on a mission to embody grace and compassion in all relationships

Clearing the Calendar — Day 23

It happens to most of us over time.

One person asks you to be on a committee, another one requests a small on-going commitment at work, then another.  Someone invites you to be a part of a group or class you’ve hoped you could join for awhile. These are all good things in our lives.  And we say yes.

And then over time, a health crisis occurs in our family, routine chores mount up, we work longer hours trying to “catch up,” and before we know it we are only a shell of our true selves.

We’ve skipped any exercise we used to do, we don’t eat very healthy because its easier to pick up fast food and snacks.  Our sleep is interrupted and our connection with God is reduced to a whispered prayer of desperation, “Help!”  People who care about us notice that we are more grumpy than usual.  We are less productive.

We can wait until we get sick, or those we love get sick of us.  We can wait until the guilt of unfulfilled promises overwhelms us, or we can make changes.  Sweeping changes.  It is our choice.

For some of us it is time to get out the calendar, or maybe make a list of every commitment we have made in our lives to family, work, friends, to God, and more.

Start making phone calls, talk to people face to face, and send emails.

Don’t apologize for choosing to take care of yourself. This is necessary and good.  They will get over it and find someone else with time.  Trust me.

We ask the question again, “What are the most important priorities in our lives?”

For some of us it is time to start over. Yes, some people will be disappointed in our news.

But we know deep within our being that the time is now, and we will breathe and live again.

Let us begin, together.


  1. Edna Shurden Langley

    With the miles between us, Malcolm, I really do not know how you are doing it…but, with each daily writing, you are writing TO me and ABOUT me!! Amazing…but, thank you, this “people pleaser” needed your word today!

  2. Malcolm

    You are welcome Edna. As you know, I mostly write for me, and all the things I need to work on. And one of the things I’m learning is the more vulnerable we are with one another, the more we see that we are not alone and have more common experience than we thought. Peace.

  3. Mary Tittle

    A few years ago my doctor reminded me that if I didn’t take care of myself someone else may end up having to take care of me. I have given that advice a lot of thought & I am making an effort to find a better balance.Thanks for the positive reinforcement Malcolm.

  4. Ann McGraw

    Malcolm, I don’t know you, but I wish I did! I have enjoyed your daily musings, but I am most touched by the way you respond to each person who comments. The things that you confer to each person are RESPECT and SIGNIFICANCE, something most people crave, but lack. Thank you, brother. I want to learn from you.

  5. Malcolm

    Ann, I look forward to getting to know you on here! Thanks for your encouragement and comment. Peace

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