I finished Say Goodbye to Survival Mode last night. I'm not one of those people who can do the assignments in each chapter before moving on to the next chapter. I have to digest the whole thing and process, process, process. Over the last two weeks, I've been praying about my priorities. The answers have come one at a time.
Priority 1: Work hard on building a strong, vibrant marriage.
Set aside intentional time....at least a little every day.
Priority 2: Be a loving, nurturing mom to my children.
Little mister is now 6 and Little Miss is 4. The little years are fleeting. Next year they will both be in school full-time. Nothing else in my life has molded me like motherhood has. I want to invest in my children and not take time for granted. Growing up, I never felt like my parents didn't have time for me. I always felt cherished and valued. I want the same for my children.
Priority 3: Provide a pleasant place for my family to live. I love to cook and provide wholesome meals for my family. I like for those I love to enjoy being at home. I want them to live in semi clutter-free, clean environment. I want to have family traditions and meals around the dinner table. Nothing fancy or exotic, just enjoyable every day experiences.
Priority 4: Use my career as a high school teacher to build into the lives of my students. While I enjoy the subject that I teach, I really enjoy the students. I love teenagers. I learn something every day and they absolutely keep me on my toes. I have said for a long time that my work is my mission field. I truly mean that. While the work-family balance is hard sometimes, I really can't imagine my life without teaching. When it becomes "just a job" or a "paycheck" I will know it is time to walk away.
Priority 5: Practice better self care. Break the bad habit of sleeping in and get up earlier. Continue to grow in my relationship with the Lord by beginning my day with prayer and Bible reading. Exercise. Eat better. Drink more water. Get enough sleep. Read more. Watch less TV. Limit Facebook. Find friends.
Things I am giving up for right now...
- Keeping a sparkly clean house...insert a cleaning lady to deep clean twice a month. I do okay with maintenance tasks, but I haven't deep cleaned our house in 18 months. For real.
- Elaborate meal planning. I love trying new recipes, but I'm content to try 1 new recipe/week. Taco Tuesdays, Casserole Night, Sandwich Night, Crockpot Night, Soup Night...I'm not married to any of these themes, but you get the idea.
- Extra professional commitments/activities/organizations. I choose to work full-time and I have to work full-time. I want the precious leftover time I have left to be spent on my priorities. I'm a good teacher. I love high school kids. I try and give it my best every day. But...I do not need to go to every extra curricular activity and I don't want my nights and weekends scheduled away from my family.
- Late nights. They ruin me. A handful of time this school year I have gone to school after putting my kids to bed...8ish and worked until 12 or 1am. Craziness. Then I feel like I have the flu for 3 days after that. I am done with that. I would much rather get up earlier.
Or, not get so behind that those kinds of hours are necessary. I do much better when I go to bed at 9:30 or 10:00, read a little, go to sleep before 11 and get up around 5. Note: I have not actually gotten up before 5:30 most of this school year. So a little work to do in that area. Working on it.