If you saw the Weekend Edition, then you already know about my decision to step away from my regular role here at The Writers Alley.
Good-byes are never easy, especially when it involves the wonderful women who are part of this group. But the reality is that life sometimes dictates difficult, but necessary, decisions.
Our lives are often like an ocean. We may go through times of low tide, when our schedules have breathing room and we can rest on the beach--maybe even build a sandcastle--without the waves crashing over us.
Then we may be offered an opportunity here, sign up for a commitment there. And with each thing we add, the tide starts to slowly rise. As long as we're comfortable on the beach and our sandcastle is protected, we don't worry too much about the rising waves.
...Until that final commitment pushes the tide past us, sending a mini-tsunami that crushes our castle and sweeps us away. That's what happened to me recently and what prompted the hard decision to leave this blog.
Since many of us have lots of commitments on our plates (and since I can't do a blog post without giving practical advice :)), I'm going to share four steps for evaluating your own schedule.
1) Determine what your top two or three priorities are. (Picture these as the sandcastles you're trying to protect from the giant wave.) For me, this came down to family time, church, and focused time to work on my fiction writing.
2) List out everything that's on your plate. And I do mean everything. (These are the waves that creep toward your sandcastles.)
3) Mark each item on the list with one of the following categories: (a) Non-negotiable -- Definitely needs to stay on my list; (b) Iffy -- It could go either way; (c) Can be sacrificed -- This may be something that's easily discarded, or, like my role here at The Writers Alley, it may be a bigger commitment that someone else can come in to fill. (Picture this evaluation process as determining how big your waves are.)
4) Begin the process of elimination. (This is the removal of those waves that threaten your sandcastles.) For me, this process is accompanied by a lot of prayer. Start with the items marked as "can be sacrificed" and envision your life with those things removed from your schedule. Are you better able to focus on your top priorities, or does the elimination of those items hinder you from your priorities in some way? As you pray, envision, and continue to work up the ladder of the categories, it will become clear to you which things need to be surrendered.
So to the readers here at The Writers Alley and to my fellow Alley Cats, I want to thank you for making this such a fun place to visit and learn together. I'll greatly miss being a part of the camaraderie and support. But have no fear...I won't be a complete stranger. And I look forward to seeing what God does through this incredible group of women as we all move forward, protecting our precious sandcastles for His glory.
Let's talk...Have you ever had to do an evaluation of your schedule like I described here? What would you say are your top two or three priorities? How do you know when it's time to step away from a commitment?
*Tide photo by Rawich / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
**Sand photo by Lisa McDonald / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Sarah Forgrave is a stay-at-home writer-mom who feels blessed to pursue her calling and passion. She writes contemporary romance for the inspirational market and is a contributor to the webzine Ungrind.
To learn more about Sarah, visit her personal blog at: