I’ve just spent the most recent twelve months with my head barely above water, the tight rope strung 5 feet deep (I’m 5’5″,) and my balance dependent on the pure absence of distractions of any kind (writing included.) I thank my lucky stars that this tight-rope walk has a shoreline and a clear, sandy beach. Since September, however, it feels as if I’ve been waiting for my clothes to dry. Enough with the metaphors? Well, let’s put it this way: My life’s purest passion is writing, and these are the first non-technical words I’ve written since I began my master’s degree program late in the fall of 2011.
I have a forty-five minute commute to and from work, and I found myself Friday night instead of looking forward to the weekend as usual, mentally punishing myself over and over for not putting my passions back into action sooner. What have I let go? Oh, let’s see, only EVERYTHING that makes me feel whole and pure and productive at the end of the day. I’m thankful for clothing choices made to conceal the ‘muffin top’, because sensible amounts of healthy eating and dieting have continued to elude me. I have a novel sitting in the coffers begging for a loving editor, yet I haven’t read a word of it in nearly two years. The novel my publisher released last winter hasn’t sold a fraction of the copies my others have. I haven’t blogged for you in nearly a year (SO sad for me!) Many rooms in my house have succumbed to abysmal amounts of clutter, a reflection of my recent attitude toward housework and our tendency to scare housekeepers away with the sheer volume of work.
This is situation of my own making, however, so while I’m beating myself up over it, I wouldn’t ever want anyone to feel sorry for me. This blog is about making time in your life for the things that are important. Good health, fitness, career satisfaction, writing, and cleanliness are important to me–they are PRIORITIES. No matter how tired or burned out I’ve become over the last year on my journey to higher education and self-improvement, I cannot be my best self, and neither can you, if we lose sight of our priorities. So I went in search of advice that inspires me (and thus, hopefully inspires you) to focus and channel our limited energies to accomplish the priorities we’ve established.
Blogger Lynn Terry has the following words to say about getting the most out of your life when so much seemingly ‘needs’ to be accomplished: “It’s not just about time management, or doing the things ‘experts’ (or well meaning friends & family) say you should be doing. It’s about doing what is most important to you. Period. Because you cannot do it all. And you DO get to choose.
Know where you are.
Know where you want to be.
Know what it’s going to take to get from here to there.
Then… go do it!” (http://www.clicknewz.com/4043/time-management-tips)
Sounds simple, doesn’t it? There are several keys to remember in this advice, however: 1) It’s just as important to know why something is a priority (or why it makes you happy), as it is to identify the priority in the first place. In other words, is exercise a priority because it makes you feel good, or because someone else thinks you need to look more toned in a bikini? 2) Once you decide what is important and why it’s important to you, you must develop goals related to that priority. 3) Time must be given on a regular basis to achieving those goals. The time needed must be scheduled in just an any other appointment would be. Finally, 4) Don’t be so hard on yourself (and I will try to follow this advice myself)! These are choices I’ve made, things that I’ve decided are important to me. Once I’ve regrouped, there can be no guilt over stagnation should it occur (the proverbial undried clothing), because I’ll be making my choices with my priorities and my limited schedule at the front of my mind. I’ll check back in soon and let you know how that goes!