Hope for the Busy
"Hey, Christy," Julie called from across the cafeteria. "Would you do me a big favor and hang up these posters about our group meeting?"
The last thing I wanted was one more thing to do. But Julie was my friend and I didn't want to hurt her feelings. So I found myself giving her a half-hearted, "Uh, sure."
The next thing I knew, I was racing around campus with a stack of brightly colored posters and a roll of masking tape. Several minutes later, I slid into class, out of breath and trying to figure out when I'd have time to hang up the remaining posters.
Frantically, I stuffed the posters and tape under my desk, pulled out my notecards, and did a silent, last-minute run-through of the speech I was about to give. I also whispered a desperate prayer: "Lord, how much longer can I keep this up? You've gotta help get me out of this mess!"
And a mess is definitely what my schedule was. At the beginning of the semester, I thought I had everything under control. Sure, I was involved in a lot of stuff at school. Plus, I was active with church and community activities, not to mention a part-time job.
I loved being busy. But all those activities had finally caught up with me. That was obvious that Friday, when, after speech class, I found myself running to my next class and then rushing off to register for the next semester's classes and interview for a possible summer job.
Several hours later, my mind still whirring from the day's events, I stared at my calendar. The next few days looked just as hectic as this one had been. So, I made a decision. Before I could change my mind, I called a friend and canceled my weekend plans.
From that moment on, I promised myself I would learn to say "no" to a maxed-out schedule. So the next semester I cut down on the number of extracurricular activities I chose to be involved in. I also wasn't as quick to say "yes" to every single person who wanted me to do something for them. And while there are still times when I struggle with over-commitment, I'm doing a lot better these days. After all, when I'm totally burned out from exhaustion, I'm no good to anybody. Especially to myself.
Christy is a sophomore at the University of Evansville in Evansville, Indiana.
1998 by the author or Christianity Today/Campus Life magazine. For reprint information call 630-260-6200.