Is Your Plate Too Full?

Let’s admit it, sometimes our plate gets too full. I know mine has. But this is what I know for sure, when I take something away I usually find something wonderful has taken its place. Metaphorically the plate can stand for just about everything in your life, work, food and relationships.

My first brush with the full plate was when I working on a project for a company. The project gave me challenges that were fun and enjoyable. However there were things going on behind the scene that my ethics didn’t coincide with. I would find myself worrying about it during my awake time and my asleep time. Finally a professional I trusted said to me that I needed to leave, not in a few weeks or a few days but that day. I did and haven’t looked back. Because what happened when I no longer worried day and night? I then had that energy to put towards my business and magical things started to happen. I had people enter my lives that wanted to help me grow my business. Instead of me trying to help someone grow their business and all of my energy going towards that, it was now directed towards me. What an incredible gift.

I also have been involved in those friendships that suck the joy and energy out of me. I like to call them toxic friendships. I stick by these people thinking I am helping them through a tough period in their lives. Only to realize that my life is suffering because of the friendship. I find myself worrying about them and I don’t worry about myself. Funny thing is, I never realize how toxic it was until I get some perspective of looking back. I wish I had hindsight in my wheel house of skills. I don’t. I usually trust that a friendship is going to be healthy for me. But then all of a sudden I find myself not sleeping during the nights and worrying during the day. All of a sudden I have lost my joy and my sense of humor.

Healthy friendships are usually two way streets. If all you ever do is listen to the person complain about how horrible their life is and they never inquire about yours, that is a red flag for a bad relationship. If you feel guilty talking about the great things that are going on in your life for fear of making them feel bad, that is another red flag. Instead, hand them a card for a  good therapist and walk away. I truly have handed friends a card for a therapist, but I didn’t walk away until months later.  If you start thinking that you need to see a therapist because of this friendship, that is another red flag. Maybe I should have taken that therapist card and called the therapist myself? Believe me, this is one of those lessons that I just can’t seem to learn! However, this is what I have found, that once I take that friendship off the table I see a rush of new ones come into my life, or old ones that I didn’t have the time to nourish before. I am suddenly surrounded with people wanting to ask me about how I am really doing and help me with my struggles as equally as I am helping them with theirs. And once my joy and sense of humor return, my life is again full of joy and my plate is not too full.

Now back to the plate…a real plate…of food. What happens when you put too much on your plate? You eat it! We were told as children to eat everything that is on our plate. I catch myself telling my children that every once in awhile as well. But what if we took too much only to realize that we didn’t want it anymore, you know the old eyes are bigger than the stomach thing? I think we need to give ourselves permission to not eat it all. Only then will we begin to realize what we are truly hungry for.

What about our homes? Yes our homes get too full as well. This is usually the point that clients call me. Their homes are bursting at the seams and they typically have piles of papers and other clutter that they just can’t seem to find a home for. Guess what we have to do? Yeah….take something away. We can start with clearing out a cabinet, a drawer or a closet. Then we can tackle what is left and we can then find a home for the clutter. But we can not find a home for the clutter until we start to take somethings away first. We even go through the clutter only to find that we get rid of about 80% of what was there to begin with.

So when your plate is too full from work, friendship, clutter or real food, think about what you can take away to make life more manageable. Believe me….life is much better with just the right amount on your plate. It is up to each one of us to figure out the proper amount. I know I am still looking for that proper balance!

To Joyful, Simplified Living,

MS. Simplicity

MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger  operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity.  She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at


2 Responses

  1. EnthusiasticArtist

    Hello Ms. Simplicity,
    I’m a highschool student and I already have this issue. I’m constantly busy and the time to myself I get to enjoy is 15min. showers. I work a full time job in the summer right now, but I’m exhausted every day. I’m involved in church, school and other activities as well. I don’t know how you decide what to cut… How do I find out what I want vs. what other people want from me? This article made me think a lot thank you.

Comments are closed.