Saturday, August 28, 2010

switching gears

i need to realign my priorities. i had a nice discussion with a friend (ok, a few exchanged tweets) and began thinking... what's most important in my life? does a clean kitchen outweigh a happy marriage? does my teaching schedule interfere with newlywed time? what about prayer? where am i? what am i doing? and why?

Here's a list of my current priorities, listed relatively in their order of time and work they consume in my life, from highest priority to lowest priority
  1. work
  2. school
  3. teaching
  4. housework
  5. chris
  6. prayer
now, this doesn't mean that chris one of my bottom priorities, necessarily, only that i don't focus on spending as much time with him, and it's not work so much as teaching is. so this list isn't horrible. it's basically where my time goes. what stresses me out, when it's listed in this manner.

here's the priority list i'd like to display
  1. prayer
  2. chris
  3. work
  4. school
  5. teaching
  6. housework
obviously, prayer should be the first thing i do every morning, the last thing i do every evening, and should be the driving force behind everything i do. it does not need to be an afterthought-- rather, it should be so automatic that everything i do revolves around prayer.

chris needs to be second in my life. he is my new husband, and if that's all i can give him, it's what i'll do. there is absolutely no reason for him to come behind school and my two jobs. he is my second. this means spending time with him, catering to him, making sure our house is a comfortable place for him, etc.

work needs to stay near the top. this means ut southwestern work, as it's my primary job. i've been feeling very overwhelmed the past three weeks, but i really feel i'm getting a hold on things and am finally above water. i don't doubt that it will creep down the list as i don't feel as stressed about things.

school work is next. i still need to devote solid blocks of time with it, but there are more important things. meaning, essentially, that prayer and chris are definitely more important than school when you get down to the nitty gritty.

teaching is below school. luckily, i can calm down a little bit now that the first week is over, and it really won't be much work for me. i need to develop a powerpoint presentation for each week, which will take a few hours, but i can work on that over my lunch breaks at work and not have this cut much into my home time.

housework needs to be the last thing on my list. seriously. as i was told by my friend, the dishes don't always need to be washed immediately. the carpets don't have to be immaculate. i'm a newlywed, and i have other obligations.

so. it's one thing to say that i need these changes to happen. it's another to make them happen. it's not going to be easy, and it's going to take sacrifice on my part. which mainly means doing things that i'm not used to, or in a manner that i'm not accustomed to. here's what i think it'll take
  • better time management. setting aside solid blocks of time to work on things like schoolwork will make me feel good about getting them done, without cutting into time reserved for other things.
  • staying up later. it's not as big of a deal as it sounds. i usually go to bed around 9:30 (i know, i know...), and i need to stay up later in order to get everything done. when things are DONE, i feel much better about myself and my household.
  • work during my lunch break. but not on work, on things like preparation for class, or homework. utilizing that hour a day at work will give me more time at home to be with chris and care for the house.
*Edit* after reading this, it seems like i'm making more sacrifices than i probably really am. staying up late isn't a big deal. neither is working during lunch break. it ends up coming down to better time management, ultimately. rearranging what i do when. and i forgot to include time for me. honestly, i'm just happy if i get a cup of hot tea before bed. i'm happy when chris is happy.
  • exercise. there's a gym at my apartment complex, it's ridiculous that i haven't used it yet. chris gets up at 5:30, and i should get up at that time too, if only to spend 30 minutes on the treadmill. i was doing so well, and felt so good about myself, i do not need to hit a rut yet.
  • get into a morning prayer time. i've done things like read a book while i'm on the elliptical or stationary bike, why not have it be the bible? one time i actually prayed the entire time i was on the elliptical. it made the time go fast, and i prayed for so many people and issues that i normally don't, when i whip out a quick 30-second prayer.
i know there's no pictures in this post, and it may not mean much for any of you. but i'll need support. i'll try to post updates of how i'm re-allotting my time, and i would appreciate any encouragement or reminders you care to give.


  1. Don't forget how important it is to take care of YOU. You need a little down time, a little relaxing time too. If you don't get it, the rest will become a terrible burden. God wouldn't want you to ignore yourself.

  2. I've seen your sink full of dishes before and it didn't keel you. :) Live a little. Wait until the next day to do them.

  3. One thing that Mabe and I do is have breakfast together every morning. If that means that I have to get up at 5:00 and he has to get up at 5:30, then that's what we do. We get ready and then sit down and watch the morning news while we eat our cereal and have coffee. We've done that from the beginning and now it's just part of our routine and I don't often realize that not everyone does this. :) It takes awhile to get used to not dashing out the door with a Pop-Tart, but it's so worth it to miss that extra 30 minutes or so of sleep.


now it's your turn.