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There are days when I look around my house and see only dust and clutter. There are days when I catch a glimpse at how great my neighbors flower garden is growing and am reminded of how mine is not. There are days when I see women involved in numerous church and community groups and realize I am involved only in one. These things use to make me feel guilty but they don’t any longer.
Several years ago I set life priorities and they have put to rest my self induced guilt trips.
When ever I feel even a slight bit of guilt entering my mind over something I don’t do I repeat my life priorities and ask myself does the project I am thinking about feeling guilty about line up with my life priorities? If I took it on would I lose the life balance that I love?
How does one set life priorities? For me I began with my dreams for my life, my family, as well as what I wanted people to say about my life after I am gone. I want to be remembered as a wife that loved fully, a mom that gave freely, a hard worker, and a child of God.
Based on those things here my life priorities
1. My relationship with God
I choose daily time with God.
I choose to spend time studying His word.
I choose to spend time praying.
2.My relationship with my husband
I choose to make spending time with my husband a priority.
I choose to do things through out my day that would please him. Like taking time to make his favorite meal or send him a flirt filled text.
I choose to take time to hug, snuggle, and kiss him daily.
3. My relationship with my children
I choose to spend one on one time with my children regularly.
I choose to homeschool them so I can spend more time with them.
I choose to make sure I take time daily to hug them and tell them how much I love them.
4. My relationship with my friends
I choose to spend time writing them a note on Facebook or through text.
I choose to set up a time to meet one on one with them regularly.
I choose to try my best to be available to them when they need me most.
5. My relationship with me
I know that in order to meet the needs of numbers one through four I need to take time for me.
I choose to exercise 5 to 6 days a week.
I choose to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night.
I choose to spend the time alone my introvert self needs for refueling.
I choose to make spending time developing my passions a priority.
You might be looking at the above list and wonder where does the blog work and the housework fit in? Well blogging fits in to many of my priorities, I blog for me because it fuels a passion of mine (priority #5) , I blog for my husband (priority #2), because whatever I earn here on the blog is less overtime work he has to find, I blog for my children (priority #3) because most of the income I earn from this blog goes to their needs.
As for housework, I set minimum standards that my husband and I both agree upon. Right now those are a steady supply of clean clothes, a kitchen that can be ready for a baking session in under 10 minutes, and a home that with the 5 of us working at it could be guest ready within an hour.
These 5 life priorities have helped me say no to a lot of requests with minimal guilt.
I say no to the candle, jewelery, or whatever parties because I don’t find them to be great times of friendship building, I don’t find that they refuel me in any way, and they take away time spent building my relationships with my husband and my children.
I say no to the requests to take part in activities that would have me out of the home several hours a week as well as prep time at home because right now in our lives, homeschooling, basic homemaking, and blogging is about all I have time for without putting our household out of balance.
I even say no to big in the home projects. For instance several Facebook friends asked me to join the 40 days of tossing a bag of clutter out of my home during lent. It sounded like something my always fighting clutter self would love, but when looking at what my children and husband had going on that month, I knew I just could not spend the time on it, and so I passed , deciding to be content with the few items I toss each week.
Are you constantly feeling guilty about what you are not doing? Are you saying yes because you feel you have to? Perhaps it is time to set your own life priorities and start holding every request, every project up to them and watch your guilt load dramatically decrease .
I first really heard about setting life priorities as well as a Family Purpose statement in the book Organized Simplicity which has many great ideas of how to live a simple life, and allows you to define what is simple.
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