This weekend – like every weekend – was full to overflowing with things to do.
From planting garlic to tending our animals to digging out from under the final hurrah of produce from the garden, our plate was full. But as we hustled headlong through Saturday trying to get it all done I wondered – when isn't our plate full?
Life is work, work is life. Even if the garlic was in there would be meals to cook and dishes to wash and laundry to fold. And if we actually got on top of those tasks I'm certain their would be floors to sweep and toilets to scrub. And if we managed that – well, you get the idea.
We'll never get it done.
The to-do list will never be empty. And honestly, I'm not sure what we would do with ourselves if it were. So I'm putting away that subconscious goal that was tucked in the back of our minds – completion. I'm done with the notion that after we get it done we can make time for other things. Because now is all we've got.
And it feels liberating.
The truth is that whatever time we have will be filled by the tasks at hand. Work will expand to fill the space available – if we allow it to. It's up to us to decide where we place that privilege.
And so while we worked hard this weekend on all that we wanted to accomplish, we also carved out time for other things. Things that matter so very much, but not because of what we scratched off our list.
We made space for meaningful conversations, slow meals, and helping friends. We opened ourselves to community, connection, and creativity. We found a bit of balance amid the hard and satisfying work of life.
And you know, it turns out these other things also expand to fit the space you give them and are just as rewarding as crossing another chore off of the list. Perhaps more.
Because at the end of the day (or the end of a life) what will you wish you had spent just a little more time doing? The chores on your to-list? Or laughing, helping, loving, and connecting with the people who matter to you most?
I know my answer.
And it turns out that "finding balance" was the most satisfying thing I crossed off my list all weekend.