Making Time, Not Excuses.

To Frame

I haven’t talked a lot about starting the chain reaction of awesome in my life, lately. While I was thinking about that this morning I noticed: I have a lot of “selp-improvement” type categories listed here. I think that observation says a lot right there, don’t you think? Like, maybe there’s a part of me hoping if I give it a category on my blog it will stick? Anyway…chain reaction of awesome…I’ve not been doing much to nurture that journey lately. Not just here on this blog, but here in my actual life was well.

When you’re trying to grow as a person in any way, whether it’s starting meditation, or exercise, or just eating better – it’s very easy to get distracted. It’s very easy to avoid the actions that further these goals when you have – what feels like – more pressing and real needs surrounding you. The dishes in the sink, the laundry in the dryer, the poopy diaper on the kid in the next room. All of these immediate needs tend to trump any tasks associated with long-term goals. So, my long-term goals? Get washed down the drain with the dirty dishwater.

Add to the daily mundane BIG activities like; putting your house on the market, high school musicals, estates in probate, or sick family – and those long-term goals or dreams? Really start gathering dust. Studying for the GMAT so I can get my MBA? Impossible when trying to get my house POD Ready (FYI: PODs are just portable container units, like renting storage that gets dropped off and then picked up and moved.) so we can get it on the market by the end of May. Getting back my running body? On the back burner while we wrap up dad’s estates proceedings in Knoxville. Meditating? Improving Nutrition? Parenting adjustments? Can’t think about those while I’m sealing the grout in my kitchen.

Do you see what I have here? A lot of really valid and truthful excuses to put off all of the things I want to be doing. The thing is? If you really examine some of those entries from the ninety million Self Improvement categories I have on this blog? You’ll see that the long list of really valid and truthful excuses? NEVER ENDS.

There are always going to be little things that get in the way day to day: Cat puke to clean up, plants to be watered, cars to be vacuumed. There are always going to be big things that get in the way week to week: illness, home improvement, community needs. If my six years of blogging about making myself better has taught me anything? Is that there will never be time. Time to do what it is I want to do that seems frivolous compared to the immediate needs in my life and in the life of my family members.

So…yet again…I find myself at a crossroads. A moment in my life where maybe some clarity will produce some change. Maybe the realization that I could actually put things off forever at the rate I’m going – is just depressing enough for me to stop putting things off at all. That maybe I pull in chaos in my life to help me avoid these great improvements I need/want to make – so that I don’t have to face failure head on. Maybe I encourage the perpetual list of chores as a way to keep me from actually accomplishing any of my personal goals, so that I’ll never have to officially fail at them. And while this clarity can be very depressing, it’s also nice to know that these changes can be in my power. I don’t have to wait on the universe to give me the perfect conditions to finally encourage me to eat better, harness my creativity, meet my professional goals. Instead, I can say I’ll deal with what the universe needs me to do…AFTER I meditate, or exercise, or eat this bowl of fresh fruit. I can prioritize my personal needs before the needs of my family and of the universe.

Now, I’m not necessarily going to leave my kid sitting in his dirty diaper while I go run – but I can put off folding clothes until after I meditate. I can take the time to plan my daily menu and put off paying the bills until after grocery shopping. Because – and here’s the kicker – I’ve proven over a lifetime of getting things done, THEY WILL GET DONE. The dishes will get in the dishwasher, the laundry will get folded, the holes will get caulked and the lawn will get mowed. If all of the procrastinating of my own wants and needs has taught me anything, it’s this: Everyone Else’s Needs Will Be Met. Just maybe not on the same timeline that ignores my own personal needs.

So, for the nineteen millionth time, I’m refocusing. I am going to spend the week shifting my priorities and digging into all of those entries about who and what I want to be. I don’t want to keep writing about starting these journeys to self-improvement under different categories with different focuses. I want to recognize that: THERE WILL NEVER BE TIME UNLESS I MAKE IT. And I’m going to start making time.

Right after I hang those pictures on the wall and clean my toilet.

(P.S. I categorized this entry in all of my self-improvement categories to prove my point with the excessive categorizing of my self-improvement. Except for one: Operation Marathon. Because let’s be honest, I did that once. And while some may discover their love of real long-distance running with their first marathon? I WAS NOT ONE OF THEM.)

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7 Responses

  1. Moogie says:

    I think you have written a post that so many Moms (and Dads) can relate too. I know I can. I tend to put the needs of others first, and forget about the things that I need for me. I’ve learned how important those things are. Like you, I have a hard time juggling all of the things that need to be done, but again, like you, they do get done. I’m just starting to really make an effort towards “me” time. I find that when I do, I’m a lot happier and a much better mother.

  2. Fraulein N says:

    Good for you! I found this entry really encouraging, as I’m also trying to make some big personal changes.

  3. Kathleen says:

    The list of categories at the beginning did raise my eyebrow! This is something I’ve been struggling with, too…. how to take care of myself when there are helpless people/animals in the house who need so much (even if one of them is a grown adult who makes half the pay in the house…)? Please, keep working on it and keep reminding me to do the same??

  4. Moogie says:

    Maybe we should start a support group for moms (or dads) who need this. :)

  5. Heather says:

    Good for you Kim :) You really do have to take care of your own basic needs before you can be at your best to take care of everything else – and your needs do include more than food and shelter ;)

  6. dori says:

    I am SO with you. Blessings!

    I finally got my blogs moved to their own domains again – that was something I was procrastinating on. next, have to stick with some sort of healthy eating. Yes, the urgent comes before the long-term important, and it’s not a good picture —

  7. Cara says:

    Are you starting with just one thing or undertaking all these at once? Gotta admit, I’m overwhelmed for you just thinking about it.

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