64. What can I delete in my life?

I recently sat and created a career plan. Then, a few days later, I deleted half of it.

I really want to keep my projects. But many of them are not essential, and they often distract me from the projects that are more essential.

I’m in sort of a weird place this year: I’m planning on applying to graduate school, but I currently don’t have a job. I have 10 hours a week where my youngest is in preschool; the other three kids are in school full-time.

I thought I might get a job, but it hasn’t felt right for me right now. So what do I do with my time?

Well, I am working on this book. And I’ve been working on it for a long time. And I am working on a home renovation. I’ve been working on that for a long time too.

But instead of continuing working on the ongoing projects that are more essential, I managed to come up with more and more projects that didn’t matter as much. (My ideas included creating a new website, taking online classes, and making videos.)

So I’m trying to delete the nonessential and focus instead on the projects and the parts of my life that I can’t give up: take care of my children, improve my marriage, serve others, learn new things, and work on my home and my book.

I read recently that someone had a life philosophy of saying yes to everything until they were completely swamped, then they could say no. What a horrible philosophy–that would lead to burnout, wasted time and energy, and missed opportunities. It’s hard not to cram my life full of everything; but it’s already full enough with just the essential.

It’s can be much better to focus a light and make it coherent (that’s what a laser does) than to shine light in all directions. I do need to focus my life, make it coherent, and stop wasting my time on pursuits that fracture my time and energy with that which has little worth.

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