1/3/11

It's "Ok" To Be A Quitter

One night, eleven years ago, I was on the floor of my closet crying in the fetal position.  Between work, dance, Fine Arts, the school play, and Trigonometry--I was at the end of myself.  That and I kept offering to help everyone with their English Lit research papers.

And from that night forward, I've never been over-committed again.  Really.  It cured me for life.  Now, I've been severely under-committed often since then.  And, lazy as that may seem, it's all part of my promise to myself to never be that crazy again--at least not because of extra things I've signed up for!   

So, compared to many of you who have full-time (or even part-time) jobs, families, exercise programs, weekly date nights, organic, home-cooked, frozen meals for 3 months, church responsibilities, hair appointments every 2 months, and time to read blogs I may appear to be a lazy or at least under-motivated person.  However, the complete inverse is true.  I am a highly motivated person.  I am highly motivated to doing the best I can; and this is just how I have to do it.  

My latest decision to be under-committed was made during our holiday break.  I sent an email to my Bible study leader (whose endearing fun, warm personality made the decision even harder) telling her I wouldn't be back for the Winter/Spring semester.  

It went a little something like this:
Hi, Cindy!
Tomorrow's the big night!  =)  Jonathan will be rooting for        the Hogs at my parent's house (so he can watch it in HD on the big screen), and I'll be home putting Spencer to bed (ha!) but ALSO rooting for the Hogs!  
[Her son plays football for the U of A]
I've been thinking and praying about my Winter/Spring schedule a lot this past month.  We've been treading water all Fall/Winter for various reasons, many of them having to do with Spencer's tummy troubles, but we're also trying to conceive, which for us involves doctor's appointments, babysitters during doctor's appointments, etc..  Jonathan will be teaching a class at OBU this semester which is a huge blessing for us (because of the extra income), but it definitely makes "family time" harder to come by.  I do a "Little Gym" class with Spencer once a week, because he needs a safe place to literally bounce off the walls.  We have been doing it on Friday mornings, but Fridays are when Jonathan is supposed to be "off" (since he's a pastor and Sundays are definitely not a "day off").  In an effort to eke out a little more unstructured, family time on Fridays, I need to change the day Spencer goes to his "Little Gym" class, and it looks like that day is going to be Wednesday.  =(  
[The day of our Bible Study]
I have really struggled with this decision all month, because it's hard for me to think that the "right" thing to do is to drop Bible Study.  Having had no brothers of my own, I have been trying to understand little boys for quite a while now, I was a nanny for a little over a year when we lived in North Carolina, and I read as many books as I could to better understand Ryan, the sweet (yet puzzling!) 3.5 year old that I took care of.  I read "Why Gender Matters" by Leonard Sax and loved it.  It's fascinating.  During the break I read another one of Dr. Sax's books called "Boys Adrift."  (By the way, I think you'd really enjoy reading both of the books since you have boys of your own--it's not just about "little" boys).  I was again struck with how different their needs are from that of girls; and it helped re-affirm to me that Spencer (at this point) truly needs to be running and climbing.  In the summer, it is SO easy to accomplish this with him--open the door, turn on the hose--and we are good for HOURS.  However, in the winter, every day is a challenge to not lose our minds--couch cushions yanked off both sofas and pointing almost straight up in the air to mimic climbing walls and slides--I know that you know exactly what I'm talking about. 
Speaking of talking, that's one area in which Spencer is not currently excelling.  So, nothing is set in stone yet, but it looks like we'll be doing a little Speech Therapy--another thing to add to the weekly schedule.  I know that MANY people have MANY children with MANY more needs, classes, and "issues" than I have to juggle with Spencer; but I also know that everyone has their own set of limitations.  I just so happen to have a lot of limitations  =)  I need a lot of sleep, and I need a lot of "down time" to be even a decent wife and mom.
God bless you if you actually read all of that.  I'm truly bummed because although I made it to BIble Study only a few times last semester, I really loved having you as my leader, and I loved all the ladies in our group.  I know that being a CBS leader is a huge commitment, and I want to thank you so much for all of your prayers and phone calls and everything else that is behind the scenes.
Please tell all the girls I'm sad I won't get to come back and that I'll miss them and that I hope to be back next fall.  You can send them this email, with a disclaimer that I know it's ridiculously long.  =)
I'll try to answer your call for next week so we can at least chat a little bit.
Talk to you then, 
           Lauren

I don't know that being under-committed is any healthier than being over-committed.  I'm pretty sure there's a balance that I struggle to find.  What I do know is how I start to feel when, for whatever reason, my margins* are being encroached upon.  And, I know what to do--quit stuff immediately!--or end up on the floor of my closet crying in the fetal position.  And, I like to avoid that whenever possible.  

*Another book I enjoyed years ago as I learned this about myself--"Margin" by Richard Swenson.

3 comments:

  1. I'm all about being a quitter! :) In fact, I'm in the same position in regards to my Bible Study. In the end, you have to do what is best for you and your family!

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  2. Amen, sister! (How many of your posts do I respond to that way?) Have you read the book Boundaries? I love, love, love what it says about being deliberate about what you commit to. It's a great read, you know - in your spare time. :)

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