Sometimes life slaps you in the face. Maybe it’s a friend diagnosed with cancer, maybe it’s someone you know who has passed away who was too young. No matter what the event is that gives you that wake up call, you have two choices, to go on with the status quo or to wake up and decide to live your life with the intention.
I have found myself the last few months feeling like a hamster on a wheel. Running and running without a clear direction but never seeming to get off that horrible wheel.
We had a great, rejuvenating vacation in January and I came home feeling like I was ready to take on the world. I had a clear direction of what I wanted to work on in our house, blog ideas galore, and many different activities I wanted to do with the kids that I had found on Pinterest.
What I didn’t know at the time was that we would be heading into two weeks of sickness which pretty much drained all of the new found energy I received in Puerto Rico (thank goodness we got to go though, so I was rested when we returned).
Right about the time we got home I finished Say Goodbye to Survival Mode: 9 Simple Strategies to Stress Less, Sleep More, and Restore Your Passion for Life by Crystal Paine. This book in many ways resonates with how I’m trying to live my life.
However, as I got into the first couple of chapters I realized that I am definitely a “yes” woman. I say yes to just about everything!
“Will I help with this project”? “Yes”.
“Will I let one of the kids participate in this project”? “Yes”.
“Can the kids go to this event”? “Yes”.
Guess what? All of the “Yes” answers in life add up to time and energy. Sometimes I need to say “NO!” I think in our society of always wanting more, never being satisfied with what we already have, and keeping up with what everyone else is doing, discontentment is everywhere! Discontentment leads to burn out. In many cases, it takes one of those unfortunate incidents like an accident or illness to get us back on track of where we need to be.
If you have never done so, I highly recommend doing it! Take 10 minutes and write down your goals. This years, your 5 year goals and your lifetime goals. When you look at these goals are the activities you are participating in, aligning with your goals? If not, it may be time to start changing up your schedule.
I’ve been working on aligning my weekly goals to my personal priorities. That’s why there have been more literacy activities for the kids who are struggling readers, making sure that a weekly date night is on the list EVERY week, or making an emphasis on doing one on one activities with the kids.
If the activity I’m being asked to do (or the kids are being asked to do) are in line with the priorities on my list, I say yes. If not, I’m becoming more aware of that and have been saying “NO” to the rest if they don’t fit into our schedule.
I have a secret for you. It’s freeing! I more focused on how I’m living my life with intention by eliminating things that aren’t on my priorities list. It feels wonderful to have a Friday tomorrow where I can finally go visit one of my dear friends. I have been wanting to do so for a few months and haven’t had the time or were sick, etc.
Our calendar is still way to full. It will be for some time. By no way do I have this down perfectly and my priorities will not be the same as yours! That’s ok!
Ballet gets over the first week of June and I don’t believe we will be doing it again. (Although we will consider all of our school-year activities as a family and decide in August). The girls do enjoy it for the most part, but I think that there are activities that take far less time, practice, and are more in line with our core priorities as a family that in the end they will enjoy much more.
Softball and t-ball have already started practicing. This is one sport both Jason and I love and we will soon be having games almost every night of the week through the month of June because of having 4 kids that play. It’s hard trying to eat at the ball field 4 nights a week but I can handle that in the summer when many of the other demands of life have backed down. It’s finding what activities work for you.
Have you made a list of priorities that you follow? How do you decide which activities you accept and which you decline?
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