Priorities, and Teacher Health

I am writing a lot today, which means I am in a contemplative mood.

I've been thinking a lot about priorities. Right now I feel like I am barely staying one step ahead. The days are full. There are things I have to do, like laundry, and things I choose to do that take more time, like hanging the laundry on the line vs. tossing it in the dryer. There are time consuming tasks like baking and cooking, that I do for health and to save money. The house needs to be kept neat and clean. I need to keep groceries coming into the house. I have a dog to care for. There is this monumental task of raising and educating my children, and right now it takes huge amounts of time as I learn new and better ways of doing things. I also have a man to love, and somewhere in that mess of things I have myself to take care of. I am afraid that he and I often get pushed to the bottom of the list, both in making time for ourselves as a couple, and in taking care of ourselves as individuals. Because believe me, he is busy too. I can't think of any other man who is as supportive...and I don't just mean financially and emotionally. He readily takes on childcare tasks and housekeeping, plus all of those little things that often fall to men, like taking out the garbage and cleaning up after the dog.

Our lives are full, and happy. At the end of the day I lie in bed and think of all of the good things. But I also think of things that I seemingly don't have time for, and that's what gets me thinking about priorities.

I need to spend less time on message boards. I have cut it down considerably, but now I have to make the hard choice not to participate. Even if it is just an hour a day total, that is an hour I didn't spend reading, or planting a garden, or growing a friendship.

I have to stop obsessing over housework. We do enough, and the bathrooms really don't have to be cleaned daily. It's easy to tell myself that it is just 15 mintues a day, but I sometimes choose to do those chores versus getting out and walking with the boys. Luckily this is a new obsession, and so probably an easy habit to break.

I probably need to write less in my journal. That's a hard one; I think by typing.

But there are things I want to do. More than a year ago I wrote these goals (really a vision statement):

I have this vision of how I want my life to be.

As a mother I want to continue to parent my children in an attached manner, to love and respect my children and to continually renew and strengthen my relationship with them.

I want to homeschool them in a Waldorf manner, creating a harmonious home and a daily, weekly, and annual rhythm.

I want to read voraciously to keep my mind sharp.

I want to work with my hands to integrate my senses. I want to create to enjoy the beauty that comes from it.

I want to be able to have great conversations with my husband and to spend quality time with him.

I want to feed us healthy food, to avoid waste, and to be aware of where our food comes from.

I want to simplify my home, my possessions, and my life to make room for those things (tangible and intangible) that are important to me.

To these I would add the following:

I want to spend time developing and strengthening friendships. So often I meet and connect with people, only to be so busy that the friendships stall.

I would like to open my home to others more often, both to enjoy their company and to teach my children hospitality. I want to create a community for my children and myself.

I want to develop more compassion when it comes to the hardships of those around me.

I want us to become more self-sufficient and to live sustainably.

I want to be flexible. I want to know when to stand strong and when to bend.

I want to live life and enjoy the journey.

I'm sure there is much more. Right now I am just thinking hard about how to make room for everything I want in my life, and thinking hard about what I need to let go...


Blissfulbee said…
Well this is the golden question isnt it. Are we staying on track with our priorities, are we becoming too frigid in one area and allowing another to fall aside. I am in constant conflict with this exact thing. Today I just took a mental health day and basically did nothing. I am like you and require some recovery after a weekend full of activity. So do my kids. Im so confused by how people can keep up with the rhythm and the energy of things. I can keep going for a couple weeks but then I hit a wall of exhaustion. I feel drained and just need to stop for a while. You do better than me on this, I literally almost shut down. How do we find that balance to nourish ourselves enough to keep things going. Im really struggling with this one.

On another note, I dont belong to any message boards, although I do read a lot of email and update my blog. Some times I feel like it takes away from other things, but in the end I think it feeds and motivates me. I know having found our commonalities has helped me feel less alone in all of this.
APKimberMama said…
I keep hitting walls too, and the only way I break through them is to remember how much my boys need the rhythm. I have days I would love to sleep until noon and eat nothing but French fries all day, and maybe watch an old movie, read a book, and type away on the computer. I can't have that though, not without huge tradeoffs I am not willing to make.

I'm struggling with time for myself. I do get some, but I don't always use it in ways that renew my soul.

I tell myself that grade 2 will be better, because I will have time to plan it and won't be working as hard as I am now. We'll also be grounded in movement by then, and will only have to add and drop songs with the seasons.

I am so fed by having someone to "talk" Enki with! Even if we don't have the group, at least we found each other. Because it was through Mothering we have other things in common as well...although I have a feeling that Enki resonates with people more drawn toward natural livign anyway.

Okay, my new plan is to be off the computer close to 9 p.m., so I am going to go.

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