By Lindsay Burke
Anyone who knows me knows I usually have my hand in 20 cookie jars. I’ve never understood the concept of boredom. I’ve simply never been bored. Really. My mother said I was constantly moving in the womb, to the extent that she was constantly worried about my very quiet, non-wiggly little sister in-womb. She told me that, as a child, she’d regularly be on her way to bed when she would find me, still awake in my room (as late as 1am), deep into a project such as organizing all the books in my bookshelf by subject, or rearranging my room so that I had more space to “host” friends. By age 10 I had “designed” an entire travel company…East Airport. I hired my sister, of course, to work the ticket booth and my other sister was the pilot for the one private jet we operated. Yes, we were high-end. Mom couldn’t get me into enough sports…I hardly sat down.
The upside of being an energizer bunny…I’ve had so many amazing experiences and opportunities just fall into my lap…simply because I was willing to try! This part of me I don’t ever want to change. That passion, that curiosity to learn new things, try new things and meet new people. This is why I wake up in the morning! The downside…balance. It’s hard to keep balance and not get overwhelmed. I would get excited so I say yes to everything!
Then, in college, due to a medical condition, I developed chronic fatigue syndrome…this was the WORST for someone like me. What do you mean I need to be on bed rest for 6 weeks to 6 months?! I tried to fight it and failed, horribly. You cannot do everything AND sleep. At one point my body was so weak I couldn’t walk up a set of 6 steps…legs shaking. Once, I couldn’t walk home from class and needed a friend to pick me up. This was so embarrassing, humiliating and frustrating. For an, “I’ll do it by myself” type of gal, this made me feel worthless. So, the result was unfinished goals, burn out, disappointment in myself and embarrassment when I had to let someone down…and even worse- hospitalization and extended bed rest. I had to drop several classes. I was forced to stop…slow down, drop out of a few activities (or cookie jars, so to speak), and cut back. This made me really question myself- who am I if I can’t do all of these things and play all of these roles?
I learned a powerful lesson that I am still working on today. Balance. I realized, some of those things I was doing were amazing, and others really were not worth my time and heartache! Quantity isn’t quality, and with limited time, you really begin to get picky- Who do I really want to spend time with? How do I really want to spend my limited amount of time?
Are you like me? Do you sign yourself up for too many things? Do you find yourself saying yes to everything, instead of being more selective about who you share your time and energy with? Do you find yourself doing a lot of things out of obligation?