Polly and Noodle were different, even though they were friends. Polly was short and shaggy. She was constantly busy helping others.
Noodle, a Labra-Doodle was a tall dog. A cross between a Labrador and poodle, Noodle liked to do crafts and spend time with friends.
Polly was constantly circling Noodle, literally and figuratively. As Noodle walked at a slow speed, Polly ran around her, barking and jumping.
Polly was always involved in doing projects. She was driven to be productive. Polly helped neighborhood cats find mice all day. She took responsibility to chase that young pup, Gabby, away when he came around, yapping at the kids.
Noodle was careful with how she spent her time. True, she did plenty of work but always left time for personal enjoyment.
Polly helped anyone for any reason. She even assisted an elderly dog, Frannie, to dig holes when Frannie was content to dig slowly on her own.
One day, Polly complained to Noodle, “Oh, I’m exhausted. I don’t feel like keeping my own home neat or even spending time with you anymore, and you’re my best friend!”
Noodle listened intently. Then Noodle said calmly, “Polly, you only get one life to live. Why not spend it doing things that are truly important to you? What’s more important: looking for mice or taking care of home? Chasing away Gabby or spending time with me?”
“Every day, you show yourself and the world what matters most by how you choose to spend your time. What are priorities?”
From this day forward, Polly used Noodle’s advice to create a more joyful, fulfilling life. Although she was still busy, she was busy doing things that mattered.
Moral: Save some energy for things that matter and learn to say ‘no’ to those that don’t.
The Task Overload Reflection
Polly the collie was caught up in the rat race of life. She was trying to do everything for everyone all the time.
Noodle the Labra-Doodle, however, wasn’t quite as interested in how others spent their lives. She wanted to get her errands done so she could then take part in activities that brought her joy like spending time with Polly and her other friends.
Polly felt exhausted and frustrated that she had no time or energy left at the end of the day to do the activities she loved to do. Noodle, on the other hand, was content, even happy, because she consistently did the things she enjoyed.
Like Polly, you could be running the rat race of life. You might be trying to do every task or project that’s presented to you. Maybe you help every single person that asks for help or just do things for others even if they don’t request it.
You could be so caught up in getting things done that you’re unable to simply stop what you’re doing and think about the choices you’re making every single day.
Because the stuff of life has a way of taking over your time, it’s best if you allow yourself a few minutes each day to ponder what you’ll be doing and how you’ll be spending your time that day. Perhaps you could think about at least one or two activities you could do each day that you really want to do and that would bring you simple contentment or great joy.
When you do these things, you’ll suddenly begin to breathe and have more fun and lightness in your life. You probably won’t feel as tired and you’ll feel more satisfied, too.
If you plan to save some of your energy for things that matter and learn to say ‘no’ to things that don’t, you’ll find that living a joyful life comes easily.
- Am I caught up in the rat race of life, always trying to get ahead and feeling constantly exhausted?
- How recently have I done something I truly wanted to do, just because?
- What changes can I make to ensure I have some energy each day to do what I really want?