The older I get, the faster life passes – like it ain’t got no brakes. There has always been 24 hours in a day, 365 days in a year, but as I age, it feels like I’m losing years instead of days.
Where did 2015 come from and how did it get here so quickly? Didn’t we just ring in 2014, a year ripe with promise and the opportunity to bring Him glory?
When we were kids waiting for a birthday or Christmas, every day was a year.
Now every year is a day.
On a few rare occasions during my childhood I dared ride my bicycle down Lamborn Street, a steep hill in Helena, Montana. Steep to a child. The speed made the pedals whizz around so quickly I’d stick my legs out sideways because I couldn’t pedal as quickly as the bike was moving. When I was too scared, I would slam on the brakes, fishtail to a stop, then put both feet on the ground. I hated the feeling of being out of control.
I’m still that way, although I’ve realized there are no brakes on life’s downhill. Like the Little Rascals when they built their go-kart to race the rich kid with his store bought kiddie-car.
They had high ambitions and a good start, but no way to control the outcome.
Life can be going fine, I feel like I’m winning the race, then things start to swerve and get outta’ control. I can’t stop life, I have to hang on for the ride. But, there are things I can do to keep from getting to the point where I have actually yelled, “Stop the world! I want to get off!”
When you feel frantically out-of-control, like you ain’t got no brakes, it’s time to make decisions to control life’s ride. If you invest your time and talents wisely you can enjoy the moments, not fly through them and end with a crash-landing.
TIPS FOR WHEN YOUR LIFE AIN’T GOT NO BRAKES!
1. Say NO!
This isn’t breaking news, but you’re not practicing this advice yet, are you? I knew that, so I repeated it. I was burned-to-a-crisp with life and spiritual service before I learned to say NO as led by the Lord. We easily can fill up our days with activities and responsibilities, thinking we’re doing what is right.
This is what I’ve learned.
- Because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
- Because it’s a good way to use your talent and time, doesn’t mean it’s the best way.
- Because when you finally say NO, maybe someone else will finally say YES.
2. Schedule Creative Escape
You’re not doing that, either, are you? I give you permission. Read. Craft. Write. Paint. Sew. Garden. Bake. Choose one love you’ve set aside and schedule time, even if it’s only 15 minutes a day. Creative activities loosen the rubber bands that keep you wound up too tightly and helps you enjoy life.
To implement, start utilizing waiting time. Instead of being frustrated with wasted time, relax and do something you enjoy. I blogged about “purse projects”, to-do projects that can be finished in 15 minute slots. Creative time can also be a reward for finishing a task.
Make time for what you want to do. The inspiration will help you face the bazillion things you have to do.
3. Take a Chill Pill!
Can you change the circumstances that cause you the most agony? Have you prayed about it? Then stop worrying about it.
“Do not worry about tomorrow” isn’t a suggestion, it’s a command. Accept the situation, then wait on the Lord and trust Him for the outcome. Worrying makes the trial worse, steals precious time, and keeps you from walking in peace. Chill out! He’s got it covered!
4. Five Second Rule for Follow-Through
Stress can muddle your mind. You think you don’t have time to follow-through, but actually create more work for yourself. You can spend 5 seconds now, or 5 minutes later, 5 minutes now or 5 hours later.
Spill a little milk? Wipe it up before it hardens or curdles. Blow up in the microwave? Wipe it down before it hardens. Take one thing upstairs/downstairs with each trip and put it away. The dishwasher is right next to the sink, open the door and set the glass in. It takes 5 seconds, maybe 10. If you can wear clothes again, hang them up or fold them when you take them off. Dirty clothes go directly into the hamper. Yea, we tell the kids do that, but we don’t always set the example. In fact, I’ll go put my clothes in the hamper right now to prove that I’m cheerleading myself first and foremost with these tips.
5. Choose One Splurge
We can’t do it all. Since each obligation requires time or money, choose an affordable splurge with your money to save frustration and time.
I’m not a foodie. I don’t dream about creating elaborate meals or read cookbooks for fun. If I could, I would serve Wonka Pills for dinner every night. After years of making three meals a day, take-out is my favorite splurge. Foodies might hire a college kid to clean the house or the neighbor kid to mow the lawn. I started buying compostable paper plates, cups, and napkins for my busiest times. Your splurge is using money to buy time, so invest wisely and don’t squander the time.
Life ain’t got no brakes. We can’t slow down time and change the rules of creation. You can’t add more hours to your day. If you apply wisdom, consistency, trust, creativity, and discernment you can keep from careening out-of-control in a fast-paced life.
When life is in control you can relax and enjoy the ride, even when you ain’t got no brakes!