Someone once tagged me in an Instagram post that showed a list of different areas in a typical life. It included family, friends, work, exercise, alone time, romance, etc. The post then had the caption to pick three items because as humans, we only have the ability to give our full focus to three items at once. Yes, of course, we can do attempt to do it all, but in order to really excel at what we are doing, three areas is our capacity. I argued it, of course, because that’s what I do…argue everything. “I am different….I can do it all and do it all PERFECTLY”
When I was focused on my exercise, work, and friends, my family suffered. I was constantly feeling like I was letting down my husband and kids. I was gone, again, on one of the two days I got to be at home with my family. I couldn’t keep up with packing lunches, homework, and reading logs. When I was focusing on my family, friends, and romance, I gained 40 pounds and felt terrible about myself. My social life is centered on food and alcohol. I mean, how can I not go and drink five glasses (bottles) of champagne and indulge in cheese and crackers when out with the girls or out on date night?! (I would just like to say, more power to you women that do have self control…you should be proud). As much as I wish I could really kick ass at everything, all at once, I can’t. To be honest, sometimes I think focusing on more than two areas is even more than I can handle.
I’ve been thinking about this Instagram post quite a bit lately as I gear up to shift my focus. My family needs me. My husband needs me to be his number one supporter. I have four children who need their mom. I know it’s super trendy to be a “selfish mom & wife” right now but I don’t want to be that. I want my kids to be the center of my world, they deserve that. They NEED that. (I don’t care if it’s offensive to some people, or if it’s uncool to say, but it’s definitely not cute to be a total hot-mess mom, who complains all the time). So, until my kids no longer want me around, which I’m sure will happen sooner than I wish, my family gets a permanent, number one spot on my priority list.
My work makes me feel powerful. I am so focused on excelling at my work that right now, this gets the number two spot. I don’t do anything exciting. I’m not saving lives, I’m not fighting for civil rights, I’m not entertaining people, I’m not anyone big and powerful. Despite all things my job isn’t, there are hundreds of things it is. My job fulfills me. When I’m putting in 100%, I know I’m a badass. I LOVE being a bad ass. I really look forward to advancing in my career and every single day I’m working to make that happen.
This third one is hard. I would love to choose romance because DUH! I also love my friends and love that feeling of comradery. However, romance doesn’t feel as good when I don’t feel as good and comradery isn’t as enjoyable when I’m not feeling great about myself. Right now I need to focus on my health and exercise.
Remember when I said I had shifted my priorities to not include exercise and I gained 40 pounds? I wasn’t kidding. In a single year I have gained all the weight I previously lost. I hate the way I feel about myself. The comments people make about my weight is disgusting. I’ve had grown men tell me I was as big as a house, I’ve had people ask if I was pregnant (more times than I can count), I’ve had people tell me I’d be so much prettier if I lost the weight….I cannot walk around with these words and insecurities running through my mind. I need to prioritize my health so I can feel good and once I feel good, I can make others feel good. I cannot fill up someone else’s glass until my cup has been filled up first.
Of course these priorities can be shifted as often or as little as you want but maybe it’s time you think about what three areas you want to be focusing on.
What are your priorities? Why? Comment or email me and let’s talk through them together. You only have this one life, it’s time to figure out how to make it work the best it can.