Preliminary Findings

The last 24 hours have been illuminating.  I’ve been pausing throughout my day to reset and ask myself what is most important to me right now?  I’ve realized a few things.

My days lack intention

I run myself ragged bouncing from one thing to the next, racing to do the thing that appears most urgent, because it’s in my field of vision.  When I forced myself to pause and consider, I had to think for a moment about what would actually add the most value to my life.  A lot of the time that meant sacrificing a perceived present good for the future.  Delaying homeschool for 15 minutes so I could take a shower.  Waiting on that next load of laundry and instead spraying the pile of stained clothes on the counter with stain remover.  Leaving the pile of dishes for a moment while I dug out my book club book and made a plan to get through it gradually over the next month.  I allowed myself to give precedence to the things that are important to me, and required my life to make a space for those things.  Which brings me to my next point-

When I actually prioritize my priorities, sometimes I end up doing the same things, but with ownership.

Sometimes when I paused and asked myself what was most important to me right now, the answer was folding the laundry or doing the dishes.  But instead feeling begrudgingly dragged, I had to be honest about what I wanted.  I want to fold the laundry, because it will feel good to get that job done.  I want to do the dishes, because an empty sink will energize me.  I want to teach the 9 year old her math lesson, because nurturing her and helping her thrive academically are important to me.  Once I accepted that I do in fact have a choice, I had to own the choices I was making.  And that led to a lot less angsting and resisting, and a lot more peace.

When I move the big rocks, the little rocks follow

Order is contagious.  And I am more productive when I’m not dragging myself around doing things I don’t want to do.  I found that the day went more smoothly and more little things got done when I felt like I was on my own side.  I was treating myself like a valued asset, instead of an indentured servant.

I make even more excuses than I realized.

Today husband asked me to send a text.  I told him I might not have time to get to it today, but then almost immediately, I caught myself, and admitted honestly that it wasn’t that I didn’t have time, it was that I didn’t want to do it.  If I can make time for the things I want, I can make time for the things I dread.  Texting people gives me intense anxiety.  Such intense anxiety that I want to do it perfectly, craft the perfect text that won’t offend, will be impossible to misinterpret, and will secure a prompt and clear response.  So I agonize over it, and put it off, and finally don’t actually send anything, because it all makes me feel yucky, and I don’t want to feel yucky.  I’m frantically flailing around trying to avoid a feeling that I don’t like.  

Busyness is the ultimate excuse.  My 4 crazy kids are the ultimate excuse.  Of course I can’t get to it, I don’t even have time to take a shower. As soon as I stopped and questioned that statement, a whole bunch of other stuff came out.  

I’m afraid.  I’m so afraid that I’ve been hiding even from myself.  I have been hiding in my busy life, in my 4 children, and in my endless housework and errands and appointments and chores.   But what if I’m not too busy to accomplish things?  What if it’s just a matter of really prioritizing? What if it’s more about wanting the thing than not having the circumstances to get it?  What if it’s my choice?  What if I choose the things that I do in a day?  

With agency comes responsibility.  If I have time to take a shower, I have time to send a text, time to have an awkward but necessary conversation, time to make a phone call that fills me with dread, time to write a blog post, time to work on a business, time to learn something new, time to confront the things that are difficult or unpleasant for me.

I’m not saying that I have time for everything.  At this point in my life, I’m going to get to the end of the day and still have chores undone.   But I can choose the things that I do accomplish.  I don’t have to be dragged around by an endless to do list, throwing up my hands in helpless consternation.






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