Monday, January 12, 2009

My Extra Hours

A good friend of mine swears that I must have extra hours in my day in order to accomplish all that she perceives I accomplish. The truth is I don't have any extra hours and I don't ever feel like I'm actually accomplishing much at all.

This morning did not go smoothly with Garrett. I was overwhelmed by sleeping late, leaving the house a disaster as a result, upset I didn't get to Yoga, seeing all I did not accomplish over the weekend and stressing about my work week ahead of me. Mondays are usually painful with Garrett anyway so add all this and I was short with him and sent him off without a good start to his day or mine. That made me feel much worse.

It's amazing how much your perspective can change a situation. Because I was concerned with everything I should be doing and how short I was falling of my expectations I failed my most treasured responsibility, my son. I lost sight of my priorities.

Really, that is what it comes down to asking yourself "What are my priorities?"

I read an interview of Elizabeth Vargas some years ago where she had the courage to say "I don't think you can have it all as a working mother." She explained that in the end something has to come first. She had made the decision for herself to say that her family would. She discussed that she had to know before anyone ever asked her to choose between the two who would always win.

Reading this gave me the courage in my career to be vocal that my family will always trump work and my current work arrangement reflects that. If there is a decision to be made my family will get priority. This is something that I am living. I do not need to have it "all".

However, what I am realizing while I type is that while I have already acknowledged that there are somethings that I choose not to devote time & energy to in order to nurture my priorities the line of who comes first has become fuzzy within my home world.

This morning served as affirmation that my son's welfare must trump everything else. Does this mean that I won't have to fight with him about brushing his hair? No. But it does mean that I will accept him for the meandering four year old that he is and prepare for the extra time it is going to take to have him brush his hair by himself so I can handle the situation in a patient manner. This means maybe I won't get the daily picture posted to the blog or the dishwasher emptied or the bed made. I'm normally pretty OK with all of this but today because I've let the lines get fuzzy I got sucked back in.

Its when I honor my priorities in my life my husband, my son, my health that I actually seem to have these mystical extra hours because I am at peace with myself.

I do apologize for my ramblings I'm really not sure I ever made a point. Normally I would edit this little narrative to ensure that I did but because I've finished my lunch and must get back to work in order to leave on time in order to spend some quality time with Garrett & Mitch and maybe squeeze in some chores with a bit of time leftover for my craft I am going to leave this just as it is.



Lee said...

Brilliant, thoughtful post. I agree with your friend that you seem to manufacture time - or at least, you make the most of the time you have. You are a wonder! I've always been an advocate that you can have it all .. just not all at the same time! You're doing a wonderful job balancing what you've got. I admire that you can acknowledge and put a voice to your journey.

PS Sorry you missed yoga ... did you get to eat breakfast?

Kyla said...

Wonderful post! I think we all feel like this at times, and this is just a perfect reminder to STOP! Take a few moments to write it down, or whatever you have to do to get it out of your system and move on to those more important matters . . . like family!

It's OKAY. You're only human . . . but you're more intelligent than most, because you realize your faults and take the actions needed to rectify things.

Ask for forgiveness, forgive YOURSELF, and just jump in where you're at. Just because you missed Yoga in the morning, doesn't mean you can't squeeze it in before bedtime or allow yourself a day off. Keep on keepin' on!

You have friends in your corner. ;)

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking we wouldn't appreciate the good days if we didn't have bad ones here and there. You know you do a wonderful job at home and work because you do it from the heart. I don't think it is just working mothers - no one can have it all. We just make the best choices we can - before the fact if possible - and accept that we do the best we can and leave the rest to God. Remember to make time to rest -Do you know the sharpen the saw story? Two guys cutting wood and one worked continuously the other took breaks. The one who took breaks was getting more wood cut so the first just had to ask him how he did it. The reply was that you could get more done if you stopped to sharpen the saw once in a while.


Anonymous said...

I got your point loud and clear.

Karolyn Havener

VW said...

Monica, I just love when you said:

"Its when I honor my priorities in my life my husband, my son, my health that I actually seem to have these mystical extra hours because I am at peace with myself."

I am going to write this on a piece of paper and put it on my nightstand so I see it every morning! It is SO TRUE! I keep trying to create extra hours by rushing around to get things done (which means losing patience with family members, usually) and gee, I wonder why I'm too stressed and too exhausted to do anything creative? But it is when I move through the day with a sense of awareness to those "priorities", lo and behold, there are those extra moments for creativity!

Great post!

Anonymous said...

Love it! I still think you have extra hours in there somewhere:)

I worked on a page yesterday entitled "My Wishes" for 2009. Resolutions, as some would say. One was to spend time doing things I'm passionate about. I spend alot of time doing things I should or think I should do. Maybe because that's what was modeled or . . . who knows why. So this week's theme is "Passion"-now I get to write down what it is I'm passionate about and see if I can prioritize those into my life and schedule.

Love, HB