The opportunities are vying

Sometimes life is just plain old busy. Many nights I’m burning the oil trying to get things done, only to burn the candle in the morning as I wake up before dawn with my son, who is all ready to play with his choo-choo trains and fix something with daddy’s special tools.

It’s no secret that the pace of life has picked up speed in recent years. Each year there seem to be more things vying—literally vying—for my attention, time, and energy. I see other moms crafting it up and making their home a beautiful place with their own special touch. I see them taking on side projects to bring in a bit of extra income. I see others making baby books as a touching keepsake and becoming more fit than ever before.

Good.Better.Best These endeavors and opportunities are all good and I often wonder if I should start doing them too. I almost feel I need to take on something extra to simply “fit in.” But, it seems with the overwhelming amount of good opportunities there is a chance I could start forgetting the best things—my child, my relationships, and our good ole’ family down time; laughing together, rolling around on the floor wrestling, throwing  a ball outside. The stuff solid families are made of.

“Not everything… is worth the portion of our life we give to obtain it. Some things are better, and others are best.” –Dallin Oaks,    

 Good, better, best.

I’m beginning to realize not every activity, opportunity, or project may be worth my while. It may be a good use of my time, but is there something better, or best? I have a choice. The choices I make now will largely influence how close I am to my kids, what they value later in life, and how they choose to live. Time is not forgiving, and even if I have the best of intentions to spend the time with my family, it won’t just happen.

Family edit 681Sometimes the best use of my time will be saying, “No”. No to an opportunity. “Sorry, I want more time with my family. I already have too many distractions, I don’t want another.” It turns out, staying at home with my boy is “enough.” Staying at home with yours is, too.

“Good, better, best. Never let it rest. Until your good is better and your better is best.” – Tim Duncan

My boy, who seems like he was born the day before yesterday is almost 2. I’m starting to realize life is fast. Life is just too full of potential to be less than intentional with my time and with the people I love the most.

For those opportunities that come vying–unless you’re best, sorry, I’ll say no.

Have you had similar thoughts and wondered how to slow down and simply enjoy your family? I would love to hear your experiences and thoughts!

I would love to connect with you on a more personal level. Find me on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook where I share more of my daily ins and outs, cooking faux pas, and overload of child cuteness!

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16 thoughts on “The opportunities are vying

  1. Great post Marla…ad always! There are ALWAYS endless thibgs to fill out time, but many tines, they stretching that take away from , what’s best for us and our families. Sometimes it’s hard to find the balance because their simply is not enough hours in a day or enough of me to go around…but I’m learning that even still, I am enough. I just can’t be everything. And that’s ok, because to my kids, I am everything. And that’s all I need! this is a beautiful reminder of what really matters!

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      • Haha you are totally fine, Rachael! 🙂 And yes, exactly. There are so many things that can fill up our lives and take us away. Some we don’t have a choice about, we just do what we need to do and do it the best we can. But, other things that are extra we can choose and we can choose what will bless our family and us the most! And can I just say I am so impressed by you!! You are handling this transition to working so well, at least as far as I can see! And I LOVE what you said: ” I just can’t be everything. And that’s ok, because to my kids, I am everything.” You said it PERFECTLY. 🙂 You are awesome, friend!

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  2. You’ve made a good catch here while your boy is still young and I’m so happy for all of you that you have such far-seeing perspective! You won’t regret time with your family in the end….it’s the toughest job you’ll ever love and the only one that will be with you till the very end. Also, just wanted to make mention of your use of the plural “children” as opposed to the word “child” up there near the beginning of the piece…….a Freudian slip or just hopeful thinking? 🙂

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    • You are so right, Torrie, it is the toughest job I’ll ever love. I want to live so that hopefully I won’t regret how I used my time as a young mom, during these precious years. And you are so observant, that you noticed I said children!! I will have to say it is a little bit of both 🙂 A slip, but also hopeful. We’re hoping to have another soon, but as we all know, it is not entirely up to us. 🙂 Thanks for your comment, my friend! It made me happy to see your blog name come up this morning!

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  3. Your last three posts have been exactly what has been on my mind lately. And talking with my friend who is struggling with these very things, you’ve helped me to organize my thoughts and be able to say things so much better. Thanks, Marla! And yes, time IS so unforgiving. I worry we will wake up one day and these little ones will be grown. And I’ll wish I had done more…more exploring in the sandbox, more reading bedtime stories, more singing silly songs. Because that is what will matter in the end!

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    • Well, we must be on the same wave length, Chelsi! I’m glad it’s helped you organize your thoughts on the topic. It’s been helpful for me to write it all out, too. Young motherhood is just hard to wrap my mind around some times. Such a huge range of emotions, being exhausted, overwhelmed, overJOYED, and loney, all at the same time. But, I hope to use my time better and to really soak up these times. Because even though it feels like each day drags on, at times, the time slips through our fingers. I hope you are feeling well! 🙂 I keep thinking of you, my friend!

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  4. I have been thinking about intentions too… you are right that time (the short season of childhood) is unforgiving. This means we make choices everyday to cherish and prioritize what is best… even if for a bit we may feel we are choosing the more ordinary things of life when we let other things go in order to throw that ball with our kid over and over again!

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    • You are so eloquent with words, Kim. Thank you for your comment. It is so true that often playing with our kids feels we are choosing ordinary things instead of something more exciting. But, those ordinary things do bring us back to the basics and help us find such fulfillment and meaning. I hope you are doing well! I’ve been so busy with school that I’ve been MIA, a lot. But I’ve been thinking about you! I loved your post today!

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  5. This is another great post! I remember an exercise I did in college the had me make little boxes and fill them in with the amount of myself I poured into each one. Was I thinly spread through many? Or deeply invested in a few? You can guess 🙂 But I feel that so often when I am feeling overwhelmed in life it’s because I’m trying to do too many good things and not investing my whole self into a few great things. Thanks for the reminder this afternoon 🙂

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  6. I cant imagine many of us who haven’t walked this path and fought the battle of barren busyness. It’s a tightrope walk, isn’t it. Trying to balance and prioritize and believe that we can redeem the time well. It’s so wise and insightful to remind us to be cautious of how we invest our time and to choose well. I was blessed and encouraged by your words, Marla…inspired to think twice before I give my yes.

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  7. Thanks for the reminder Marla. I’ve been itching to get through school and I can’t believe how fast time is flying. Sometimes I tend to rush through stuff to reach the end. But then I miss all the good stuff. You are an awesome example!

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  8. I love this post! Yes, I had to be intentional about spending more time with my family. I had to reorganize my time and I feel so free when I am spending time with them. Movie night with my kids are the best. I love the interaction and time spent with my kids more than the movie.

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