Thursday, May 10, 2012

Are you sure that's a Priority?

Recently, I tripped on a toy when I was snapping at my daughter because she did not want to get out of her nice warm bed (Really, who can blame her for not wanting to get of a nice warm bed?). Two thoughts came to mind: One - Who put that toy there? It was obviously my punishment for being such a witch. Two - I needed to reevaluate where I was. I needed to start from square one and get back to the un-crabby mom I know I can be.

A great place to start when you are as tired as I am, is sitting down, seriously. So I squeezed a half hour into my day and sat down. I needed to make a few lists:

List One – What do you do?

Take a good long look at what you do. Where has this life brought you? What is in the normal schedule? Write it down.

Children's Church Leader
Baseball Team Mom
Make dinner, breakfast, and lunch
Work full-time
Clean the house
School volunteer
Church service
Church volunteering
Son's sports
Daughter's Dance
Family events
Church Service
Grocery Shopping
Kids' Homework and Projects
Read the kids stories
Trying to get exercize
I will keep adding.....If you can think of more, email me at this_joyful_life at

List Two – What's Important to Me?
On a separate piece of paper write down what your priorities are. What is important to you? The things that you want to do. The things you want to be a priority in life. Hint: If there are more then 10 items on that list then you may want to number them from most important to least and delete anything after 10.

1. Spending time with Kids
2. Attending church service
3. Work
4. Homework and reading
5. Healthy eating
6. Healthy activities for kids
7. Just relaxing
8. Enjoying nature
9. Exploring


List Three – You Are the Sunshine of My Life
Who is a priority to you? Limit the list to less than 20 people in no particular order.
1. Spike
2. Stitch
3. Rapunzel
4 - 8. Anyone who has had the label of Mother or Father in any of our lives (5 people)
9 - 12. Anyone who has had the label of Brother or Sister in any of our lives (4 people)
13. Shipwrecked
14. Bones
15 - 16. Princess and the pea
17 - 18. Two J's

I think the list is complete even though some of the people on the list I do not get to see often.

List Four – Goals
Write down your goals. Things you want for yourself and for your family, in the short term and long term.

Short Term Goals
1. Children to get along
2. Homework do be done in a timely manner.
3. Reading with kids every night.
4. Family vacation time to reconnect
5. Housework schedule and keep it

Long Term Goals
1. Debt Free
2. Travel
3. Take Photography class
4. Kids learn to play an instrument

List Five – Prized Possessions
Choose what items have the most emotional, physical, and nostalgic value. Limit the list to less than 20 items. A category of items like pictures or jewelry can be listed as one on the list.

Wedding rings/jewelry
Angel Cards
Tea Cups
Cooking stuff

Re-evaluate your lists and your life
After I completed my lists I took a good hard long look at our life and figured out where I could start making changes, what I can get rid of, and who we really want to spend our time with. It was overwhelmingly exciting to have a place to start. The idea that saying No to things would get me closer to my priorities like seeing their grades soar while their spirits rise, teaching the kids about how we are just one in the world of many, enjoying watching their faces while a turtle swims by, kicking back on the porch with some sweet tea and a book, or sitting down for some good ol' fashion family game time. All of these things are prevented because we get caught up in all that we have gotten ourselves into. Sometimes we think we have family obligations but are they really an obligation or can we just tell that family member that we do not want to go because that function is not a priority today? This is possible!

So if you are where I was, jump off your broom and grab a pen, MAKE SOME LISTS and keep them with you as a reminder of what you need to do to make the priorities in your life A PRIORITY. You will be amazed at how you feel! I know I was!