At the first of the year, the demands on us take more and more of our time. New Years resolutions and goals for the upcoming year press for us to make decisions on how we will spend our time. What will we choose to eliminate, and then add, to our daily and weekly routine? I believe this can be a very difficult decision. Yes, it is true, sometimes it’s obvious what we need to eliminate and add in its place. For example, excessive amounts of television can be replaced by exercise, reading a book, and spending time with family. But, other times it may not be such an easy decision. For example, a part-time job to help reduce debt or family-time three nights a week. An opportunity to work on a new project not only increases cash flow, but shows you are a team player. However, it may not come without cost to your emotional and spiritual life. How do you know what to say no to? I recently heard a story that may give us some direction. There was a young family walking on the beach collecting shells. The young boys were filling their hands with whole and broken shells. Even the broken ones were treasures. As they walked on the beach, the oldest boy saw something floating in the ocean. He ran into the water. As he got closer, he could clearly see the most prized treasure. The boy’s family yelling, “You can do it. It’s right there. Grab it.” But, with frustration he ran back to the shore and then back to the water, getting even closer to the prize. With utter despair , the boy returned to the shoreline. His father asked what was wrong. The boy exclaimed, “I cannot grab the starfish because my hands are full of shells!” How is that like our life, our hands filled with what we believe is a treasure, only to be unable to grab our true treasure.
Is what you have said “yes” to helping with the decisions to say “no”?
Sincerely, Kevin Polky, LCSW,CADC