According to my wee Oxford English dictionary, here is the definition of priority.
Priority n. Thing considered more important than others; right to do something before other people.
I have a problem with knowing what my priorities are. As a wife and mother, it’s easy to lose myself in that role. And being a housewife, mother and paid writer it is easy to get overwhelmed by the commitments involved in each one. They clash, bump and overlap each other in a trying and confusing way.
I think there is often a very fine line between what I want to do as an individual and what I feel I am committed to do as one-third of a family unit.
Last week, I didn’t write any blog posts. I had a slow freefall to despair and by the time Friday hit I couldn’t wait to just forget about writing, deadlines, pitches and computers!
I took the entire weekend OFF. I didn’t even turn on the computer. Instead, I went to the beach with Master T and we got heaps of vitamin D. We even jumped off the jetty into the cold, clear, salty Indian Ocean. Not usually my cup of tea, but it was great to get out of my uncomfortable comfort zone.
I’m considering making the beach #1 on my list of priorities. I got totally sunburned and even that was great. I finished a book that I’ve been slowly reading for months and I made sure Mr M got lunch delivered to him at work. These things would not have happened if my ass was glued to a chair in front of my Mac.
And spending time with my 6-year-old son was much-needed. I must admit, I feel bad for working and being on the computer most of the day. It’s school holidays here in Western Australia so he is home with me 24/7. His dad works outside the home so that’s not an option. Right now, he’s playing quietly in his room while watching Toy Story 3. Bless him.
Back to priorities…of course #1 would be the health and welfare of my child but I feel like that statement is like a Miss Universe candidate saying the only things she wants is world peace.
Is it not a cliché? I mean, of course I want my child to be safe, be confident, be happy, be fed, be joyful, be loved…but does that mean my wants, needs and desires must come to a stop until he is an adult?
When he was a baby I certainly did put my life on hold and cared for him like there was nothing else. Now, he’s almost 7 and able to read, write, ride a bike, play Lego, dress himself, wash himself and think for himself. If I could only get him to make his own meals…..
Aside from the obvious that is above, I have made a list based on what I feel is most important to ME on a daily basis. This may change daily or even hourly…lol.
#1. Meditate and cultivate calm within myself
#2. Exercise at least 15 minutes (not including walking or bike riding that I do most days)
#3. Write Write Write (sell sell sell…lol)
#4. Make dinner for my family. Eat together..always
#5. Rest…if I do not get to rest during the day, go to bed early
#6. Read, whether it be a few pages of a magazine or a novel
Basically, this is the routine of my day, not that it always happens that way. If all of these things happen, then I’m happy. Just writing that list makes me feel calm and grateful for my life. Imagine the stress reduction in society if we all just had personal priorities and lived by them. It’s not easy to figure out what your own priorities are but jotting down some ideal ones may help you see more clearly.
Do you have your priorities in order?
October 9, 2012 at 7:39 pm
My acupuncturist put it into perspective when she reminded me that there’s a reason airlines tell you to fit the oxygen mask for yourself before fitting your child. ie look at yourself first so you can take care of your child. It’s true.
October 10, 2012 at 5:04 pm
Ahhh yes, this is good to take note of, thanks Jo!
October 10, 2012 at 12:15 am
This is great! I have to do this, I don’t even know where to start so I know I need too!
October 10, 2012 at 5:03 pm
Yes, Christine it is important to have some idea of what you want out of life so you aren’t just flailing through blindly. Just start with one.