I promised myself. This time would be different. Workout gear. Check. Water bottle. Check. Walking shoes. Check. I’m ready to get at it. And I begin, daily. For a few weeks, even months, things go great. But then something happens. It could be the kids, work, hubby, I get sick, you name it – there’s always something. And I let it throw me off course. It could be a week. It could be a month. It’s a vicious cycle that seems to require too much time and effort to correct. I’ve got too much going on to deal with it. However, instead of repeating the cycle, this time I’ve chosen to make decisions enabling me to be healthy the smart way. The right way.
– See more at: Gospel Today – Busy. Happy. Healthy
Favorite lazy day activities ….
1. Read a good book I’ve waited months to get to
3. Flip through a fun magazine
5. Watch a favorite TV show
7. Take a long bubble bath
8. Have a day to actually do these things.
Oh well … I’ll keep my list stored … For One Day ….
Most parents would do just about anything for their kids. I’m no different. If it’s in my power, I want to make it happen. I love giving my boys new experiences they enjoy, as well as seeking out opportunities to expand their thinking. Recently I found an abundance of additional opportunities in our area for my oldest son. Excited, I tackled each one like a woman possessed. I found requirements, application deadlines, dos and don’ts. We were ready. And then I stopped for a moment, and reviewed this monumental list. And that’s when it hit me. I have to prioritize for him the same way I do for myself.
So far this year I’ve done a good job of not over-extending myself, and using one of the most beautiful words in the English language … “no”. But when it came to my baby, I was placing no limits on what he could do. There was a slight problem with that scenario. At age 7, truthfully, he couldn’t “do” much himself. Meaning, he can’t drive himself to these opportunities, he can’t complete the applications, he can’t buy the supplies or do the research, and he can’t do any of the follow-up necessary to ensure his experience is a success. As a parent, that’s my job. One I am glad to do.
However, I am learning that I need to view his experiences as another priority for myself. I must decide whether or not it’s something we can do at this time based upon my other responsibilities. It’s a humbling realization, because as I said, I’d do just about anything to advance my children. But I believe a few well-researched and enriching opportunities will be better for him and our family, than an abundance of activities that don’t get the appropriate time or effort … and are accompanied by a wearied mom.
I recently read a great article that talked about how husbands will sometimes need to save their wives … from themselves. At first glance, it didn’t make sense to me. Until I saw my own hubby do it.
He protected me from my children. Yes, from my children. I’d spent the entire morning and afternoon with the boys – and loved it. We had a blast. I closed up the laptop, said goodbye to writing for the day, and hello to crafts and cartoons. So when it came time to work, my oldest lamented to my husband that I was working too much and not spending any time with him. My husband handled it swiftly – and strongly. By the end of their conversation, my son was writing me thank you notes for working so hard to help the family. And the best part – I never even knew about it until I got the thank you’s. My husband saved me from an unnecessary guilt trip.
Next, I watched my husband protect me … from me. I’ve had the tendency in the past to push myself. Push past the point of fatigue, frustration, hunger, etc. I was recently sick and pushing to go to an event. Thankfully, he pulled in the reigns. I ended up getting the rest I needed and recovering a lot faster. He saved me from making dumb decisions (yes, dumb) about my health.
Lastly, my husband has protected me from outside influences. This includes people making unreasonable demands, who may be out to use or take advantage of me, or situations when I should go for it but others are trying to dissuade me. He’s in my corner, he’s got my back, and has saved me from doing things and enjoying opportunities I may have regretted missing later.
So men … though your wife may think she’s “superwoman” and has got it all together, know that she needs you. If for nothing more than to protect her … from herself.
To-do lists. They are the bane of my husband’s existence. But I absolutely love to-do-lists. I feel so accomplished and so full of purpose when I can cross off an item. I feel like my time is being used wisely. And this year, I am determined to regain and repurpose my time. For years I have allowed others to tell me what to do with my time. Don’t get me wrong, in some instances this is necessary. If you don’t do what the boss says with your time while you’re on the clock, you’ll find yourself with more time to spare than you know what to do with. However, as I take a look back and evaluate past actions, I can see what tweaks are needed for the future.
For example, when asked to come to a function/volunteer/participate/do a task, I will smile politely and say “I’ll get back to you.” I used to be so quick with a “yes” and “of course”, as it was the polite thing to do and seemed to roll off my tongue naturally. But also being a person who keeps my word, saying yes too fast can place me in an uncomfortable position. I buy myself some time. And I get back to you.
I also do a better job of budgeting my time. A wise friend once told me that he picks three major goals for the week, and strives to make those things happen. I’ve had great success using his method. Of course this doesn’t include the mundane tasks that have to be done. Rather, it refers to larger projects you want to focus on.
My husband has given me valuable insight on this one. I make sure each goal has a system. (Hubby says he can’t take full credit, he read it in a great article). Nonetheless, it’s working wonders for me. If my goal is to read every day or workout, it won’t magically happen. Especially if my two little ones have anything to say about it. But if I say I will read at least 10 minutes per day between 9pm-10pm, now we have a system to accomplish the goal. And one more item checked off of the to-do list :).
Lastly, I make lists. Then make lists again. My lists have lists. I may be exaggerating (but only slightly). I note everything I want to accomplish for the week, break it down by what I will do each day, and then each day keep those scheduled items written in a small notebook with me. It sounds like a lot, but is really my key to a calmer, less-cluttered life, that allows me to enjoy my tasks … and my time.