about it. You put it there of your own volition.
This relates to time: we all have the same 24 hours in a day. If we feel too busy, it's because we've put too many things in our lives.
This relates to our homes: if we feel smothered under a clutter, it's because we filled our home with too much stuff.
This relates to ourselves: if we feel overstretched and stressed, it's because we haven't created the proper balance in our lives.
At first this sounds harsh. But then it is surprisingly freeing! It clarifies the fact that we have much more control over our lives than we often think we have. The key to remember, however, is that our decisions have consequences. For example, if I may not like taxiing my kids around every day after school to various activities. But if I make a deliberate decision that these activities are something I really want my kids to be part of, that they are important, skill building, life experiences, then I agree to the consequence of lots of driving and scheduling. Not all our deliberate decisions will bring only rosy consequences, but if I keep my mind focused on why I made that choice in the first place, then perhaps I can be more at peace with all that car-pooling.
Once all this has settled in my mind, then I can start looking at all the areas in my life and making those deliberate decisions. What are my priorities? Where do I want to focus? What have I added to my life that isn't really fulfilling my goals? What stresses are results of things I want, and what stresses can be released?
If I had a word that I want to focus on this year, it would be
That doesn't necessarily mean lazy, idle, or empty schedules. But it does mean that I will choose to eliminate the excess from my life that is not part of the serenity I crave. The idea that we all start with the same 24 hours is a concept that will not soon leave my mind. I love the simple truth contained in it. I can choose how to use those hours.