Fair Winds

“The only people who achieve much
are those who want knowledge so badly
that they seek it while the conditions are still unfavorable.
Favorable conditions never come.” (C.S. Lewis)

Are you waiting for the perfect day to start a good habit?

Is it never the right year to address weaknesses you know you have?

Do you plan to love your neighbor next season, when you have more time?

Is your rainy day project list more fit for the tropical rainforest?

Anything worth doing or having is worth making an effort. If we are waiting for something hard to become easy, we are fooling ourselves. We will need to work for it.

There are times that are not appropriate for attempting new things or hard things, but be sure that today is truly that time. Sometimes wisdom requires scaling back or focusing on the basics for a while. That is true at times, BUT other times we need to be careful that we are not using an excuse and calling it wisdom.

If you know that you need to do it and know that it needs to be done now, I encourage you:

  • Plan what you are doing. Know your goal. Is is clear, measurable, and realistic?
  • Plan how you will do it. What exactly will it take? Map out the steps of the habit or the schedule of tasks or deadlines. Writing it down helps make it real.
  • Get the help you may need. Ask and receive. We need each other, so ask for help from friends. Tools are effective, so decide if you need some and then get them.
  • Take a deep breath and dig in. You’ve done the preparation. Now is the time to just start doing what you know you should. Put one foot in front of the other and keep walking.

The good news is — it will be worth it!

* C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory (San Francisco: Harper-One, 2001), 60

Protect August

Well, now, y’all, I am tired. Producing more than refueling. So much to do…like writing a blog post.

You’d think that all the principles of margin and time management we discuss here would cut that out forever. But, no. Some times in life are simply a marathon to push through until the finish line. We’ve chosen wisely and planned well, but sometimes we are called to do a lot. It’s a heavy load.

So today…since I need to write a blog post anyway…let’s talk about being in that kind of a push. What am I doing to handle the load?

First of all, pray for grace and strength. You need it. He loves to give it as we rely on Him.

Then, look for the light at the end of the tunnel and protect it. With the end in sight, you will push through in hope. Will there be a break at the weekend? Do you have a vacation scheduled in a couple of months? Will the project be over in 6 weeks? Take a minute to think about what is coming and make sure it doesn’t get overrun. You will need it.

For this household, it is August. We are not planning, or accepting, or scheduling, any new commitments or responsibilities during that month. It’s not a month off (a vacation), but a month with all the breathing room we can get our hands on. We will work hard during the week, then we will have weekends and most evenings to relax and restore. That time is necessary to recover from a push like this, as well as being a HUGE motivator on the long days. If I know it is coming, I can hold out better!

Although it may be tempting, don’t stop prioritizing. You will keep first things first AND hopefully catch a few things that don’t actually need to happen right now. Those can be pushed to a time when you have more time and energy — or cut out entirely.

Cut the corners you can. Dinner tonight is from the slow cooker. Quesadillas are a quick and easy option for another night. Do surface cleaning as maintenance, but deep clean the storage closet another time, far in the future. I love cooking meals from scratch with fresh ingredients, but this is not the week for that. Accept it, and move on.

Finally, don’t give up good habits you have made. It’s tempting to cut out planning time or prayer time or routines, but now is the time you really see the worth of your effort. Hang on!