Worn Diminished in value or usefulness through wear, use, handling, etc.; wearied; exhausted.

Many times in my life, I’ve felt worn out.  Running on fumes has seemed the norm.

Like most, I’ve tried to do my best at juggling marriage, parenting, career, family and friendships. But if I’m honest, most days left me feeling disappointed with myself.  It seemed no matter how hard I tried, I was always behind, not organized enough, or letting someone down somewhere…

When I was at work, I felt guilty about not being home for the kids.  When I was home with the kids, I felt guilty that my husband was carrying the entire financial responsibility for our family.

While being out with a friend, I’d be thinking about the pile of laundry and the office work I’d left behind.

While I’d be busy working from home at the kitchen table,  I’d glance across the room at my son, there on the couch watching television.  I’d think about how I was trading precious quality time with him for this mountain of monotonous paperwork that never seemed conquerable.

My heart would sink.

All of these demands (and blessings) in life required a quality piece of me, of my active acknowledgment and participation.  I wanted the people in my life to feel valued.  I wanted to be there for ones who counted on me.  But, constantly, I felt I was falling short and it was exhausting.

This battle with myself constantly raged inside of me, but others could definitely sense it.  Sadly, many times it was interpreted as me being upset with them.  Of course it was!  I was always in a hurry, getting on to the next thing. I was impatient. Frustration would be written all over my face.  But it was the frustration of not being able to meet my own standards that spilled out onto everyone else!

While I’d be giving my time to one area, I’d be setting another one down.  When I strove to focus on this, then invariably, that didn’t get done. When I’d finish one task, it seemed three more took it’s place.   It was impossible to give my personal best constantly.

I was worn out, but there wasn’t a moment to slow down, or so it seemed that way to me.

The demands of our busy lives take their costly toll, don’t they?

I remember my mom pulling me aside, advising me to slow down, that I needed to take some things off my plate.  I remember laughing to myself, “As if I could!!!”  I truly believed if I slowed down, even for a moment, everything in life would somehow come crashing down around me.

I felt like the weight of the world and all life’s responsibilities were completely on my shoulders and if I took my foot off the gas, or worse,  messed something up, everyone would be negatively affected.  How could I willingly let that happen?  It sounded selfish to do that, or at best, frivolous.

I found out the hard way that if I didn’t choose to take time to get my life in balance; I would be forced to take it later – just not the way I would ever have wanted.  Because I didn’t heed that sage, motherly advice, eventually, I did just that.  I simply burned out.  I was mentally fried.

It was a long road back, but thankfully, I came back with a shift in mindset.  I learned something while I was down –

Guess what I found out?

I learned the world didn’t stop without me.

And it won’t stop without you, either.

Depending on how you look at it, this can come as a blow to your ego or a comfort to your worn out soul.

Do you feel like your life is spinning out of control?  Can’t stop to catch your breath?

Are the demands ever increasing, but your time ever diminishing?

It’s as if life is slipping right through your fingers and you’re so busy trying to juggle it all that you can’t stop, not for even a moment, to enjoy any of it.

You’ve tried pushing the pause button, but within no time at all, others are looking for your help.  You’re overrun with guilt for what’s still undone and who’s waiting on you.

Personal time out is a luxurious joke.  Though the idea sounds like heaven, in your mind, it’s reserved for others with more time on their hands.

Does that sound about right?  That was definitely me.

Don’t wait until you are burning out before you decide to make the changes necessary to balance your life.  Very small choices today can have huge impact later.

Are you overwhelmed and don’t know where to start?

I recognize very well that this type of lifestyle doesn’t change overnight.  But it can change in baby steps – one small choice after another. I know this, because I was there once. You don’t have to feel tired and worn out forever.

For now, you can start with the simplest choice.  All it takes to begin is a moment to clear your thoughts.

Having a hard time doing even that?  Maybe try imagining yourself quietly sitting on a sandy, white beach – no one is sight.  No sound or movement except for the sway of the palm leaves overhead and the gentle rolling waves that slide up just enough to touch your toes…

Take a deep breath… exhale.  Why not take a moment now to whisper a small prayer?

Did you try it?  If so, did you notice something?

The world didn’t stop, did it?  In fact, you’ll see, if you will continue to take small steps in this direction, your world will begin to spin a whole lot smoother.

You don’t have to find out the hard way, like I did. I’ve written down some of the baby steps I took, hoping to share with others who feel worn, like I once did.  Please feel free to explore this free 5 day exercise – select WORN on the FIVE for FIVE page @ WaterfallLive.com.

It’s a safe place to start taming the whirlwind in your life.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:28