Everything in my life needs to be maintained. Everything!
On the one side, I can't wait to get to heaven where I'm praying the earth waters itself like the good ol' days of Eden. On the other side- this side of eternity- I can't seem to ever just let stuff go untouched.
Failure to address things regularly leads to mountains of catch up work, stress, and way more effort than had I just simply dealt with it in the first place.
Here's my observations:
- yard work takes an hour if I do it weekly or a whole day a month if I let it go.
- my body stays fit if I regularly exercise and eat well. If I let it go, it will take months to fix.
- my soul requires daily rest and feeding. If I let it go or ignore it's cry for attention, I end up depressed, discouraged, overwhelmed, and exhausted.
- my marriage requires daily attention. If I ignore it for a day or two, it takes 14 hours of conversations, a grip of apologies, and probably some counseling classes to fix. If I ignore it for longer than that... we become roommates and shuffle kids around. If it goes past that... well, yeah- It's not pretty.
- my kids require daily love and attention. Ignore them for any period of time and I become out of touch, lose my influence, and an observer instead of a participant in life with them.
- my school work requires regular studying and process. when I pace myself, I'm good. when I let it pile up, I have to hibernate for 3 days to fix it.
- our youth group data base takes a few hours a week to maintain. ignore it for a few months and it'll take countless hours and all summer to undo.
- my cars require regular oil changes, tune ups, etc. When I let them go, I pay hundreds of dollars to repair what could have cost way less had I simply paid attention to wear and tear.
- bills have to be given weekly attention. If they are not regularly paid they result in bad credit, fees, and a massive headache.
- a to do list regularly visited gets done. Ignore it, and in compounds with interest in intensity and investment by the hour it seems.
- my dog even requires attention. lots of attention. I'm not exactly sure what happens when I ignore him. Mostly he just barks at me more and tries to bite me so I'll chase him around the house.
Here's my conclusions:
- a life that is daily maintained is easy to maintain.
- a life that is consistently ignored is consistently impossible to enjoy.
- before adding anything to my life, no matter how shiny it is at first, I need to ask myself, "do I have the time and energy to maintain it?"
- the tortoise beats the hare every time.