Without question, some of the best things I have done for myself in the last couple of years have been to (1) Develop new hobbies and outside interests, (2) Establish a lot of margin, and, (3) Have a life outside of work.
These three simple steps have resulted in less stress, less worry, and less fatigue for me. I can’t tell you how liberating it has been. The weight of worry has dropped off me like a ton of bricks. The inside erosion that has been my constant companion for years is a thing of the past. I no longer feel like I am drowning.
Sometimes we get so busy rowing the boat that we don’t take time to stop and see where we’re going… or what we’re becoming. The ministry can be all-consuming at times – worrying about people, making ends meet, putting out brush fires, pouring myself into others, trying to fix the unfixable – and it can lead to burnout or an emotional breakdown.
I’ve let go.
I’ve let myself off-the-hook by refusing to take ownership for everything that happens. I've given myself permission to not feel guilty for being unable to fix everything or failing to meet the expectations of so many people. Now, I just let most things play-out how they will, and wa-la!, the world doesn’t end... and neither does PCC.
With so much margin (i.e., a life outside of work - and learning to let go) I don’t feel the need to quit, jump ship, leave the ministry, or find new friends to get a fresh start. I’ve learned to deal with it right here.
Nowadays I’m focusing more time and attention upon myself, staying emotionally and physically healthy. Plus, I’m devoting more time to my family.
Life is good.