Tuesday, September 27, 2011

You can't have it all

I wish I had a dollar for every time someone has said to me: I don't know how you manage to fit in all that training, or words to that effect. They comment that they just don't have the time, or that they "can't" get up early, or that they're simply too tired after their busy day.

I always tell them that it's just a matter of priorities. That if something is important enough to you, you'll find a way to fit it in. They shake their heads or pull a face and wander off, back to their desk to read a magazine in their lunch break, or home to spend two hours sitting on the couch watching TV.

Of course it isn't as simple as saying: This is important, and then suddenly having extra hours appear in your day. (But that would be great, wouldn't it?) No, the thing with prioritising tasks is that some of the less important ones usually end up not getting done at all. For me, it's a matter of choosing the things I must do; those that I should do; and those that won't stress me out if they don't get done.

That usually means that my house is a lot less clean and tidy than I'd like it to be, but I've learned to live with it. I also conscript the kids to do some basic housework and since they were quite young, they've had to be responsible for things like making their own school lunches. I've always worked, and I'm not their slave...

The way I try to weigh things up is to ask myself: If I was on my death bed, looking back at my life, would I be wishing that I'd spent more time doing  < insert task here > When it comes to housework, I can honestly say Nope. 

Yes, it's a cliche, but it works well for me. My personal priorities are Family; Health (and that includes fitness, nutrition & sleep); Financial security; and I'm not sure what to call this one, but taking time for recreation, relaxation and just chilling. Anything outside those parameters that I manage to fit into my days is a bonus.

I'm curious about how other people decide what has to be done and what can just be ignored... What are your priorities?

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9 comments:

Sara said...

Well, you have SEEN MY HOUSE... so... Most people spend hours in front of TV every night and don't count that as wasted time..

Kek said...

You mean they're JUST watching TV? Not answering emails, folding washing, mentally writing an article & cooking the next night's dinner at the same time?

Magda said...

Kek, I wish I could write something deeply profound and enlightening that shows what an amazing and individual creature I am but I laugh as I consider us almost twins on this issue. Family is my first priority and I will always try to accommodate my son's needs before mine. Health and fitness is also a non negotiable as is the "me-time" (even if its less than what I'd consider ideal).

I've mastered the art of speed cleaning which gets the dusting, wet areas and kitchen done in under an hour. Peter does the floors. It gets the house looking acceptable and that'll do me on a lot of weekends.

Kek said...

It's funny, Magda - I've had recent conversations with a whole lot of women who insist that they MUST have a perfectly clean house. Often at the expense of sleep and/or any time for themselves.

:/

Debstar said...

Recreation and relaxation is known as "me" time. I have a lot of time for it and very little time for housework.

Kek said...

OK then...after this in-depth poll, I can determine that those women I've been speaking to are clearly insane.

;)

Magda said...

They sure are (insane). A perfectly clean house would be lovely ... if somebody came and made it so. But to give up my precious weekend after a full on week at work, NEVER!!! As long as I tackle those major areas, I'm happy if dust collects behind the furniture and rooms that dont get used have their doors closed LOL.

kathrynoh said...

When my son was younger, I was working full time and studying. Something had to give so I got a housecleaner in once a week.

My god, I got so much flak for that! Too lazy to do my own housework... but it is a matter of priorities. I wanted to spend the free time I had doing things with my son, not cleaning the house.

Btw most of the people making the "lazy" comments were blokes who's wives did all the housework anyway.

Kek said...

Yep, we had a cleaner for quite a while too, Kathryn. Both working full time, husband playing in a band 2-3 nights a week, a 7YO and a 2YO, and THEN I was pregnant again...

I used to get some negative comments too. Didn't bother me. ;) I loved coming home to a sparkling house on Fridays.

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