Welcome to God-sized Dreams Spring Book Club of Breaking Busy by Alli Worthington. If you haven’t gotten the book yet, it’s not too late. We’re just covering Chapters 1 and 2 today.
I don’t know about you, but I love that the book started with an entirely relatable first chapter about capacity. While I’ve never had a ringing bra, I definitely have had early morning flights with fuzzy thinking and lost car chargers and missing papers because I’ve pushed too far for too long.
Most of the time, I can’t envision what capacity is because I’m so far over it. Alli quotes to a study on p.21 which found women, especially those ages 30 to 60, reported being busier than men and were sacrificing sleep, recreation, hobbies, friends, and families! Yikes.
Because of the seasons in our lives (think care for kids, parents, or spouse, a new work assignment, a relocation, illness, etc.) we have to recognize we can’t always function at the same capacity. Alli helps us identify when we may be firing well over capacity. Some of the warning signs include:
- The inability to control your emotion: Have you ever snapped or burst into tears when the circumstances didn’t warrant it? I’ve nearly fallen apart at a pass the ketchup simply because I couldn’t do one more thing.
- Lack of self care: Even those of us that know how to eat right and get enough rest can find all that slipping away when we’re munching on a bag of chips at midnight to meet that deadline. We’ve got to take care of ourselves so we can continue to function effectively.
- Self medicating/excess: Boy did this one hit close to home. In the busiest and most stressful of seasons, I reach for a cupcake or glass of wine instead of identifying the cause of my stress and restructuring. This is dangerous if you don’t reset before it becomes unhealthy or an addiction.
Alli offers great tips on how to identify what’s going on and recognize our limits. One of the best tips is to take the time to identify why you are exceeding your capacity: In addition to pride, any number of things can cause us to exceed our capacity. We might be too focused on getting ahead. We might be operating outside our area of giftedness. We might be making bad decisions built on guilt or people pleasing. Stepping back to evaluate why we are doing what we are doing gives us insights into whether or not we need to keep doing them.
Then, wow, what a powerful reminder Chapter 2 on relationships was for me! How about you? We DO have to focus on the most important relationships in our life and they all too often get left in the dust when we’re too busy in our lives.
If we are going to start breaking busy, we start with focusing in on the relationships that fill our soul.
First we have to check where our relationship is with God. He’s waiting for us to set aside the time in the middle of “busy” to find Him.
Next, oh for you married friends, it’s finding time for your man. Alli shares what so deeply resonated in my own life: From lost babies to lost hopes to lost dreams – the shared struggles are what brought us together so deeply. What I’ve learned is that a great marriage isn’t made of moments you see in the movies. Marriages are made in the moments of weakness, humility, and instability.
Can I get an Amen?
And last but certainly not least, we HAVE to find time for our friends. After spending this past weekend with two of my fellow God-sized Dreamer writers and a college roommate, I can tell you that is medicine for breaking busy like none other I can find. Friends “pour life into me instead of draining it out.” All too often we let our friendships fade into the background as we try to juggle all the busyness that assails us. We MUST find time for our girlfriends.
Alli’s been leading a book club study over at Propel Women, where she’s the Executive Director, and there are some wonderful videos from her on Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 which will definitely add to your enjoyment of these chapters.
So sound off.
How do you know when you’re over capacity? What do you do to bring things back into a manageable state?
And what about your relationships? How do you keep them a priority when the busy ramps up? I’d love to hear what you’re learning as we study Breaking Busy together.
*Congratulations to Amber Baake who won the free copy of Breaking Busy!