I like to stay busy. It keeps me out of trouble! We aren't supposed to be idle and we're called to use our time wisely for God. So far in 2014, I've been actively involved in RCIA, I tutor algebra once or twice a week, and I've been taking the excellent Certificate of Theology courses from JP Catholic. I've been doing CrossFit three times a week, ran three times a week as part of a Couch to 3.1 group, and began a morning exercise program twice a week at the start of March. I like to visit my Dad on weekends I'm free, hang out with my friends as much as possible, read novels, and write here or elsewhere. Oh, and there's work too. I'd not given much thought to this hectic schedule until this month.
The week I began the morning exercise program, I started noticing mild physical symptoms. I'd just finished an added-sugar fast in February so I assumed they were from the re-introduction of sugar. As the weeks went by though, they kept getting worse and worse. Things got really bad when I stopped being able to go to sleep until 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning if I'd worked out that day. I love my sleep! I grew more stressed and irritable. One night (morning) I was still awake at 2:00 and finally decided to throw some research into what might be causing me all of these problems. Every single result on Google indicated I was WAY too busy and was having a textbook response to too much stress. I didn't feel stressed before the symptoms appeared, but apparently my body didn't care how I felt.
I was reminded of a few posts Jennifer Fulwiler has made at Conversion Diary regarding scheduling and being overwhelmed. I'm not a mom with that many kids, but the signs and solutions seemed obvious in my life once I'd re-read her posts.
I'm in between classes at JP Catholic, so I talked to them about withdrawing from the program for awhile. They were very supportive. I also dropped the morning exercise program I'd started at the beginning of the month and skipped a 5k I was signed up for over the weekend. Just as she experienced a lot of results by making some changes, I've noticed huge improvements as well. I'm sleeping better which is amazing. I feel like I have time to do things in my house, like clean the dishes. I'm in a better mood in general, and I feel like I'm more prepared to tackle the day.
We are supposed to keep away from idleness and serve God with our time, but we can't be so busy that we fail at being joyful communicators of the Good News. We don't set a good example if we're cranky all the time or too tired to help with anything not on our schedule. Nobody wants to hear about Jesus from a zombie.