A Little More Each Day

One working mama learning to run & to maintain my 100+ pound weight loss!

Prioritizing

on February 4, 2016

As I mentioned yesterday, I’m re-evaluating a lot of things on my to do list as I prepare to take on this new opportunity at work. There is really nothing hasn’t been on the table as I’ve considered my priorities in my life.

Running? Keep. Running helps my mental well being and really seems to help my lupus. It’s also the most satisfying form of exercise I do and exercise is important for my overall health. Unfortunately, I know myself well enough to know that I won’t really get out to run if I don’t have a race to train for, so I’ll also keep races on the to do list. That’s not really a burden. I enjoy races. It does mean, however, that at least until I get my new work load into balance, I won’t be stressing about time goals or anything like that. I’m just in it for the fun of it and to keep moving.

New shoes to start 2016 off right!

New shoes to start 2016 off right!

Tracking food? Keep. I surprised myself by how much time I had to give to deciding whether or not this stays or goes from my life list. I call this “tracking food” to make a concise heading, but what I’m really talking about is the mental energy that goes towards thinking about good food choices and my relationship with food. The tracking piece actually makes those choices a little easier, weirdly. I could free up some space in my brain if I just stopped worrying about how I was eating and maintaining my weight for a while. I’d probably regain another 10 pounds or so, but that really isn’t the end of the world. However, my career trajectory is such that there is never going to be a time that is “easier” or less busy or when I don’t have things I’d rather think about that making a good food choice or what the scale will say today. If there’s never a good time, it might as well be any time and all the time, right? It’ll keep getting easier and requiring less mental energy the longer I practice (I hope). We’ve all heard the saying that if you wait for the perfect time, you’ll never do anything and that definitely applies here. I also know that stress contributed to my weight gain in the first place, so I certainly don’t want to end up there again. I’m better in terms of my relationship with food, my use of running as a stress reliever rather than pizza and less binge eating, but the urges are still there and better is not the same as good. Thus, I’ll keep my food and maintenance on my radar, although I will try not to worry so actively about it other than maintaining where I am now.

Taking time for me? Keep. It’s easy to let the little moments of self care slide but they are even more important now. I’m currently working on reading a book for 5 minutes day. It’s a small but mighty thing I’m enjoying greatly.

Blogging? Keep, but tweak a bit. One thing I’ve taken a long look at is how I use this space. I don’t have a social media empire. I don’t seek out ads or review opportunities or anything to promote this blog because that’s not why I started it. Way back in summer 2013 (wow!), I started this as a place to keep myself accountable and to talk about all that I was learning about running and weight maintenance so I stopped bugging my husband with all of those thoughts. It still serves as a wonderful place for my introverted brain to process thoughts (like these today!) on keeping balance in my life, working a training plan, other running adventures and my relationship with food and my weight. I’ve found wonderful support from all of you in my little invisible army and made lovely friends that have enriched my life immeasurably. I’m also grateful of the chance to help other people by sharing my story and know how helpful these stories were when I was looking for other people “like me.” Overall, writing here is good for my spirit. I am going to drop my Friday posting though. While I like sharing the articles I find interesting through the week, I can do that more easily through the blog’s Facebook page rather than taking the time to write that Friday post. Follow along over there for all of that kind of stuff throughout the week. Otherwise, I’ll keep up my Monday – Thursday rambling here.

I’m looking at the things I say yes to at work very closely too, as that’s where my biggest prioritization is going to be needed to get more out of my work day without bringing too many things home. It goes without saying that Darrell and Oliver are my number one priority and I don’t want anything I do at work to impinge on my family life any more than it already does. I tend to say yes to everything at work in an effort to be nice and I’ve got to be more discriminating. I’ve outlined my work priorities on the big white board in my office and promised myself (and my mentor) that I’d look at that list when I’m fielding new requests. If it doesn’t fit that priority list, I need to let that opportunity go to someone else. Fortunately, #4 on that list is fostering trainees and junior faculty in their career development, so by saying no to some things I’m offered, I can pass that opportunity on to them so that they get the experience to build their own careers. Win-win!

On a lighter note, sorry to Darrell’s office, but I’ll be cutting back on the delivery of baked goods. Because my work schedule is more erratic than Darrell’s, in terms of call and travel and 7 am meetings, he does a lot of adjusting to accommodate my job. It still boggles the minds of his very Southern traditional family (and I suspect mine too, no matter how proud they may be of me) that my career is the primary driver in our family schedules and even in where we live. Somehow, I got it into my head that I needed to do traditionally “wifely” things to make up for this (I know – stupid and sexist) and so I was sending a homemade baked good to Darrell’s office most weeks. I’m a good baker and I enjoy it, but it has turned into something on the to do list that hangs over me instead of something I do for fun. This week someone asked Darrell if our marriage was okay since they hadn’t gotten a baked good in several weeks! Clearly I’ve spoiled these guys. I enjoy baking and am happy to do when I feel like it, but sorry guys – this is going off of the “to do” list every weekend!

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They love getting to taste the fruits of my baking labor at Darrell’s job.

How do you decide what your priorities are in life? How do you say no to the things that don’t fit that list? In the next year, I’m going to have to practice my “no” muscle quite a bit I suspect.

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10 responses to “Prioritizing

  1. Meg B says:

    Sounds like some good prioritizing to me. I’m glad you figured out what’s most important to you and that blogging is something you’ll keep up. I enjoy reading your blog and would be sad if you stopped blogging.

  2. Wow! This is so wonderful. Over the last two years I have had to completely change my priority list as well. For me Self-care is one of the top ones. I also prioritize who my “team” is when it comes to the people in my life so I can prioritize my relationships as well, because those are at the top of my list, too. I really loved what you had to say about taking calories. It really gave me a new perspective and I hope to practice that more in my life as well as getting running involved again! It used to be one of my favorite things, when I got a serious back injury from it though I stopped and haven’t fully returned since. Looks like you are doing small changes that make a mighty difference. Woohoo! I look forward to reading more.

  3. Anna says:

    I will be completely honest, I have never sat down and down an extensive review of my priorities. Reading through yours and the reasoning really sparks my mind about doing something similar – especially with our new adventure we are working on now. Thank you 🙂

  4. Coco says:

    Oh my gosh on that comment about the missing baked goods! I think when things that you started doing for fun become a chore or source of stress, it’s time to cut them out.

  5. Jennifer @ Dashing in Style says:

    Sounds like a great exercise,and your decisions make a lot of sense. I’ve done a similar exercise when I’ve created a purpose-focused financial plan, an exercise from Smart Couples Finish Rich. Basically, you do what you’ve done as a first step and then next decide to spend money in only those areas that matter most and create a financial plan based on that.

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