Burning the candle at both ends

by Meredith Berger

Do you ever feel like you’re trapped in a loop? Like one of those scenes in a movie when the sun sets and the moon rises and then the moon sets and the sun rises, and so on, in rapid succession? Your weeks blending together, the hours in the day dwindling away…

You get so caught up in what you need to get done, that you can often neglect your wants. This is especially poignant now, as holidays roll around and you’re faced with travel and even more obligations. You begin burning the candle at both ends, and leave yourself with nothing left come nighttime.

I read a joke the other day about how doing laundry is frustrating, because even when you wash everything in your hamper, you still have on the clothes you’re wearing. That’s how our days can sometime feel – that even as we complete a task, there’s always another waiting around the corner. Finding time to get everything done is often impossible.

This is not only true in chores and tasks, but also with basic human needs. I heard someone say that between health, job success, and social life, only two can be successfully applied in one’s life. We’ll often choose job success and social life, since relationships tend to be the core of many of our lives. Once health is deemed the third and less important option, we might eat poorly, sleep less, and convince ourselves we don’t have time to exercise. This is dangerous, as it leaves us exhausted and unhappy. Alternatively, you might even sacrifice one of the others, and risk neglecting your job stability or your friendships.

While I wish I had a solution, no one has come up with the perfect formula. The Bible tells us,

“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven…a time to get,
and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away”
(Ecclesiastes 3).

Life is a constant juggling act, but we’re not expected to have all the balls in the air at once. There’s a time for everything. Did you perform as well at work on Monday when you went out to a concert Sunday night? Was there a social outing on Saturday that could have been equal to the concert and given you time to sleep on Sunday? With all the fast casual salad restaurants, did I really need to grab pizza when I was in a rush? Did you need to bring your laptop home, or could it have waited until the next day? (this is one I struggle with). Making these small changes might help us make better choices and help us find a happy medium between what we need to do and what we want to do.

This season will really test our ability to find the best balance of work, festivities, holiday travel, and personal life (laundry, cleaning, eating healthy, exercising, etc..) Try to work through it day by day. Hopefully by recognizing when you need to rest or prioritize, and by making the necessary small changes, your candle won’t burn out.

 

 

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