The edit.


How do you decide which things to do and which things not to do? Which interests to pursue and which to abandon? Where to spend your time and your efforts?

It is a process i call,  ‘the edit’. I think it is one of the fundamentals of life. If you don’t have a cutting room floor covered with things you removed from the showreel of your life, you are probably doing too much.

Much of this process occurs subconsciously, happening without us really realising, as we navigate demands and pressures and concerns and friends and hobbies and passions… and figuring out how much we can handle.

Another way of thinking about it, which i have found really useful, is thinking of life as a plate (glamorous no?). If life begins with no responsibilities, gradually as we mature and capacity increases, we start to fill the available space on our plate. A demanding job – a good chunk of the available plate-space, a spouse – a healthy amount more, add a child or two to the equation and the plate is beginning to look pretty full.

This is not a negative thing. Imagine if, as an adult, we had an almost empty plate – no significant relationships, no passions, no purpose.

However it is possible, in fact at some point, probable, that we start to think we can manage more than our plate has space for. Or at least, that has been my experience.

About four years ago i reached the point of no return… having put more and more on my plate, I crashed.

I have spent the last 4 years beginning to figure out the edit of my life.

Turns out, my default is to try and do it all… and this does not result in success, or good health – physically or mentally.

Life is all about the edit. It’s Thursday, it’s

Thursday Quit Day

The text says

‘It’s Thursday. We can quit ANYTHING we want on a Thursday.

Pick something, then QUIT doing it.’ Bob Goff (sorry poor quality image and poor technology skills!)

Sometimes its okay to quit. In fact sometimes, quitting is exactly what you should do.

Where i am from that is a very controversial statement.

Im not advocating abandoning responsibilities, or being unreliable. Just that sometimes, you have to quit. To give it up.

For a while i forgot I could quit stuff, and it made me pretty unhappy. The reality that i couldn’t do it all, all the time, is something that it is not very easy for a good-girl, recovering people-pleaser to accept.

You cant just keep piling the plate higher and higher. Sense says that as you put something new on the plate you should take something off. A new relationship? Something will have to go to make room for it, A child? Clear at least half (if not more) of what you were previously doing.

I think i was sold a lie… that I could have it all. Instead, as the saying goes, I was just doing it all, and not knowing how to stop.

So, i have been trying to figure out, how do you choose? How do you make the edit?

I want to do a few things really well, not chase my tail doing everything that other well-meaning people, think I should do, or ask me to do. (Note to self: must post about ‘how to say no’)

It’s true in relationships. My old people-pleasing self, wants to be friends with everyone, have time for everyone, include as many people as possible. But this is not often practical or sensible. I have some amazing friends who really know me. I want to invest in those friendships. I am endeavouring to do that without being exclusive (not always an easy balance – please be patient with me)

It’s true in work. The amount of things I have had to say no to over the last 5 years because it was too difficult to juggle with having a family… I have agonised over these decisions. And, every time I have worried that I will never be asked again. (I have btw).  I definitely haven’t always got this right. There have been jobs I have taken because I didn’t know how to say no, how to explain that I couldn’t manage it, that looking after my kids was tiring enough without adding to my stress/ workload. And there have been times when I wish I had taken work and prioritised myself and my desire to work with people and be creative, over my familys’ needs.

I fear, it was ever thus.

My system for selecting, for choosing my edit, in all these things is not very scientific. Part hunch, part evaluating the cost, part inability to let people down…

I think I need a new one… I’m working on it.

  • Sarah James
    Posted at 21:28h, 26 September Reply

    ah welcome to blogging. Love that honeymoon period. Bet you just go to bed thinking about what you can write next. 🙂 I do love your plate analogy. I use a similar one when people say to me ‘ah why dont you just have another baby, whats another one?’ HA! Looking forward to reading your thoughts Elli. may actually get to know you a little more as well. 🙂 Ps. you need any wordpress image stuff give us a shout x

  • Jo jacko
    Posted at 05:48h, 27 September Reply

    Elli i can totally identify with the sold a lie theory. When i returned to work after having just one bubba I felt the need to be the high flyer I was before, and worried thatvin saying ‘no’ that I would miss out. A couple of years later God has given me awesome opportunities despite it all. You know he has a plan, fill your plate appropriately and healthily, and rest in him. God Bless you as you continue your great journey xxx jo jacko

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