Photographer, wife to my college sweetheart, mama of 3, sushi lover, ADVENTUROUS-HOMEBODY, and believer in unconditional love.

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The Struggle to Prioritize

Personal

This is a constant battle. Every single morning – heck, all throughout my day, I feel like my mind is racing a mile a minute, constantly outweighing decisions of what to do and when.

Every day is different, I struggle with a sense of “normalcy” or consistency. Priorities are constantly shifting all throughout my mind like a game of Tetris.

Do I have to do this now or can it be done later? What is most important to do in this moment? But if I wait to do this, it will just get piled up, let me get it out of the way now. Let’s see how long Hope will roam around in her walker or play on the rug before she starts fussing.

Some days feel more productive than others. I have this imaginary measuring stick based off of what I did that day. But it’s weird because certain days I may have done a lot, but those things are usually what no one will notice or realize.

If the house looks the same as when they left (they being my husband and son), they will probably think I didn’t do much that day. It’s the same if dinner didn’t get cooked or I didn’t get a chance to shower and I’m still in the same clothes. What they didn’t see was that for my business, I was able to edit all of my clients’ images, book photo sessions, and create a new pricing guide.

Sometimes the days I feel least productive with my business, I feel closest to my family. Those are the days when playing with my daughter, going to appointments and to the gym, running errands, visiting friends, attending morning prayer, cooking, and cleaning took up all the time I could of put towards working on my business.

The moment I finally have time to work on something at night is usually when my 17 year old son comes home from school and we need to talk about his day and help him with his homework. The moment I get my daughter finally down for a nap, my husband comes home and I realize that we need to spend quality time together.

The only time I truly feel I am doing the right thing at the right time is when I am nursing my daughter. As inconvenient and tiring as it can be at times, I wouldn’t change it for the world. While she is feeding, I’m either updating my social media posts, catching up on episodes of “Fixer Upper,” reaching out to friends and family, checking emails, or reading. But the time is best spent when I’m doing nothing else. Nothing else but looking at her, running my fingers through her curls, savoring this time I have with her before this season is over.

Late night is when I gain some type of control, when everyone is asleep, and everything is put back in its place, lights are dim, worship music playing, candle burning, with some time to journal and talk to God. Even though I’m often disappointed that different things didn’t get done, I step back and gain perspective. At the end of the day, I am alive and well, my family is home safe, with a roof over our heads, food in our bellies, and warm beds to sleep in.

But then again, sometimes I don’t get to do any of that at night, even though I really want to because I need to just go right to sleep before I run myself down and get sick….Priorities (the struggle is real!).

My relationship with God and family are the top priority over everything else in my life. As much as the “American Dream” tells me to work, work, work and hustle to make that green, I push back. Yes, I do believe in working hard – absolutely, but I feel people need to put just as much effort as they put into their relationships, if not more, as they do into their careers. Sadly, in this day and age, that’s not always the case.

Goes back to the question: what are your priorities?

A lot of people think success is based solely on doing well in their career. If I am truthful, I think having a career is important and you should work hard for your dreams, but if your marriage is crumbling, you have no relationship with your kids, you’re broke because you spend all your money on “things,” you constantly put yourself before others, never can keep a friendship, can you really call that success?

The topic of success is something I can talk much more about and will save for another day. So I digress back to the topic of the day of prioritizing. I want you to know you are not alone in the struggle of prioritizing. Whether you’re a working mom (or dad), stay at home mom (or dad!), or a stay at home parent AND entrepreneur like me, I hope this blog (my form of sharing and venting at the same time!) will help you.

Setting priorities and sticking to them is an on-going battle. So many different things pull for your attention and time. My challenge would be for you to take just 5 to 10 minutes less per day of time you spend on social media and texting, and instead use that time to write out your priorities. Think about what things matter most to you and how much time you actually invest towards each of those things. If you see areas in your life that you would like to see improvement, think of ways you can be more intentional with your time.

It is hard being intentional. I know for me, anything I complain about, I am always going to try to find ways to make it better. I am still trying to develop more systems and ways of doing things that will help bring more consistency and stability in my life. That’s the main thing I miss about not working a 9-5 type job anymore.

You know the saying that “insanity is doing the same thing the same way, and expecting a different result”? That is basically what we are doing when we don’t set out our priorities. Making changes and improvements to any struggle is key. In my life, I go to God to ask for grace in helping to keep my priorities aligned with His will and with what really is important. I know when I give it over to God that He will allow me to prosper in all areas of my life. I hope the same for you!

Much Joy,

Charity HOPE

P.S. Thanks for listening! …well, reading 🙂

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