Prioritize? How?

92 days down, 273 days to go!

Dear Orange Rhinos,

I am doing something entirely new tonight. Normally, I write a blog post, read it a few times, try to edit it, and then I post it with hopes that someone will read it. Tonight, I have stared at my Microsoft Word blank screen for nearly an hour now. I have so much I want to write about. So many emotions that I want to share. So many insights I want to share. So many struggles that I want to share…that I am paralyzed. Paralyzed with fear that what I write won’t sound right. Paralyzed with fear that what I write WILL sound right and that I won’t want to read what I wrote. So tonight, there is no Microsoft Word. Tonight I am treating this blog as it should be, a dear diary. I am writing completely off the cuff. Whatever comes out, comes out. Let’s just hope it is decent.

The Orange Rhino

Dear Diary,

Tonight during the “Time to Toot Your Rhino Horn” on Facebook two people spoke about wanting to cry. Well, I share that sentiment. I don’t know why but this week, I just can’t get my mojo going and I too just want to cry. It’s too much. It’s so much. My to-do list is never ending. I know that I am supposed to prioritize and focus on the most important items, but what do you do when it is all important? How do you decide then?

Any to-do having to do with my children is important. Any to-do having to do with keeping me happy so that I can be a happy mom, is important. Any to-do having to do with my friends and family, the ones who support me and love me, is important.

So here I am. With a to-do list of all important things, doing nothing. Because I suck at prioritizing. Is it that, or is that it is hard to prioritize friends, family, children and one self? Or is it that there truly aren’t enough hours in the day, no matter how good one is at prioritizing? I don’t know. I just know that right now, this week, I am so overwhelmed that I am walking around in circles, doing nothing which obviously isn’t helping the matter. And well, it’s not that I am doing nothing. It’s just that my days are so FULL that there is little time to get to anything BUT the basics. Like taking care of the kids. Like getting them to Speech and OT. Like keeping them from pummeling each other. Like changing diapers. Like keeping #4 from flying down the two stairs from the kitchen to the family room now that he is crawling.

My day is full of the basics. And I need to accept that. I need to learn to accept that if I just survive a day in the life of raising my boys, then the to-do list can wait.

But is that true? What about all the guilt I feel about the friends who I cannot seem to get around to emailing? The friendships that I know I have lost as a result of deciding to have a large family which keeps me so busy?

And what about me? It is important to me to exercise. It keeps me from yelling. It keeps me feeling good about myself. Do I just stop exercising to make more time for the other things, the 75% of the items on the to-do list have to do with doing things for the people I love? How do I chose one over the other? How do I say, #3 is more important than #4?

I know it is feasible to figure it out but I DON’T WANT TO. I don’t want to have to prioritize. I want to be able to do it all. 

Again, when everything is important, how do you decide what goes first? Simply put, I have to choose between my husband, myself, #1, #2, #3, #4, friends, and family. I hate having to choose. Because all these people matter to me. And right now, I feel like all these people are getting short changed.

My husband, also a lover of inspirational quotes (I think that is what brought us together), shared this quote with me from a book about I don’t know what. Better time management?

“don’t schedule your to-dos, schedule your priorities.”

Powerful idea, but again, how do I choose between all the people I love, who are ALL my priority, when the day is so short? Because there isn’t enough time in the day. And there never will be.

Well, I guess that is one benefit of The Orange Rhino Challenge. Not yelling impacts everyone. I don’t have to choose.

My husband, #1, #2, #3, #4, and I, we all win, we all benefit from my not yelling. And that is why this challenge is my #1 priority. It makes me a better mom, which in turn makes me kids happier, which in turn makes our days somewhat easier, which in turn makes me happier, which means I am a better wife, which means I feel better about myself, which in turn gives me the strength to not yell.

It’s a cycle. Not yelling at my kids sets off a cycle of goodness that goes all around. Here’s hoping I stay on this path…and here’s hoping that now that I have figured out priority #1 in my life right now, that I can figure out 2-10!

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1 thought on “Prioritize? How?

  1. This is quite timely for me. I was just telling my husband that no matter how much I get done in a day there is always just as much if not more that I wanted to do but did not get to. Prioritizing is difficult for me to. My husband and I agree that our kids are #1 because they are small for such a short time. My main instigator for yelling is when all 3 need me at the same time. Baby is over tired and needs to be fed so is shrieking, 2 year old needs help on the potty and all of this interrupts me helping the 4 year old draw a picture. So I have learned to prioritize what is most important that minute and try to get everyone’s needs met. In the end 90% of the time I ignore my own needs in order to get everyone else taken care of. I have the same problem of wanting to do it all. I hope this challenge helps me with my # 1 priority of being the best mom I can to my kids. Here’s to 92 more days without yelling and beyond … for us all.

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