I’m not the type of person who typically blows off commitments to others. I have a strong sense of obligation and guilt that rivals the best of the best, and I was raised to take commitments seriously If I am going to make a time commitment then I need to be prepared to follow through. And yet, even if I put it on my calendar, I cannot seem to follow through on commitments I make to myself.
I consistently will reschedule and put off things that I know I really want to get done in favor of ensuring that the things others need or want are adequately taken care of. I have volunteer responsibilities, dog training responsibilities, and social engagements on top of my childcare, household, and exercise obligations. I frequently struggle with enforcing the idea that I need to make my own needs a priority obligation, and recently, I’m getting better at changing that.
I have been more intentional about carving out the time to exercise and make meal plans and preparations, because my health took a backseat for a very long time. The majority of the time Aaron was in Korea, I was really concerned for my health, because when I finally took stock of what, when, how, or how much I was eating or exercising, I realized it had gotten pretty bad. There were whole days I wasn’t eating because I was so stressed, or so overwhelmed that I noticed one day I ate a week’s worth of calories in one day. I gained weight, which doesn’t just hurt my vanity or my cholesterol. I have bad asthma, and had begun to show signs of high blood pressure. I realized a couple months ago just how bad it had gotten, and made my health a priority.
Outside of that, though, I don’t often prioritize myself. It took serious health issues for me to put my diet and exercise habit changes at the top of the list. I have a whole host of other projects, though, (whose consequences aren’t life threatening) that have yet to make it to the top of the list with any kind of consistency. Writing and regular time for my crochet and knitting projects, among other things, are two things that should be habitual events on my calendar. I need to do just that.
Because I have been so scattered and unfocused lately, I forgot to write up my blog posts on time, and I didn’t get a chance to work on my novel idea this week. It’s really frustrating to have the desire to be creative and feel trapped by time constraints, unable to get the ball rolling because I have other responsibilities that have to come first. I will always care for my family before anything else, but I don’t want to be someone whose entire identity is tied to their ability to raise kids or complete housework. I also hope to bust right through the societal expectation that everything home or child related falls to me and me alone. My marriage is a partnership, not a dictatorship, and it’s good for my husband to help at home just as much as it is for me to support his work.
So although what’s on my desk this past week ended up being nothing, I know that this week’s failure to launch isn’t a forever deal. I will schedule and keep commitments to myself, and eventually figure out how to stabilize my personal needs versus my other needs. I’m still learning how to balance being a mom of three boys, a housewife, a writer, a crafter, a volunteer, a dog mom, physically fit, and whatever other hats I will learn to wear in this crazy little adventure called life.
“An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward.” – Paulo Coelho