Wednesday, January 21, 2015

(not) having it all

DFP sweet spot.JPG
I swear, sometimes the Universe seems to be swinging a large mallet over my head.

As I continue mulling over self-care and self-love this week, this article appeared in the Detroit Free Press today:

Christine Carter has just published a new book called The Sweet Spot: How to Find Your Groove at Home and at Work.

Of course I am planning to read the book, but this was absolutely the BEST advice in the article:
"One of Carter's first steps was to borrow an idea from management guru Peter Bregman: Pick your life's top five priorities. Then she pledged to spend 95% of her time on activities that support those priorities and to say 'no"'to virtually everything else. 'Because we can't do everything, we need to make choices,' she says."

This inspired some intense thinking at 4:30 A.M. What are my top five priorities? And (harder for me), how do I say no to virtually everything else? The priorities were easy! I have been working on those all week!
1. Health (the whole package of self-care, not just diet and exercise)
2. Spending time with family (immediate and extended) and friends 
3. Writing (I have three academic articles on deck and a novel that needs to be finished, dammit! I am also delighted to be blogging and writing every day!)
4. Teaching and beyond! How can I best grow in my profession? How can I inspire myself, my students, and the other teachers around me? 
5. THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS (engage in activities that feed my soul: traveling, gardening, spending time in nature, creating and enjoying a delicious meal; turning off the soul-sucking garbage that distracts me from LIVING.)

It seems simple enough: these are my priorities, and if there is something in my life that doesn't fit these priorities, I need to jettison it. And yet, like Carter, I am constantly asked to do more, to sit on one more committee, to present one more lecture, to revamp one more class curriculum, to take on one more responsibility at work. Because I work with kids, it is difficult for me to say no. I will have to really think about whether what I am doing is benefiting the kids or the adults before I take on one more thing

Because one more thing just might pull me under.

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