Tuesday, March 22, 2011

choosing us.

we live in a fast-paced world.  we're plugged in, connected, anxiously engaged, and forever marking off a to-do list that never seems to end. 

a little snapshot of my daily to-do list routine

to a certain extent, my ability to manage all of this at once, to varying daily degrees of success, makes me feel like i can take on almost anything. it's not hubris or a great sense of my own superpowers, but more a belief, demonstrated by results, that we can handle all that we are given when we need to.

but i also am coming to believe that there are times and seasons when the other choices are more important to make--the choices not to work as much, the choice to invest in more important things.

over the past few days, i have had to make some decisions about my workload after the baby comes.  this means that i have turned down a few classes during summer so that i can spend more time at home with Baby Girl. this might not seem like a big deal to anyone else, but two things that are important to know: a) i rarely turn down classes, as i consider them to be blessings and i don't want to burn any bridges and b) i am the primary income earner for our family.  i am working enough for us to be fine, but i am making choices that are more about Baby Girl and me than about the bottom line and doing things the way i've always done it.

that impulse to balance, to choose differently based on different circumstances, is new for me.  i am the one who taught 8 classes in one semester while in my first trimester of pregnancy--i am a little bit nuts.  i can't say that it was an easy choice, but i also can't say it was hard. i think it was just...different. 

it occurred to me, as i was pondering about what to do and asking my husband, that it was a choice of health and well-being for everyone rather than just a financial one.  that hasn't be the case thus far in my employment decisions, and it was a strange moment to realize that i was choosing ME (and our family, to the degree to which i need to be healthy and able to care for our Baby Girl well, in all the ways that my body will be asked to do so).

but sometimes, you just have to make the new choice, the choice that seems less familiar but more wise, even if it seems foreign to your experience.

it doesn't have to be maternity leave that governs these choices. what do you have in your life that you continue to say "yes" to that might, actually, be forcing you to say "no" to yourself? are you overextending yourself at work? are you taking on too much with friends and family, negating the need for a little bit of you time? are you choosing yourself enough?

sometimes, we need to shake up our to-do list.  when's the last time you put yourself at the top?

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