Yes, life is busy. I am not going to use the S- word in this post. Instead, I'd like to know how do you decide what is important to you and what is important for you?
Truth is, I am an adult and I make my own busy. Really. Like other adults, I balance a lot, and sometimes, things get put on a different urgency list due to illness or emergencies. Evaluating where my priorities are is so crucial to finding that balance between what is important to me and for me. This is how my list works, let me know how it works for you because I don't imagine there is a right way or a wrong way to look at this, just that we should look at things.
So who in your life gives you this breath and demands you be your best?
For me, my children and husband are always my priority. I enjoy the time and conversations we share. They're real. They matter. They give me the breath I sometimes need to survive the day, or to inspire writing. These sometimes happen on the road to events or appointments. Or late at night when we all settle in. Having teens in the house has really upped the demands on my time. They are learning how to adult and need constant reassurance and guidance. This is not a job I can fail at even if I myself am still learning how to adult. It has reinforced my partnership with my husband and forced us to evaluate exactly what type of adults we are raising. So no matter what happens around me, every day, I need this time with my family. Of course, it is helpful that they are so awesome!
So what is needed to inspire and grow and push you?
My community falls naturally in place in my life. Possibly because I am in a small community. If I want my children to grow in a healthy environment, I not only have to invest in it, I have to take from it, which means there has to be something to take from. These things don't magically happen, a team has to be involved to grow them or to ensure they remain. Yes, this means I make time for developing things in the community and sharing and growing, for meetingssss, and rallies, and fundraiserssss. I get my family involved in this so we tackle it as a team. This is very long term and can be draining and even unappreciated. Reminding myself about the types of adults I am raising and seeing them grow is important to get the push I need. Change does happen. Being involved does mean something. I've studied it in history archives and I've seen it with my own eyes. I am lucky these days, since my job falls largely in community growth, and so I can invest this time while at work and it doesn't always have to be after hours. Plus, this involvement gets me in the real world, which in turn will inspire my creativity and my art.
How do you handle the unplanned?
Extended family is not something we often consider will tax our busy lives. But as I enter my forties, I am learning that not only has your career reached a demanding point, those who raised you begin to in turn look to you for support in various new ways. They are aging and used to living their own lives their way, and require not only respect but patience. They are living with challenges, I, too, will one day hopefully face like thinking about their future or fighting illnesses out of their control or they need to adapt to a changing world. Many of my friends are finding this a huge undertaking as well. It's wonderful to reconnect with loved-ones now, but it means putting some things aside to give them the time they deserve. Again, this somehow comes back to me in an inspiring way, when they share their own touching stories and deepen my connection to my roots, which filters to my children and my writing.
Where will you find the energy? The passion? The balance to all this?
Through all this, I am a firm believer that me-time will energize me, and I have to force myself to take this time because it isn't in my nature to think about me first. For me, my time to indulge in my fantasies is my Writing. I enjoy creating worlds, trying new things, pushing limits, making people think. My Writing never reflects my life but part of me that exists on an imaginary terrain where ghosts and magic exist and no one wants to know if I washed their underwear. I never write about my world or people I know. I emerge myself in pure fiction, pulling things from past lives or future ones. I challenge myself to try harder things, pushing my art. I work on 2-4 projects at a time. I do serious writing, rewrites, and edits on one while polishing another or reading another. Giving each project about an hour a day so I advance stories in various genres and names.
So by giving and taking from my priority, my community, my family, I find inspiration and time for my writing. But by taking this time for me, I am more energized to tackle the busy the others will bring. Always amazes me how this balance happens and how each one interconnects. I would not be me without the other, I would be busy filling gaps without the whole. When one thing goes missing in a day, I feel exhausted and drowning or needing a break.
And I'm told that it's nice I find time for all this. It is, isn't?
How do you find time for what is important to you and for you? Do you feel that your me-time connects somehow to your others priorities? Ever feel drained and too demanded on and take this moment to self-reflect on your priorities only to discover they are just that simple? And what does your me-time involve?