Focus On The Things ONLY YOU Can Do


I was sitting on my couch star gazed and tired. My husband looking at me with that “not really sure if you are happy or sad” look in his eyes. Poor guy. Life might be easier for him if his poor wife was not so confusing.

Like the sweet husband he is, he sat down beside me and asked, “can I do anything for you?” He at least figured out that I was a bit overwhelmed. I responded with my normal smile and “no thank you dear” and continued to enjoy my moment of stillness.

The day had ended, the kids were in bed, and I was left sitting in my living room surrounded with laundry, dishes piling up in the kitchen, ambitions to write another blog post in my distant mind’s eye, and an anticipation to go to sleep without a productive step being taken. This was a likely place to find me.

Most of the time I am able to move on, enjoy life, and brush it all off until the morning, but for some reason it was all getting under my skin that evening. The to-do list has a tendency to do that from time to time.

It did not take long before my half-fake smile to my husband turned into vomiting my overwhelming thoughts into his lap. “I just can’t get it all done,” was my first thought. “I do not really want to get it all done,” was my second thought. “When will I get to do the things that I love,” was the conclusion to my sob moment and the honest plea of my heart. 

Like the handy man he is, my husband proceeded to fix it all. “Let’s find a solution to your problem,” he said, and we dove head first. We went chore by chore and longing by longing until he discovered a little gem. It was a little nugget of wisdom and freedom to my soul.

“Honey, I want you to focus on what ONLY you can do,” came rushing out of his mouth.

“Maybe he might want to take that back,” was the first thought that went through my head (knowing that might increase HIS chore list).

The more we talked, the more freedom I found. Yes, I will still have to do laundry and dishes, but I needed to hear from him that they DO NOT have to be my priorities. He doesn’t mind that the dishes are in the sink. He doesn’t care if the bed is made. He doesn’t have to have a gourmet meal every evening. He can do the dishes. My kids can sweep the floor. Wow, what a concept. I DO NOT have to do it all, and I DO NOT have to do it all RIGHT NOW.

That phrase continues to go through my head now throughout the day. I start to do a chore and ask myself, “does this need to be done right now?” Sometimes the answer truly is “YES.” I ask myself, “can someone else do this?” If the answer is “yes,” I ask them to do it (without guilt). If the answer is “no,” I do it and rejoice.

Asking myself these questions frees me up to spend more time with my husband or kids, focus on home school, write, craft,  or just be me with a cup of coffee in my hand. It also keeps me out of auto-pilot (running from one chore to the next while my family watches wishing for connection with me.)

I even discovered the art of ordering groceries and clothes online without breaking the bank! Wow. Did I just say that? I have to just stop for a moment and be more clear. I discovered that sometimes, someone else can even grocery shop for me. I don’t think I can describe to you the excitement in my heart when my groceries were dropped off to me as my kids and I played baseball in the yard. I did not have to take my 3 kids to the grocery store or sacrifice my time with my husband to go shopping at night. (FYI..several of the local grocery stores deliver for a small cost, or many of them give you free delivery if you are flexible on your delivery time.)

It was a revelation. A glorious moment. A time to dance for all of us.

Focus on the things ONLY you can do is my new motto. I love it. I love my husband for saying it. I need help doing life. I do not have to do it all. I can do what I love. It is a simple truth, yet a moment of freedom.

Doing what I love to do instead of the dishes right now,


  1. Amanda Snow | 15th May 15

    I needed this more than I can say. Thank you for your beautiful words, my friend!

    • Cathy | 20th May 15

      Amanda, I am so glad that you were blessed. Thank you for your sweet comment. Have a great day.

  2. Sherri | 16th May 15

    Can you give me some more specifics/tips on getting groceries, etc. delivered without breaking the bank? I have a 1, 2 and 4 year old with a baby on the way and the energy required for grocery shopping makes me want to cry. I’ve been using Amazon prime to cut down on things I need to hunt down in the store, but that doesn’t help with the weekly needs. Any wisdom greatly appreciated

    • Cathy | 20th May 15

      Sherri, absolutely! Congrats on your baby on the way. That is exciting. You do and will have your hands full. Ordering groceries would be a great option for you. Where do you live? I actually order groceries from my local grocery store (Safeway). I am not sure what options you have where you are. Some local stores deliver for a small fee. I also know that Giant delivers, and Harris Teeter has an option where you can order and pay online. Then, they store your groceries in a freezer for you to pick up. I would encourage you to do a little research on the stores in your area. I have also heard good things about Amazon Grocery. Have you looked into that? When all else fails, having a grocery swap with a friend is another option. One watches the kids and the other shops. That is just an idea. I hope you find something and all goes well. Please let me know if you need any other help. Thanks for reading!

  3. Sherri | 23rd May 15

    I still live in Athens. I’ll have to do some research. Thank you for the ideas!

  4. Do you know how to juggle? Juggling all your roles without dropping "YOU." • Cathy Harris | 27th Apr 17

    […] If someone else can do it, let them. (check out a post I wrote on that once). Or, lower your expectations for yourself and others. I heard one mom say once, “I can […]

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