Rumor has it there are people who forget to eat. They get so busy they literally forget to take a lunch or dinner break. This has never happened to me. (Frankly, I can’t be friends with them because I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life.)

As a woman who counts food as one of her primary love languages, I enjoy a good meal. However, my pushing-40 metabolism requires me to avoid piling on more than I need. The same is true for my proverbial plate — it can also expand to an overflowing mess concerning my time commitments if I’m not intentional about what I’m adding.

It’s baffling when people say “My plate is full” yet still pile on another helping of kids’ sports, praise team practice, exercise class, a work committee, or Bible study. None of these are wrong per se, but we will end up with indigestion if we continually take on more.

Our “responsibility plates” need a good serving of slow down so we can enjoy what’s already in front of us:

  • Leave room. Your responsibility plate should not be spilling over. It’s okay to leave a little room around the edges. Commitments should not be so packed that there’s no room to push the peas around.
  • Saying “no” allows you to eat what fills you up. When I was younger, my mom carried my plate through buffet lines and filled it up for me. As an adult, I get my own food. Do you allow others to fill your responsibility plate? Perhaps you feel a sense of duty or can’t say no. You will continue to have indigestion if you allow people to force-feed you.
  • Think ahead. Is there something down the road you’d like to do? Is there a commitment in three months you need to be a part of? If so, plan today. Avoid adding something now simply to fill the void.
  • Enjoy dessert. The end-of-the-meal treat should not be scarfed down. It’s meant to be enjoyed, savored, and shared with loved ones. Are you enjoying the ones around you, or simply rushing off to the next thing on your list?

The psalmist urged “Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered – how fleeting my life is” (Psalm 39:4).

We’ll never get these days back. Let’s enjoy the sensible portions before us and not consume what we can’t handle.