Saturday, February 25, 2006

Tired Mom's Talents

I am reading a good book called The Worn-Out Woman. I feel like it really applies to me because I have been exhausted all week. It seems staying up til 2 a.m. out at the coast (shocking, what those moms do out there!) wore me out and I caught the next bug that came down the chute and fought a low-grade fever and fatigue all week.

Anyway, before I sound like the old Yoder circle letter (the part about my ailments, I mean, not going to the coast and staying up late...can't imagine Aunts Ennie and Lyddie and Edna ever trying that....) we return to the book and an intriguing thought.

The authors claim that much of our exhaustion is due to working in areas that we are not good at. If we focus on serving where our talents and interests lead us, we will be a lot more energized.

That resonates with me, since nothing energizes me like speaking to women's groups and I am very thankful for the opportunities I get to do so. I also like to sew, and listen to people, and read, and email. I would be thrilled if I would be called on to serve in only those areas.

However. What about the fact that Ruth just had a baby and I know good and well that I should call and sign up to take a meal in but that sort of thing looks like this huge task to me? I am not good at planning menus, and I find it nearly overwhelming to come up with a menu, make the food ahead of time, put it in transportable containers, and deliver it. To people like my friend Rita, this kind of thing is second nature. And she packs it all in a pretty basket and tucks in an adorable little bouquet for good measure. But to me it looks as daunting as writing the Smucker circle letter does to my SIL Bonnie (who happens to be awesome at planning menus and cooking).

I have a feeling this book is kind of like Wild at Heart and lots of others, good in its basic philosophy but not quite realistic about the actual world we live in and the duties that face us every day. I can't imagine a day when I will never be expected to cook or sing or choose gifts for someone.

Quote of the Day:
"Right now there's about 1,537,000 seconds til Amy comes home. When you post it on your blog--if you write it tonight let's say at 7:00--by that time it'll be down to, uh, let me think, like 7000 seconds lower. Actually more than that, like 8000."
--Ben, the technical math guy


  1. I like that thought from the book. Here's a variation...

    I enjoy music and singing. I was a part of the church worship team and loved doing it. For the past couple of years though I have not been part of the worship team because I realized that:

    1) others were also sufficiently gifted in that area and the worship team worked just as well without me and

    2) being in the worship team kept me from devoting time to things that were more important - that were a higher calling for my life.

    I think we've been trained to feel guilty when we turn down a request that really isn't within our areas of gifting.

    You're right that you can't go through life doing only the things you're good at. But what about change in moderation, like removing just one thing from your week ahead that "just isn't you"? After you get over the shock of actually turning someone down, you'll probably feel just a little bit relieved.

    Now, onto my over-committed day! (How easy to give advise that I don't follow!)

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  3. I totally agree that a person will remain more energized by following what he / she is passionate about and spending more of their time doing that. Forcing yourself to do things that you don’t totally enjoy is draining. There is another philosophy that follows a similar paradigm. “Do what you love and the money will follow?” Unfortunately I am still spending WAY more money on golf that I am making so that particular philosophy appears flawed at best. ;) Sometimes reality just bites. ;)

  4. Dorcas, my friend, how many women do you need to make a group? I need you to come speak to me. Please????

  5. I'm glad somebody seems to be anxiously awaiting my arrival. :):):)