Tonight brings my spring break to a close. Sad. Day. But that means tonight was spent filling out my planner, prepping coffee, packing my lunch, and packing my book bag… you know, the big girl things to do to make my Monday morning a little smoother.
What I want to talk about tonight is the filling out my planner part. Life is busy. The next 6 weeks are gonna fly by between co-hosting a bridal shower & bachelorette party, planning another bridal shower & bachelorette party for another, lent coming to a close with Holy Week and Easter, and getting stand by the side of a dear friend (Julia, pictured below) and support her as she comes into full communion with the Catholic Church, to exams, projects, retreats, and more it was tempting to get overwhelmed as I filled out my planner. I filled out the basics of just when I have what (i.e. Monday 8 am lecture, 10 am lecture, 4 pm lab, etc) and that’s just things that are non-negotiable (school). Then I went back and added church things, fun things, wedding things (of my friends, not my own), assignments, and workouts.
Back to the church things. I’m in an “extended transition” phase (or so I’ll call it) regarding Christian-Catholic communal life. In my time in undergrad I have been involved in Saint Paul’s Outreach (SPO learn more here). For post-grad world Columbus has a community of young professionals, young families.. young adults basically. It’s largely a community of people who love Jesus a lot, want to be committed to Him and to each other in a very intentional manner. This group is called Cornerstone. Soooo the complicated part is that I’m kinda in both right now. I’m in my 5th year of undergrad, and am still present in the community of SPO on campus, through helping with bible study leaders, and I’m just kinda around. I usually make an appearance at different events and things we have going on throughout the week. But then I’m also in Cornerstone which is a another large-ish group of different people (different state of life too) who I’m also forming new relationships, and with Cornerstone I meet with the same small group of women (6 of us including our leader) every other week and we have women’s nights, and gatherings (gather as a community to pray) approximately every other week… basically I’m a busy lady.
But that’s okay. I don’t mind being busy, however, it is tempting for me to get anxious and overwhelmed. I have a history of getting anxious pretty easily, and have had periods of time that unfortunately involved daily anxiety attacks and weekly panic attacks.
I had a moment of profound realization as I was filling out my planner this evening, and started to feel anxious — and that’s what I want to share with you all:
it’s okay not to do all the things
Well what do you mean Amber?
It’s okay to not go to One Gospel. It’s okay to not go to women’s night. It’s okay to not go to formation. It’s okay. You don’t have to do all the things. You don’t have to see all the people. Your time on campus is coming to a close, and you’re transitioning out of a community that has been your stability for 6 years. It’s also okay to say no to a trivia night. It’s okay to not go to your parish mission.
However, it is important to go to the non-negotiable things. It’s important to go to class. It’s important to make time for homework and studying. It’s important to keep the things you are committed to. I’m committed to Cornerstone (if you’re committed to SPO formation it’s important for you to go to those events…), so it’s important for me to keep that commitment. It’s important for me to be at small group.
If I went to ALL the things, there would be no time for me, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the 5.5 years that will be my undergrad career it is that self-care is the most important thing we can do. We must take of our self and our needs before we can ever tend to the needs of others. We must be being filled with the Love of God so His love can overflow through us onto others. We must get enough sleep so we can think clearly. We need to eat right and exercise so we can be good stewards of our body, and treat our body as the temple it is — because if we aren’t doing these things we aren’t going to be able serve God and love God in the way He deserves, in the way He asks us to… So it’s okay to not go to all the things if it means you’re making time to do the things you need to do to be striving for the greatness we are called to as Christians.