Do any of these pictures resemble you lately?
I’ve found that one of the most challenging obstacles I face is time management. I’m afraid that I often resemble “Sleepy” from Snow White. This is not my attempt to tell you how crazy my schedule can get. This is about a continual theme I run into when I talk to people everywhere. “How are you?” is the question. And out of all the options, most people say or could say, “Tired.”
A few things happen to me when I am tired:
*My mind is lazy. I am not even close to being as sharp as I can be. (One of my co-workers just walked into my office and said, “Are you tired today? You seem a little sluggish.” That is what this blog is about.)
*My heart is pushed out. I don’t know what your default mode is, but when I am tired, I don’t get up as early as I would otherwise. Then, I fill my day with muchness. My family, friends, and 20 Park get less than my best because I feel off-center. When I feel off-center, I feel the need to do something to catch back up. So I work longer hours. When the hours go long for days on end, I am giving out of an empty space. My heart is pushed out, and rather being engaged with people and feeling where they are, I can end up becoming numb to what’s going on. Unfortunately, numb spreads throughout, and thoughts spin like, “I’m not important”, “I don’t matter”, or “Nothing matters.” Now, this is a very unhealthy place to be mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. This is a more likely place for sin to occur in my life. Negative thoughts lead to negative actions. Now, if I rewind, take time, and live more intentionally, my heart can be softer, connected, and engaged. Isn’t that nice to give from a healthy place than from an unhealthy place. I learned a few months ago that sometimes, when I thought I was giving, I was really just taking in an unhealthy way. It felt like I was being there for people, but sometimes I was there because it made me feel important because somebody needed me. That is not how I want to approach relationships with anybody I know. I want to give them my best. It is important to take care of myself so that I can give something of worth to others. As my friend, Ryan says, “Put your own oxygen mask on before you try and put one on the person next to you.”
*My faith is reduced. I don’t know why this works the way it works, but I do know this. When Elijah was running for his life in 1 Kings, the Lord made him eat and sleep so that he could be prepared for his next task. My faith is connected to how I treat my body. Over the past few years, any time I’ve told Mitch about a faith struggle, he has asked me, “How much sleep are you getting? What are you eating? Are you taking care of yourself?” Almost every time, my eating, sleeping, and working out schedule has been off. So I believe it is important to re-align with God by taking care of myself and my relationship with Him.
I know that tired is not the way I want to live my life. The results say differently because ultimately, I am choosing how I live. I want to live a life that is full of love, joy, and excellent interactions. I want the people who are closest to me to get the best of me.
What about you? What do you do when you are tired? What doesn’t get done when you’re tired? What happens to your relationships? What does that cost you?