Thursday, June 12, 2014

Scattered Cheerios and a Squandered Life

You know what I've been the most afraid of lately?


I'm afraid I'll squander the extra money my business brings in.
I'm afraid I'll squander the precious time I have with my littles.
I'm afraid I'll squander my free time,
                                                         my work time,
                                                                                my sleep time.

This fear of taking everything for granted or from putting my focus in the wrong place and missing the right place basically boils down to guilt.

Guilt, just like fear, is a thief.

Guilt, just like fear, has to be battled with truth.

This morning I was really feeling the pressure to not squander, to not take for granted. The "pressure" quickly turned to fear and guilt and I needed some truth.

So I looked in the dictionary. I knew what squander means, but that's very different than being able to define it.

Some what does squander mean?

1) To spend wastefully or extravagantly; to dissipate
2) To fail to take advantage of; lose a chance for
3) To scatter

Here's the truth: the first two definitions require a decision.  They are done on purpose.

1) "I am going to Spend. It. All."
2) "I am not going to try that." "I have decided not to do that."

But then there is the third definition.
To scatter. 
I know this is an action too, but it makes me think of knocking over a cup of Cheerios and watching them scatter across the kitchen floor. To me, scattering feels less on purpose and more accidental. And more scary.

Making a decision to spend it all or miss it all would never happen accidentally....but scattering?

How do you keep from scattering your life? The same way you keep from scattering the Cheerios.

1) Watch for the cup and be careful around it.
    If you tend to squander in one area or another, just be aware and be purposeful. Set a budget. Keep a to do list near by and put everything on it: work things, play things, free time. I even put "shower" on my to do list.

2) Put a lid on it if you don't need Cheerios right now.
    If Facebook or your phone distracts you during play time, turn if off. Put it away.  But, if you need some time alone to read or write a blog post or even to just surf your Facebook feed, do it on purpose and don't feel guilty that you aren't folding laundry.
3) Keep your Cheerios out of the reach of anyone who might be carless with them.
    Be careful you don't compare your life to the life you see others living. Especially the life you see them living online. It's ok to hide someone from your Facebook feed or to stop reading a popular blog because her beautiful life makes you sad instead of thankful. Don't other people scatter your Cheerios.

What about you? Are you afraid you're squandering your life away? How can you guard your Cheerios?


  1. I like the way you chose to approach this topic. I also struggle with fear and worry...and on occasion squandering (I like pretty things a bit too much!) I think like you laid out..if you have a plan on how to do your best NOT to do something that takes you half way to accomplishment. Being intentional is huge!

  2. I'm so glad you enjoyed the post..... I struggle all the time with this...I'm trying to be more purposeful with everything.

  3. I agree with shannonquigley. Doing things with intention is key. I love your use of the word scattered. I didn't realize that I do this until you defined it so well. I don't squander time. It think it scatters. Something to think about!