No matter how old you get, life can be overwhelming, confusing, crowded, and you will feel stuck at times.
Sometimes it may only be one area of your life that feels stuck, but that’s enough to keep you from moving forward into what you want to be and do.
Once I retired, I thought my world would be more open, move slower, and I’d be stress-free.
Not so. My life has filled up with different pressures than before.
When those all weigh in at the same time, moving forward is like walking through a swamp in cement-lined snowshoes.
If you’re over 50, you can easily relate.
Your journey has exchanged one load of responsibility for another over and over again. You’re well acquainted with overwhelm.
And when life does slow down; it doesn’t last long.
Within a short time, you find yourself back on a self-created hamster wheel desperately trying to get off.
You don’t want to feel stuck on the hamster wheel
Not only will you get dizzy, but you never move forward.
So how do you take control of the hamster wheel?
Arthur Ashe said you have to:
Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can.
Let’s make that a little more doable for you … in whatever hurdles you are facing.
Start where you are
You aren’t the person you were 30 years ago or even last week. You’ve grown and matured. Jesus has done a LOT in you!
Nor are you the person you will be after crossing whatever swamp you’re currently trudging through. So don’t put unreal expectations on yourself.
And, for goodness sake, you aren’t someone else—no matter who that someone might be. Don’t waste your precious energy going down that road! You are YOU!
So start with who you are now.
Use what you have
You have a lot to work with even if you don’t see it.
- You have a wealth of life knowledge built up over the years. You know what works and what doesn’t, what is a godly response and what isn’t, and what your skill levels are. All of that is waiting for you to put into action.
- All the wisdom of God is at your disposal because Christ lives in you (see 1 Corinthians 1:30).
- All the promises of God are yours, so find them and pray them (see 2 Corinthians 1:20).
Do what you can
I’m sure you’ve done everything you can think of to move forward. But have you done these?
- You can boldly go before the throne of God and pray. The door is open. He’s waiting for you (see Hebrews 4:16).
- You can ask Jesus to do the impossible (see John 14:13).
- You can stop fretting over things that aren’t under your control. Trust that God can handle the things you can’t. He’s been dealing with crazy life situations for thousands of years. He can handle yours.
- You can ASK for help. (Nobody said you had to be Super Woman. Call in reinforcements!)
- You can STOP whatever you are doing and take a soul break to rest and refresh. (Trust me, it works.)
- You can
- Create a to-do list
- Prioritize what’s on it
- Get rid of anything that isn’t life-giving
- Delegate most of the rest of the list
- Focus on one thing at a time, crossing each responsibility off the list as you complete it
- Rinse and repeat tomorrow
- You can love, forgive, extend grace, put up healthy boundaries, and say “no” to anything that won’t matter 100 years from now…
…BECAUSE the important part of moving forward happens inside of you—your perspective, your choices, and from your place of resting in the Lord.
Now… get out there! Start where you are, use what you have, and do what you can.
Take control of the hamster wheel!