As my husband and I were sitting at our church’s recent marriage conference, our youth pastor said, “The biggest thing I have to remember everyday is what I’m okay with failing at on a given day.” An audible gasp came across the crowd. You mean I’m supposed to fail at something every day?! Not quite, but that’s close to the point. What he was trying to explain is that we can’t always be the best wife, mom, teacher, daughter, or sister every day, so determine what you are okay with failing at and let that go for a day, maybe two … or maybe forever. Show yourself some grace and make some priorities. The more I thought about it, the more it resonated with me.
In response, I created my own list of things I can fail at, and I’m ok with that.
Clean up … of any kind
I’ll confess: there are dirty dishes in my sink. I’m not having a heart attack; I’m coloring with my girls. I will clean up after I’ve put them to bed, or I’ll make them help unload the dishwasher later. One way or another, we’re all hanging out helping Annie draw circles, and that’s more important than the dishes in my sink or the laundry in the basket. It will get done, and I’m a bit of a neat freak, but it doesn’t have to be done now.
This one is a teacher thing, but such is life. I’m a teacher, but before I teach how to write a sentence, or what a noun is, I want to teach kindness. I will absolutely get to the curriculum, but when the opportunity arises, I’m going to teach how we can give back to people in our community. I’m going to teach that you can all be the kid on the playground that plays with someone without any friends. I’m going to teach how you should love to read, enjoy school, and be kind to your classmates. I’m going to teach life before I teach reading, and that’s just how I roll.
Being everywhere all the time
I can do anything, but I can’t do everything. I am happy to say we have a lot of people in our village. People we love. People I want to see often. But do we have to go to every hang out? Nope. Do we have to go to every church bible study? Nope. Is it okay to say we are just tired and need some family time? Absolutely. Everyone feels this way and we need to accept the word “NO” more freely. It’s not rude and wrong, it is simply doing what your family needs and giving yourselves downtime.
Ok. There are also things I’m totally, absolutely not okay with failing at. That list is below, and surprisingly much shorter than I thought it would be.
My relationship with God
Do I have to be at church every thirty seconds to have a relationship with God? No. But I do have to pray, try to find 5 minutes just to read a few Bible verses, and think about things. This is my stress release time. This is my calm. I will not fail at it. The thing is, when I fail at spending time with God, I fail at the rest of this list. I can hang out with my family, but I’m snappy. I can try to eat healthy, but I’ll end up eating a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. Without God, I fail at all the things.
My relationship with my husband and kids
Date night! Need I say more? We have really started trying to be more intentional with the few minutes of down time we get together. We are working our way towards “Tech NO Tuesdays” Get it?! We’re putting down phones, tablets, tvs, and playing games. (Side Note: Did you know you can buy tons of great board games for like $10?!) We love Uno and Twister. Spruce up your game cabinet and set down your technology. Your kids will love it and you will to!
Our grocery budget is insane. I try to eat healthy and keep it under $900 a month, but it is a challenge. I’m not willing to give up on the outrageous Costco trips though. I know my kids eat tons of fruit, a few veggies, here and there, and we do occasionally have pizza and chicken nuggets. But ultimately, I can buy a rotisserie chicken, microwave a bag of frozen veggies, and dinner is served. I’m not willing to go back to being overweight, tired, and unable to run a mile to save my life. On workdays, I may fail at working out, but come Saturday, they’re going to the gym nursery, and I’m going to pump class. It is what it is. They like me more when I’m active and awake than when I’m tired and napping.
There you have it. I challenge you to come up with your own list.