Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Too Many Battles

Too Many Battles

By: Kelli J Gavin 

  Life.  It is hard, isn't it?  Daily, sometimes, more of the hard stuff happens and it seems to pile up. Pile up so much that it can be debilitating. The heft, the burden of life can weigh so much, that it is immobilizing.

  When I was in high school, I was struggling during my junior year.  School, a couple of challenging classes with excessive amounts of homework, play practice, church youth group, babysitting. There seemed to be never enough hours in the day to accomplish what needed to be done. I was tired and I needed a break and there wasn't any break in sight.  My mom saw how much I was struggling. She saw me wipe tears away as I entered the kitchen. She saw me studying until 9 or 10 p.m. every evening.  She saw me become more and more quiet. 

  "Kelli, I know you have been under a lot of pressure with so much going on. I don't know that we can make school ever go away, but you can take a step back from a few other things. Knowing that you have made a commitment to be in the play, I would like to propose that maybe you take a break from babysitting and youth group for a month, maybe longer.  I know that you like the money you make from babysitting, and that you like spending time with your friends at youth group, but what if you just didn't attend for a bit? You can focus on school, homework and play practice. You can make sure that you get to bed at a decent hour each night. What do you think? Should we try it and see how it goes?"

  I started to cry.  I was so thankful because I felt like my mom was giving me permission to take a break.  She was giving me permission to pick my battles and letting me know that she knew I had probably picked too many. She was enabling me to put battles back that I shouldn't have picked in the first place.  Over commitment had become the biggest battle in my life.

  Now, as an adult, as a married mom of two teenagers, I feel I have learned a wise lesson from my mom.  I have learned picking my daily battles is essential. I find myself whispering, "Too many," to remind myself that most of the battles that I face were never intended for me to fight. 

 Today, I had the day off of work, but a to do list a mile long.  Deadlines looming, work contracts, errands, and groceries.  It took me 3 hours to finish everything on my computer alone.  But then I looked at my battle list for the day.  Too many.  Fewer. Put some back.

  Tomorrow is a new day without as many battles that need to be fought. And when something happens that may change my course, something unexpected that may weigh heavy on my heart,  I will remember my wise mother. I will give myself permission to take a break.  I will pick my battles, and when I realize that I have picked too many, I will put a few back.  I will focus on the new day that I have been given. I will be thankful for those family and friends that surround me. Because those are people that bring me joy daily.

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