Get Your Priorities Straight When Life Gets Crazy

Y’all, life gets so crazy sometimes. And I’ve been more distracted the past 6 ½ months than I’ve ever been! Not so much distracted as my mind isn’t able to focus on as much. It’s like part of my brain has been removed and there’s only so much space left in there to process and keep track of everything. I thought I had life decently well figured out and that I’d learned a few lessons about getting through and being productive, but the joke was on me. Being pregnant and trying to do a lot has certainly upped the ante on my quality of life.

It’s been all I can do the past few weeks to stay focused at my full-time job, move houses, keep the new house somewhat organized, spend quality time with my husband, take care of Way Pup (who tore his 2nd ACL and is getting surgery in a couple of weeks), and trying to rent out the old house. Additionally, I created a baby registry for a (very generous) baby shower (= a lot of time spent researching All.The.Baby.Things). Oh, and I caught a pregnancy cold for 2 weeks (=the worst cold of my life). Yep…woe is me! I have too much going on! No, not really. This is all very good stuff and all stuff that I signed up for, so I’m not trying to point out how busy I am. The list just looks like it. Instead, I’m pointing out that this getting-through-life-thing is a skill, just like any and a skill that must be worked at. It’s a skill that I kind of had under my belt, but then I decided to level up to Mom, and have to re-earn that skill.

So, how do I manage? Most days, barely. That said, I have to stick to my priorities and that’s the key thing.

What are they? First off, I need to make sure my marriage is going well. Whether that’s spending quality time with my husband or making sure the house gets picked up (he really, really, really appreciates a clean house), I need to make sure that I’m taking care of him as best I can. These days, I’m not able to be as much help as in the past (see: pregnancy), so I’ve tried to step it up in other ways. He’s taken on more of the physical work around the houses that I used to do, which has been hard on him because he has even less available time than I do. Plus, he’s been super sweet to me while pregnant and I want him to know he’s appreciated.

Second, I need to make sure my work is getting done and to prepare for my upcoming maternity leave. When I’m at work, I try to focus on work. Yeah, I try…sometimes it’s hard though with all the baby and new house stuff to research, but I really do try.

Third, I need to make sure that Way Pup is doing okay. I mentioned above that he tore his ACL and is limping around. We can’t go on walks, but we sure can snuggle! So, with all the craziness going on around us and the new house, he definitely needs quality attention right now (especially before the baby shows up).

Fourth, we need food and clean clothes to wear. I try to make sure we have enough food in the pantry/fridge that my husband and I can both get a decent lunch and dinner, and I’m working on making sure we both have enough clean clothes to wear. Sometimes that’s easier said than done and we’ve both run out of food and clean underwear in the past few weeks, but that’s how life goes. I do a quick load of laundry, try cooking something frozen in the Instant Pot, and keep on going.

Fifth, I focus on getting the old house ready for new tenants. We want to quickly find someone to rent the old house, so that means it has to be emptied and ready to go. By ready to go, I mean the carpets cleaned, the fireplace cleaned, the whole house cleaned, the extra furniture sold, and the yard mowed. Most of this has happened, but not all of it and it’s been a bit of work calling and meeting service providers to get some of the stuff done.

Putting my priorities on a Post-It note helps me remember them and follow them

After those top 5 priorities, there’s other stuff I value getting done,everything gets taken care of however it happens or maybe it doesn’t. Spending time with family? Sure, if it works out. Spending time with friends? Sure, if it works out. Unpacking boxes? Sure, if I have enough energy after work. Exercising? Not so much. Cleaning the new house? Not so much.

This list above might look like I know exactly what I’m doing, but this post is the first time I’ve clarified my priorities to this extent. I’ve just been living by them for the past couple of months. If your life is crazy, you probably have priorities too, but it does help to clarify them.

You’ve just spent a lot of time reading about me…how does this translate to you? How can my craziness help you? The main thing is to figure out your priorities and then stick to them. When you feel so busy you can barely breathe and you start to have a small (or large) panic attack thinking about everything you have to do, go back to square one and make sure the big picture stuff is covered first. That could be your mental health, or you prioritize family time (either with a family you created or parents/siblings/extended family), or you prioritize your career, or you prioritize saving money, or you prioritize something else entirely. It also depends on what you value most right now. For me, I most value having a strong relationship with my husband right now. In the past, I have most valued writing my thesis over having a strong relationship. Before I met my husband, I most valued traveling during my time in Europe. Basically, what do you want or need to do or focus on most? Then go from there.

As soon as you realize how crazy life is getting and that you might be in over your head, take three deep breaths and a step back. Figure out your priorities (however many you have, but don’t have too many) and let them guide how you spend your time, get things accomplished, and try not to stress out too much moving forward. You’ll get through this too!

How to Be Excited for a Long Distance Pregnant Friend

You have a friend who announced that she’s pregnant – YAY! If you’ve been pregnant before, you already have an idea of how you can be supportive. However, if you haven’t been pregnant before or haven’t really had anybody else close to you get pregnant, you may not be entirely sure how to show your support – especially if you live far away. You want to be a great friend and you want to say/do the right things. I’ve had several friends get pregnant, but my closest friends have been far away and my local friends haven’t been very close. As a result, I never knew what to say or how to be supportive, particularly because I was so not at a stage where I wanted kids. Or if I’d been having baby fever and wanted kids but had been unsuccessful so far, it would have been hard knowing how best to support my friends. So, if you don’t live near your pregnant friend or don’t know how to support her, here are some easy ways to show your support!

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How 3 Little Things Help Me From Getting Too Overwhelmed

Last week, I shared about some big life stuff going on in the Way house – busy jobs, moving, and baby! I’ve also discussed how I initially struggled with my New Year’s Resolutions because everything was in flux (and still is, somewhat). So, how am I doing with all that’s on my plate and how I am doing at getting it all done? Meh. Recently, most days I feel like I’m barely keeping my head above water.

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Practicing What I Preach

Over the past year, I have shared little ways that make my life a bit easier, happier, and/or simpler. Also this past year, I finally had some free time in which I could write – I had recently finished my master’s degree, finished my professional licensing, and finished teaching a 1 credit college course. My days were spent working full-time and coming home…that’s it! No thesis to write, no papers to grade, no test to study for. It was glorious! This left me time to share some of the tips I had learned to get everything done (or prioritize what needed to get done). It also provided me with a way to record what I had learned and share it with the wider world.

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Have a Happy Birthday!

Sometime this past week, I turned one year older. And just like most years, my birthday was pretty low key…just how I like it. As we get older, birthdays tend to become less and less important. Whether it’s because we don’t want to celebrate getting another year older, we have too much going on, or maybe you just aren’t a birthday person…birthdays tend to be for the young and for the old, but not for the middle (except for your 50th). However, I completely disagree. Birthdays should be celebrated!

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