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Juggling Priorities

I’ve received a few messages from folks asking about my next blog.  I looked back at my last entry and was shocked to see that it’s been more than a month since I last wrote.  Where has the time gone?

It would be easy to say that I’ve been busy – because I truly have – but I always manage to carve out time to write my blog and have been pretty consistent about posting every 2-3 weeks.  It’s been on my To Do List, and every day I manage to cross off a bunch of things, but the blog hasn’t made it to the top of the list yet.  And it’s mid-July.  It’s not that I don’t enjoy writing it.  I do!  But it takes some time and thought and some quiet reflection, and I honestly don’t think I have done a good job of creating that environment for myself in a while.

If you have just read these opening lines and thought, “Really?  What a lame excuse.  How much time does it take to write a few sentences and hit Post?” – I completely understand.  Because I think the same way when someone tells me that they just don’t have time to work out.  In fact, my little tale about time slipping away and having it on my To Do List for weeks is very familiar.  I have heard the same story from many people who just can’t seem to get themselves to the gym.  And full disclosure, there was a time when I used it myself to defend why I wasn’t exercising.

Work, kids, husband, family, friends, house, pets, travel, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH.  The list goes on and on along with the constant juggling act.

Sometimes I think that we all have too many distractions and too many responsibilities, and hey, you can’t do EVERYTHING.  Right?  But in truth, we all make time for the things we must do and things we want to do most.  And now that we live in a world where we can write and post a blog from our cell phones while sitting in a coffee shop, it’s hard for me to sell a story about having no time to do something that I consider a priority.

So how do we get to all the important things in our lives without killing ourselves in the process?  How do we ignore the pile of bills, the emails, the garden and grocery shopping?  We can’t ignore everything, but we can definitely ignore some things.  Here are some tips that usually work for me, although based on the date of this blog post, I am clearly far from perfect.  Which leads me to Step 1–

Accept that you are not perfect.

Striving for perfection makes us crazy and it makes everyone around us crazy.  Forget about it.  It’s not attainable.  Do the best you can and be proud of what you accomplished in a day.  Most likely if you are off the couch and moving around, you’re doing a lot.  Pat yourself on the back.  It’s all good.

Make yourself a priority.

I am well past believing that everyone else’s needs are more important than mine.  They are not, and the reason they are not is that if I’m not taken care of then no one is being taken care of.  So even if you are someone who has a lot of people depending on you, they deserve to have the very best and happiest version of you.  That means you must eat right, sleep well, and exercise.  Maybe read a book now and then.  If you aren’t taking time to do the most basic things for yourself, you won’t be helpful to others for very long.

Unplug.

The double edged sword that is today’s electronics is robbing us of more time than they are saving.  Yes, it is quite convenient to have the entire world in the palm of our hands.  However, most of us do not have the capacity to truly embrace all that power.  Instead, we get hooked on Words with Friends, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.  These are obvious time sucks that distract us from doing something active or otherwise productive.  Someday I urge you to take a little piece of paper (yes, I mean actual paper) and jot down how many minutes (or hours) you have spent staring at your mini screen. Add to that number the hours spent watching TV – I guarantee you will be shocked.

It can be challenging to feel productive during the lazy days of summer.  This is especially true for those of us who live in New England and are so happy to see the sun and the sidewalks again come June.  All we want to do is sit on the deck and bask in its warm glow.  Summer can also be a great time to get outside and walk the dog, ride your bike, swim at the beach or work in your yard.  (OK the last one is really for my husband as I am not allowed to help in the yard, or as he calls it “torture our plants”.)  If you can’t make time for the gym, be sure to make time to do something to recharge your batteries every day.

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Debbie Dodge Sunday, July 13, 2014, 15:09

    Thank you, Vivian, for these wonderful reminders! It’s so easy to get caught up in everything else and neglect taking care of our bodies. What we forget is that a healthy body is more productive, and a healthy body leads to a healthy mind, which makes each day more enjoyable! We are well worth the investment of time! 🙂

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