How can I become more intentional with my time?
Life has been flying by around here lately. When Olivia went back to school I assumed we’d have some semblance of normalcy and a schedule again, but it hasn’t seemed to materialize. Our schedule seems very chaotic lately, and I feel like I never have time for the big things because I spend all day dealing with a million little things.
I was discussing this with Jake (ok. complaining) earlier, and he commented that I have not been very protective of my time lately, and that he’s noticed I seem a little (a lot) flustered as a result. And I was like. Damn. That’s insightful.
So then it hit me that I have not been intentional with my time at all. I’m letting each day just sort of drift away from me in piles of laundry, dishes, broken appliances, random playdates etc. I’m not a person who does well with drift. By dinner time I’m totally overwhelmed and have zero plan for dinner.
Having zero plans for dinner isn’t the end of the world, and certainly no one in this house is complaining when they eat deli turkey and bell peppers for the 3rd night in a row (god bless my unfussy husband and children). BUT we’ve agreed that family dinner is something we’d really like to prioritize more, and here we are just half assing something that is important to us. This happens mostly because I haven’t been careful to turn down commitments so that I can do the work of getting to the store this week, or meal prepping, or just generally looking more than five minutes out in my day.
Last weekend is another great example of me not being very intentional with my time. So the kids, Jake, and the dog went outside to rake leaves and I was upstairs doing laundry. I look out the window and it was a scene straight out of a 50’s movie. Perfect suburban family plays in leaves. And I was doing laundry! I was so mad that I was so caught up in the crap that is never ending that I skipped out on hanging out with my family and taking a break. Not every second has to be filled with “doing”. I need to actually protect that nothing time with my kids. I headed outside and spent an hour playing outside with my family, and it was kind of amazing.
Even Oreo joined in the fun. Yes. We got a dog. We’ve lost our minds and added more to this crazy house. Much like a lot of my life choices, this was completely dictated by my soft squishy insides instead of logic or reason. I have no excuse and no regrets.
So my goal for the remainder of the year is to really be intentional with how I allocate my time. If you’ve ever heard/seen the analogy of the jar you fill with rocks, then pebbles, then sand, then water – I’ve been filling my jar with water first. And then there is no room for the big stuff I really value.
So where do I start?
Make my own health a priority. Set it in stone. Non-negotiable. I know that I need to workout at least three times a week to keep myself mentally stable. After a round of PPD and follow up hormonal issues, I know this something that absolutely has to happen. I need to put this time on my calendar and then NOT MOVE IT AROUND. For anything or anyone. Because when I say oh I’ll just go later it NEVER HAPPENS. And then I’m a crazy person.
Pick a day to grocery shop and meal plan/prep. Set it in stone. Non-negotiable. Meals are so much less stressful when I have a plan ahead of time and ingredients are prepped and ready to go. If I don’t do these things then I’ll plan to go shopping on Thursday, but a playdate will pop up and so I agree to it. Before I know it it’s Monday and we are playing how old is this chicken at 6pm and everyone is upset or crying.
Make a plan for the big chores, and then say f* it to the rest. I seriously need to let go and remember what’s more important in life. No one cares about my baseboards!
Smaller goal – stop agreeing to playdates with any mom who asks. True story – got invited on a playdate once and the mom was actually trying to sell me something. Sigh.
My biggest goal/challenge is to make a plan and stick to it. Once I put something important in my calendar, everything else needs to fit in around it, not replace it. I might have to say to more stuff, but that’s ok. What’s important to me right now is spending quality time with my family, my friends, and taking care of myself so I can take care of my family.
So if I turn you down in the near future for a commitment, request, whatever. Don’t take it personally, I’m just trying to not lose my ever loving mind.
In closing, here is this picture of Abby requesting to be held and fed like a baby. Because is there anything cuter on this planet?