Article by Janneke Quick (soon to be Sobeck!)
For those of you who don’t know me, I like to stay busy. I have a hard time saying no to new opportunities because I love to have fun, meet new people, give back to the community I live in, and feel connected. However, I’ve recently been feeling like I may have taken on one too many things…bitten off more than I can chew…over-committed myself…
On that commitment note, I’m getting married! On top of the things I juggle on a regular basis, I’ve added wedding planning to the list over the past few months. I’ve managed to stay sane (so far) because later this month the chaos and stress will come to an end as everything culminates on my wedding day. But is that really the case? We plan our lives out to the last minute these days, waking up earlier to squeeze more in, staying up later to get one more thing done. I’m guilty of the same thing I hear others saying: “I can handle all this for now, I just need to make it to X (fill in the date) and then life will slow down.”
Reality check! Life doesn’t ‘slow down’ on its own, and if you keep adding to your plate without taking something away, you end up with a more-than-you-can-eat buffet, to expand on Beth Moe’s expression. How you handle yourself in these busy times says a lot about your character. Do you turn into Bridezilla if things don’t go according to plan? Or are you able to balance yourself and fit in the priorities, including time for yourself?
What are you priorities in life? Protect your body and mind from stress and worry by scheduling time for your priorities, and don’t regret the rest. I’ve borrowed a few lines from Todd Smith’s blog entry on LittleThingsMatter.com to emphasize my point. “92 percent of the things people worry about are beyond their control. (…) In the long term, worrying about what you can’t control puts your health, happiness, and longevity at risk.”
My priorities are:
1) Family – we are often spread out across different states and countries but on Sunday afternoon my dad skypes us all in for a family conference call and we catch up on the week.
2) Fiancé – we both have busy schedules that are sometimes unreliable, so we schedule date nights to make sure we spend quality time together and not just a quick 10 minutes after work in the evenings.
3) Faith – it’s important for me to continue growing in my spiritual life, so I’m on a monthly rotation to help with the childcare at church, I serve on the Women’s Ministry Board, and I try to attend a weekly small group or bible study.
4) Health – I make time for exercise because it helps me mentally and physically. Several mornings a week I meet my girlfriends (‘sweat sisters’ as I’ve referred to them before) at 5:45am for a workout.
5) Work – I’m lucky to have such a rewarding opportunity that combines my interests with my career. To make sure I am as efficient as possible while I’m at work, I take 10-20 minutes at the beginning of the week, and each day if needed, to get organized and prioritize for the week.
What are your priorities and how do you make sure you have time for them?