My first decision of the morning starts around 10 pm the night before. As I sit on the edge of my bed, alarm clock in hand, I decide between sleep and an hour of quiet reading and reflection. I can’t do both; there is only enough time for one thing. When my alarm sounds the next morning, I face the decision again—snooze or rise and enter into that predetermined quiet space.
These this-or-that decisions repeat throughout my day. Feed my sweet tooth or maintain a healthy diet? Arrive at work with a few minutes to spare or start a load of laundry and risk being late? Blow the budget with takeout or push through the fatigue and cook dinner? Stay up late to finish an episode of Call the Midwife or get enough sleep to make that early alarm a little easier to obey?
If I were to follow you around for the day, I could fill a notebook with the micro-decisions you make. These seemingly insignificant decisions make you. Each successive decision alters the course of your day, even if it’s only a little. They are often driven by your calling, that thing that motivates you to decide to do hard things.
With each decision, both big and small, one principle holds true:
“There are no solutions. There are only trade-offs.” (Thomas Sowell)
When I decide to sleep a little later in the morning, I’m not as tired, but I miss my opportunity to write in the quiet. Choosing a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast leaves me full, but I still crave a bagel with a thick layer of cream cheese. As I sit in front of my laptop to write this post, some of my housework is undone. No solutions here, only trade-offs.
There is space for compromise. Drizzle honey on oatmeal to satiate the sweet tooth. Let some of the housework go in order to spend time with family. Our life is full of opportunities to try to fit it all in. But we can’t fit it all in. A decision must be made. When that decision involves your calling, it becomes harder to see the answer clearly.
A decision sits in front of me: pursue writing and platform building with fervor, or focus on my family life. The “experts” offer courses on all of the actions necessary to become a successful blogger and writer. I’ve been working hard at it. For the last few years, I tried to hold both writing and family in balance feeling sure I could find a solution to the conundrum of writing-versus-living. The juggling act leaves me weary and less-than in so many areas of my life.
After prayer and seeking wise counsel, I took my foot off the platform-building gas pedal. I am still here, writing and engaging. I just won’t be here as much. I’m lifting the self-imposed deadlines and doing away with my rigid writing schedule. So if you see me less, know that it is because my family sees me more. There will be a season to jump back in with both feet and run toward my goals again. But for now, I’m going to slow down in order to be the best wife and mother I can be.
Are You Stuck between Your Calling and Your Life?Do you have a difficult decision in front of you? Look at it with an eye for the trade-offs.Click To Tweet
Do you have a difficult or nagging decision in front of you? Look at it with an eye for the trade-offs. It makes things clearer, the decision a little more evident. The decision may not be easier to execute as it will involve a sacrifice. But at least it will become obvious which way to go. There are some things you just don’t budge on—Jesus and family being at the top of that list.
#FridayFive Link Up
And the #FridayFive link up—what now? I’d love to finish out this set of writing prompts with you all. Let’s talk about our difficult decisions and ah-ha! moments today. Then come back in a few weeks to share your favorite things. We will end with a writer’s choice link-up celebration on April 21. I hope to see you back each week!
I just posted on the #FridayFive #linkup! Why don't you join us? #amwritingClick To Tweet
5 Recommended Resources
Because it’s #FridayFive, I included five of the books that helped me with such a difficult decision. (Essentialism is phenomenal, and I think everyone should read it!) (RSS and email subscribers, click through to the post to see the list.)
Photo credit: Myles Tan via Unsplash.