We all have long and busy lists of 'to do's' as we get ready for Christmas. Mine look like this: assignments to complete, business to plan, clients to follow up with, presents to buy and letters to write. I love this, the feeling of being busy doing the things I love. I love my business. I love progress and growth and a sense of having accomplished goals. Yet I've once again needed to shift and juggle my calendar, to set aside my agenda for one of my kids. This is of course a joy and an honour and what I happily choose to do..... with reason.
This is how it turned out.
On Monday I drove a 5 hour journey to watch my son play in a cricket competition. The competition is five days long and I have managed to set aside three days to be there. I can do this!
I wake at 4.30am knowing that if I leave by 5am I can get to the cricket field by 10am which means I've only missed an hour of the game....after all, these games go on for hours! The drive is beautiful and peaceful. I am on my own in the car which means I have full autonomy on what I'm listening to. (Rare in a household of teenage boys). I love personal development and growth, so choose to listen to an audio book CD I recently rediscovered when doing a big clean up. (Yes, we actually do still have a box of CD's hidden away in a back cupboard). After two hours of personal development I feel my brain reach it's saturation point so I switch to music….(I found some of my old music CD’s in the same box.) This is where I come clean and say I have a few CD’s of the most amazing worship songs that I LOVE, but no one else in my house wants to listen to, so I turn up the volume and soon feel as though my heart is swelling at the reminder of just how absolutely astonishingly blessed I am. I am singing along and grateful that no one I know can see or hear me right now.
It has rained on and off during the whole journey which is also a great blessing because this part of the globe is desperate for rain and needs a bit of greening up. I eventually get to the cricket field and now it's pouring. Cricket for the morning has been cancelled and hopefully the boys get to play a 20/20 later this afternoon. That's okay because tomorrow is another whole day of cricket.... The boys thankfully do get in a quick 20/20 because by now they are bouncing off the walls with adrenaline and a need to play this game......and that's it. Tomorrow when we wake, it's pouring again....another day cancelled.
So I've cleared three days of my diary and driven all this way for one single 20/20 cricket match!!! This is the frustrated story I would be telling myself if this had happened two years ago. I would be feeling really cranky and done in for because "what a waste of precious time!!!"....which is so silly really! I mean, it's not as if we can control the weather.
Thankfully it's two years on and many hours of life coaching later. So instead I tell myself a different story. I find myself in a delightful little coffee shop sipping cappuccino, eating a chocolate brownie and enjoying the leisure of time to reflect on how blessed I am. I didn't bring my computer (after all I'm here to watch cricket, not to do work...) but I do have my iPad and my journal. My son is texting me to please bring him an extra $20 and I'm glad I am around the corner and can do this for him. I've met another new set of parents and have already started forming new friendships. I sit here and reflect on the fact that I am content no matter the situation. Surely God has done a big work in me. One that I would have thought impossible two years ago.
So, what key principles have changed over these last two years?
Here are the top 5 keys that have literally changed my life:
I know who I am. I no longer need to be busy or productive ALL of the time to feel significant or maintain my sense of self worth.
I am no longer trying to live up to the expectations of others or to please others. I can honestly be myself which is such a relief!
I know what I want to achieve and understand the difference between the things I can control and the things I can't. I also know that if I don't get everything done today, I have tomorrow too. The whole world won't come crashing down because I have not posted to my FaceBook business page today!
I know I can choose in each and every situation how to respond. I am no longer a victim of my circumstances. I can choose to find enjoyment in most circumstances. I can choose to not get cranky when I’ve driven 5 hours to a cricket wash out. I can choose to enjoy the day anyway.
I've learned to embrace uncertainty. When things don't go to plan or when plans change I can let it go, reassess and change what I focus on to look for the best in each situation. I can keep smiling and almost always find somewhere to have a great coffee and meet a new friend.
Till next time,
PS, If you'd like to discover which key principles will literally change your life too, then click here to find out how coaching can uncover this for you.