pri·or·i·ty: something given or meriting attention before competing alternatives.
So, I'm feeling a bit pensive regarding this subject, evidenced by my random return to blog land after a 9 month hiatus. I'm not really sure what I want to talk about regarding priorities yet, so I assume it will come to me - since I do have quite a few thoughts dancing around.
I found it kind of interesting that my last post was somewhat about priorities and how I had settled in with being okay with the current structure. Just so you know, my Christmas lights are still up (party on the patio every night - woooo!!), my house is still far from perfect, my dishes and laundry are still a nemesis of mine (Carlos is an angel and takes care of these), our Christmas decor is haunting me from a box in the corner of the living room with ornaments calling to me to pack them away, my table is covered in receipts, I
I keep my hubby fed with healthy, homemade food daily, our bills are paid, we've got a roof over our head, a car in the driveway, we work together and then get time at home to enjoy each other's company as non-coworkers and I get to focus my efforts leading a team and helping friends and family achieve their health & financial goals. On a good day, we get in a workout on top of it! ; )
So my priorities obviously aren't cleaning, as much as they mean time with the people I love. Hello Quality Time Love Language! The house isn't always a wreck, but I'm okay with it being that way for a while as long as the things I REALLY have identified as being important are covered.
Sometimes my business takes over as a priority and I know that I need to spend more time digging in and that means that I don't get to hangout with friends or that I haven't seen the latest movie(s) or TV shows - and I'm totally okay with that!
Sometimes I've focused so much on getting things done and just hanging with Carlos that I realize that I DESPERATELY need girl time STAT and that takes over as priority until my tank is full.
But what I struggle with sometimes is:
What happens when your priorities don't line up with someone else's?
They have theirs, you have yours and they don't meet. They have an expectation that you will see their priority as they do and likewise. Sometimes I think "do they seriously not understand that I'm trying to accomplish something?" And they are probably thinking the same thing about me! Because although we may have the same values, we have different priorities.
I think sometimes we have to just be awesome advocates for ourselves. Tell people what your priorities are! Be okay with saying:
"Honestly, right now that's just not a priority for me. I'm focusing on ____________ and I really can't afford to get off track right now."
"Ya know what, that sounds awesome, but I spend any available evenings with my family, because I don't want them getting my leftover time anymore."
"I would love to go out with you guys, but we are trying to save money and pay down debt and that's just not in the budget this month. Dave Ramsey said 'no'. Maybe next time!"
Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying to reply to your boss in this fashion if its part of your job description to accomplish a task. This isn't an Office Space approach of apathy towards things you just don't want to do. It's making a list in your mind of those tasks, responsibilities, invitations, etc. and really being honest with yourself as to if they line up with your priorities or if they just add noise at a time when you desire/need to focus energy on a few things rather than 100. But it takes being intentional to NOT over-commit!!
This would go a long way for those who think they have to say "yes" to everything. Let me release you from that real quick. YOU DON'T!!!! Next time someone asks you to do something (extra work, the millionth social activity this week...) and you don't REALLY want to do it, say "no". I speak from experience as a "yes" girl - believe me, the view is better over here! Once I defined my priorities, it made saying "no" when I needed to, SUPER easy. I no longer feel guilty for standing up for what I feel is important for our life and extra time.
I think I've reached the end of my thoughts on this subject for now. What do you think? Feel free to chime in!