What I Learned On The Road

Posted By on Dec 8, 2010 in The Life I Live | 17 comments


I have been traveling the last five weekends.

I don’t how it happened exactly. I would have never planned it that way but…

There was a wedding of a close friend and co-worker in Dallas. There was a Women of Faith conference that my sister and Bianca could attend. There was a baby shower in Birmingham that I was helping host. There was Thanksgiving in Asheville with the whole family. There was a reunion of Compassion Bloggers at Deeper Still.

They all seemed like opportunities I could not turn down. So I went. Every weekend. For the last five weekends.

And it wore me out. My house is a wreck. My bills are piled up high on my desk waiting to be paid. My puppy has been neglected. My friends haven’t been properly loved on. My life is in general disarray.

But I learned a lesson. There is always a lesson.

I need to learn to say “no.” (Let’s practice it together…”nooooooo.”) I need to build more margin in my life. I need to build in down time so I can fully enjoy the experiences I say “yes” to. This is key…I found myself so tired last weekend in Birmingham that I couldn’t fully revel in the incredible opportunity at hand. (Shame on me.) I found myself knowing exactly what Beth meant when she said, “Our treasure gets lost in the same trash as our time. Where there is no margin, there is no treasure.”

In 2011, I am going to TRY to living with a new rule.

I will be in town at least 2 weekends a month.

We’ll see if I can do it. In the meantime, I am going to enjoy being in Nashville the next few weekends.

What kinds of boundaries do you put around your time?

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  • http://www.simplycintia.com Cintia

    Children have helped me guard my time in a greater level. I try to make sure they follow their routine most days of the week so we won't be out and about all the time. I try to rest when they rest (something I have never done before) and when I schedule too many things in a week, I simply call back and say "I'm sorry but I can't." Knowing what my priorities are really help in this instance as well. Great post, I can totally relate!
    My recent post Weight Watchers Wednesday

    • http://www.lindseynobles.com Lindsey_Nobles

      The resting when they rest is a good one! It makes me wish I had kids. :)

  • http://blog.inthenameoflove.org Bianca_Juarez

    Why you gotta get all crazy? Just kidding. I think you're doing a wise thing… unless it effects you coming to visit in California. ;)

    My recent post ain’t your momma’s women’s ministry…

    • http://blog.inthenameoflove.org Bianca_Juarez

      Oops! I forgot my boundaries:
      I need seven hours of sleep a night.
      I need two nights a week at home, doing nothing, and eating good food.
      I need to read my bible everyday. If not I turn into Cruelle DeVil. F'real.

      My recent post ain’t your momma’s women’s ministry…

      • http://www.lindseynobles.com Lindsey_Nobles

        I am looking at the nights a week at home and knowing I need to do something similar…

      • Ashley

        Oh man- 7 hours of sleep a night, AMEN! If I get less, I am in the floor, underneath my desk the next morning and not happy, chugging gallons of coffee!!

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  • http://kevinmartineau.blogspot.com Kevin_Martineau

    The biggest boundary that I have put on my time is that I want to be home more times that I am out in a week. When I cross this boundary I definitely pay for it. Of course, there are always exceptions but I try very hard to live by this boundary.
    My recent post How to build trust in a group

  • http://thatguykc.wordpress.com ThatGuyKC

    As a husband, dad and grad student while working full time my time is precious.
    I'd say the biggest boundary I've setup is a schedule.

    In the morning I workout then put in a full day the office.
    At night I get home from work, we eat dinner, clean up, play with kids, get them to bed and then I do homework.

    It feels a bit regimented at times, but it helps makes sure life/work/family is stable.
    My recent post Kindle a Passion for Reading

  • Lindsee

    Lindsey, a few weeks ago at our staff retreat, we read the book "Margin" by Richard Swenson together as a group. Each of us had to come up with one sentence to describe our chapter, and ironically, I had the chapter on time. My summary to our staff? "No is a complete sentence." Now I'm just trying to live it out. So I totally get you here! I think the toughest thing about saying no is that since I am single, I feel like I have a bit more freedom so I should go to these things, also, I just flat like being with people, especially people I love. But at the same time, I have to guard my time and my health in every area, spiritual, emotional and physical. So, I'm on board with you! As far as boundaries for my time? I'm still working on that. Not working after hours would be a good one to set, but that's a little tough working in student ministry. HA! Sorry for the novel of a comment! : )
    My recent post Scarves- The Winter Accessory

    • http://www.lindseynobles.com Lindsey_Nobles

      I ordered that book a few years ago and never read it…probably didn't have time ;) I am pulling it off the shelf and adding it to my stack.

      I think that is HARDER to manage as a single person. We don't husbands or children that force these boundaries on us. And, at least for me personally, I want to be a part of everything to help fill the void of being alone. Ugh.

      • Lindsee

        Oh yes, I know about filling the void of being alone. Amen and amen.
        My recent post Scarves- The Winter Accessory

      • allisonroberts

        Definitely harder as a single. I can vouch for both sides of this as I am recently divorced. When I was married I had no problems with boundaries, between my husband and my children, extra things were rarely on the calendar. Now, that I am single and my ex and I have split custody. (He has them every Tuesday and Wednesday night and every other Friday and Saturday) I have purposely begged for my calendar to be filled…and filled it has become. Overwhelmingly so.

  • http://larryhehn.com Larry_Hehn

    I'm still learning to say no. It usually takes a period of frantic busyness for me to remember, and to cut back on extra activities. Though lately I've made a practice of asking for some time to consult my calendar before commiting to something. I find that avoiding impulse decisions sometimes allows me to approach my calendar more rationally and avoid overbooking.
    My recent post Stinky Cheese and Second Chances

  • http://www.daveanthold.com Dave Anthold

    I just spent 5 weeks straight on the road & now I am having to play catch up with appointments here at home. My only boundary for my insane travel schedule was that I had to be home for the weekends (however short they were) so that I could rest, hang with friends, go to church & my bible study group.

  • http://www.hopefulleigh.blogspot.com Leigh

    I've learned that I need to be home at least 2 weeknights a week, whether to catch up on life or just enjoy downtime. It's easy to keep going and going and going but I find myself very frazzled and not as pleasant to be around. Or worse- trying to come up with excuses to get out of the plans I agreed to in the first place!
    My recent post Compassion International

  • Nicole Unice

    I've been told by multiple people to read "Margin". That probably means something. Here's what I need: a nap on the weekend. To exercise. To spend time alone–even for five minutes–every day.

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  • http://stevenahill.com Steve Hill

    I've never been good about putting boundaries around my time. I wouldn't describe myself as a workaholic but I often find myself starting my days at 8 am and ending them at 12 am without much in the way of valuable (in an intrinsic sense) activities. It's all work or meaningless toil and you definitely get burnt out by it.
    My recent post Employment and Tithing