Posted by: LakeIris | July 19, 2011

What gives?

When something new comes into your life…what gives?

With only a finite number of hours in a day, days in a week, weeks in a year, when we add something into our routine, we inevitably have to give something else up to compensate.

So what things have been ‘added’ to my life in the past couple years?

  • Weekly Life Transformation Group, along with a commitment to praying and reading my Bible daily
  • Taking a full day each week for a Sabbath
  • More time spent cooking real food, from fresh produce
  • Three couch-to-5k workouts a week, and the occasional yoga podcast
  • Coordinating Easter Camp
  • And for those of you who didn’t catch the facebook update (not that there would be very many of you, if the number of ‘likes’ is any indication) – very recently, a new relationship

In order to make room for these things, what gave?

  • Sleep. Sleep seems to always be the first thing to go – which makes me sad, because truly love my bed, my doona, my sleep-ins
  • When I moved to Croydon a year ago, I reduced my commuting time by over an hour each day
  • I decided I couldn’t commit to doing a musical this year, which involved at least two or three rehearsals a week
  • TV
  • Facebook – I had a self-imposed ban for the first three months of the school year
  • Less work done at home nights and weekends – though this, like sleep, isn’t something I particularly want to be doing less of – because I want to do my job well and find this is difficult to accomplish between 8am and 5pm.
What do I plan/hope I could add in, if possible?

  • Weekly small group Bible study
  • More time to read – books, blogs, novels, magazines, Bible – anything and everything, really
  • Writing in this blog
  • More journaling
  • Driving my car less (which means walking/taking public transportation more)
  • Getting an extra job to pay off my debt more quickly
  • More sleep? (Too much?)
So the question of the moment is – what else is gonna give? If I have to give something up to make room for any or all of these new things, I’ve got some choices to make. But here’s the rub – I can convince myself to give up something I feel adds little or no value to my life (e.g. TV). But once those things are gone, it means I have to give up something good in order to make room for something better. And that’s a much tougher decision.
So what gives? My job? Relationships – with God or with others? Eating well? Exercising? Reading? Writing?

What’s the first thing that gives when you introduce something new into your life?

What do you think you should give up in order to make room for something more important in your life?

What should I considering giving up?

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Responses

  1. I’m always struggling with balancing time for the different areas of my life. When you work and have a relationship, it’s so hard to find time for the things that are important to just you.

    What usually “gives” for me is exercise – which is unfortunate, because when I make the time for daily exercise I feel so much better.

  2. Hmm … I feel ill-qualified to make any suggestions as your life is clearly more balanced than mine at the moment! But a few thoughts …

    * Like Becca, exercise is usually first to go for me.
    * Batch cooking strikes me as the most time effective way to do ‘real food’ well, but I’m hampered by this in having only a small freezer. I wish I could do more of it. For the time being, I spend a chunk of my free time finding and trying new real food recipes that I hope will be inexpensive, simple/quick, freezable/reheatable, and versatile enough for me to throw in whatever vegies I have lying around (seasonal CERES box).
    * Sabbath and relationships match up nicely :o)
    * I can understand wanting both an LTG and a small group, but I’d be quite happy with one of the two for now!
    * For a job that pays well and doesn’t require you out of hours, you could try the public service! ;o) But is it worth giving up the job you love? Probably not.
    * EC is always huge, perhaps every role on the committee needs a team rather than just one person?

  3. So the good news is no human being ever gets this equation right, the bad news is if you get it too far wrong what ‘gives’ is you.

    I’ve found for me that maintaining a balance of health, spirituality, relationships, happiness, work, finances, rest and leisure does not have a magical formula to balance them all but is instead a cycle of moving the sand that is my available time to the leaking bucket that needs it the most.

    I honestly believe that our lives are far too busy (and our selves far too needy) to ever find a balance for them all, so instead I try to maintain a self awareness that helps me identify which area for me is most in deficit and (if possible) give focus to that.

    Sounds simple enough, and it would be if I lived in a bubble or a world whose priority was the satisfaction of my needs, but ‘real-life’ is always going to weigh into your choices, forcing you compromise, concede and endure. This is what we like to refer to as ‘building character’.

    So listen to yourself, but don’t become inward focused. Steward the important things in your life, but stay open to the opportunities that God puts in front of you, as he may be creating an opportunity to fill an empty bucket.

    Look for God’s plan, look for balance, but most importantly look for joy because finding even small amounts of that can make the things you are enduring irrelevant.


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