In Others’ Words: What Gets Left Along the Wayside

Life is about perspective — how certain experiences clear your vision, as well what other people share with you, thanks to their own learning experiences.

In my life, Julie Andrew’s truth of “Unfortunately something always has to go by the wayside” translates into “You can’t do it all.” 

I’ve watched other people juggle multiple major tasks — and I used to feel less than. I’d walk away and struggle to do more. And I’d fail. The truth is, I am not a good juggler. I’ve learned by trial and error — lots of error — that I can do one thing well at a time. And I’ve learned to be okay with that. I know who I am. I know what I can do. And I let the other stuff go by the wayside because I can’t do it all at the same time. Sometimes — most of the time — saying no is the wisest thing I can do.

I would rather do one thing well than pretend to do a lot of things well — and fail.

I’ve learned to let others be who they are — amazing seamstresses, quilters, gourmet cooks — while I discover who I am. And I’m letting me be me — and letting the nonessential stuff go by the wayside. Maybe, it’s not unfortunate that something always has to go by the wayside. Maybe it’s best to let things go … and be who we are meant to be, doing the things we are meant to do.

In Your Words: As you’ve gained a clear perspective of who you are, what have you left along the wayside? 

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9 Comments

  1. August 6, 2015, 12:22 am   /  Reply

    It’s very wise advice, but I don’t follow it.

    I am surrounded by retrenchments and retreats. By accepting reality, and by accepting the obligation to step aside.

    It’s reached a critical point, and now…

    I will not retreat another foot. I will not put my future into the rubbish tip because They told me that’s were it belongs…and IS.

    I’m tired of leaving things behind. We go home together, or no one does.

    • August 6, 2015, 5:49 am   /  Reply

      I hear you, Andrew.
      You’ve made your choices. You know what is important — and you’ve drawn your ‘this far and no farther’ line.
      I think you’ve followed this advice in the past — decided what was worth your attention — and what wasn’t.
      And that is how you live your live.
      And will continue to live it.

  2. August 6, 2015, 7:02 am   /  Reply

    I’m learning that I can’t do it all. Maybe. See, down deep I really think I can. Hmmm. Will have to work on that. 🙂

    • August 6, 2015, 8:12 am   /  Reply

      I think we all define what our “all” is. And learn to be content with that.

  3. August 6, 2015, 7:11 am   /  Reply

    It’s hard to know what not to pursue as so many activities are interesting and appealing. By the way, I think you do many things WELL! When I’ve over-estimated my ability to pull things off, which can result in diluted efforts several directions, I sometimes laughingly say, “I’ve been juggling too many balls and this one just fell and hit me in the face.” So we learn, but sometimes it’s hard to give up the many “small” projects we also want to fit in.

    • August 6, 2015, 8:13 am   /  Reply

      Thank you, Dee.
      You are a woman of many strengths, and I admire that about you too.
      And yet, I know you have to choose between things too. I’ve seen you do so — and reap the benefits.

  4. August 6, 2015, 11:12 am   /  Reply

    Such a great post, Beth. What things have I left behind? My cast-offs include things I used to use to define who I thought I was. The incredible thirst for acceptance. The staying-busy lie that I thought offered affirmation. I’ve had to learn to leave these behind because they left me limping through each day. Not that I don’t sometimes pick them back up again . . . because I do. But I’m getting better at casting them behind me again.

    I’ve had to say good-bye to lots of commitments outside the house because they took too much time away from writing, which is where I believe God wants me focusing for now. Now, I pray and talk to my husband before saying yes to anything, which has helped me (hopefully!) maintain a sort of balance in my life.

    • August 6, 2015, 6:05 pm   /  Reply

      I nodded my head as I read your comment, Jeanne. I understand … I’ve left some of those very same things along the wayside.

  5. August 6, 2015, 10:59 pm   /  Reply

    Fine, saying “no” and letting go wins. I knew it was time.

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