Homer Surbeck describes the average fly in summer in his book The Success Formula That Really Works. We are all familiar with summertime. Most days we will see a fly or many flies in the window. They will battle eight hours of the day to get to the other side of the window. The outside fly wants to be inside. The inside fly wants to be outside. They buzz up to the top, along the frame, back and forth. They fly to the very top of the window pane, beating their heads against the glass and wood. That is just like us in life. We keep striving and working and trying to get ahead. Buzzing from one activity, meeting, event, and work day to the next.
If we don’t swat the fly first and we can open the screen, we may take pity on it and open the window a few inches for it to make an escape. Run, be free! But the fly may keep on with his busyness and not notice the open window. He will continue for hours, beating his head against the pane and glass.
It is not until the fly gets tired, comes to a stop, and lands on the windowsill that he may even notice the way out. The answer to his problems is there when he rests, comes to a stop, and let’s go.
Don’t you find the answers to your struggles, your problems, and your frustrations when you STOP? Stop and let everything go around you. Sit, rest, and be still. How long has it been since you sat still? Sat in silence? Took time just to be by yourself? Not driving, not running errands, not waiting for family to get done with appointments. And not sleeping? Just sit and BE? Have you felt that peace, that calm, or that silence that comes with sitting? I challenge you to look at your calendar and mark off twenty minutes tomorrow for you to sit. Yes, you have twenty minutes; don’t lie. We all have twenty minutes. Arrive to work twenty minutes early and just sit in the car. Close your eyes and be still with no radio or other noise on. Or do the same after work. Sit before you get started off to your next assignment. Take extra time at lunch. Mark out a spot on Saturday. Yes, you have the time! If your sanity and peace is not worth twenty minutes each day, there is something wrong and there is only one person who can fix it. That person is you. You choose your schedule. You make the decisions with the activities you are involved in. There is a magic word called NO. It will not offend anyone if you turn down the leadership role in your four organizations that you are in. It will give another four people leadership opportunities that will help the community and help them grow as individuals. We think we have to do it all, and if we don’t, it won’t get done right. Right? Yes, I am not alone here?
We can do anything, but we can’t do everything. I gave up doing everything for my family in 2016. My husband, both kids, and I were all working and schooling from home, and I was frustrated that I was still doing all the laundry and cooking. Yes, I admit I was not the best communicator and did my share of grumbling and complaining before just sitting down and saying, “Hey, I’m done with these jobs. You all need to figure it out.” They can cook, clean, and wash just like real humans. I just let them. I overlook the cobwebs and dusty corners they miss. I can hear the screams in the minds of those of you with obsessive-compulsive disorder like me! Well, I pointed out the areas that still needed work when it was a calmer day and we all weren’t running in different directions. I sat down with my son the fall that he started dual credit college classes and ran through a schedule with him: where he needed to be and what he should be doing between classes. I sat down with my daughter before her sophomore year and had her write out the assignments for each day of the new school year. She groaned and said, “This takes forever.” I replied, “Yes, this is what I have been doing for you both every school year. You are old enough now to take it on, track it, and start your school work on your own. And I have less time this year. You are fully able.”
I gave them the responsibility and they learned how to manage the house, the food, their time, their studies, their need to be home and quiet, and much more. When you let go of many of your responsibilities that others are fully capable of doing, you will release your stress and give others the ability to learn how to lead, communicate, grow, and manage themselves and others. Without doing so, you are stifling growth and keeping your stress and frustration. Think of how much more time you will have for you and your family. Keep the jobs you like. You got into those groups for a reason. Stay with the ones you love and have a passion for. If you have a position you hate in an organization that you love, make a move into a position that you like better at the next election or officer change.
Where can you find two hours this week to spend in silence and peace?