(Originally posted by L on Tiny Girl Eats at tinygirleats.wordpress.com)
It’s my turn to blog!
Hi readers! I’m going to join this little piece of the Internet and share some of my adventures that are likely similar to yours. I want to make this first post about the struggle I am facing trying to figure out my priorities and ACTUALLY prioritize them.
Short introduction: I am a law student, a student leader, an employee at a law firm, a dancer with a local company, a runner trying desperately to make time for a half marathon in a few weeks, and more importantly a daughter, a sister, and a long-distance girlfriend to a very intense U.S. Marine Corps Pilot. I’m sure my world is slightly different from yours but I know you can relate to the mass of roles we play in our lives … and that sometimes it’s hard to figure out which one is most important.
When I started my third year of law school there was a lot going on in life. Changes were happening for my family a few states away, the long-distance Pilot moved from California to a very close (and accessible in under 15 hours) North Carolina, and I am moving from just finding “experience” with my legal jobs to trying to find a “real” job. I know that last year I spent a lot of time and emotional energy on things that were not actually important – most of it stemming from school and classmates. I knew that starting this year I wanted to find out what was important to ME and focus on that. So, I tried to make a list.
– My health (eating right, exercising, sleeping enough)
– Being available to my family (even from 500 miles away)
– My Pilot
– My schoolwork and my involvement at school
Now, lets see how well I’ve done after four weeks of school: NOT GOOD. So, this post is going to serve a dual purpose. It is my introduction to you all and it’s my promise to myself that I’ll fix those priorities.
I struggle with priorities and putting myself first because I never, ever want to let someone down. I get sucked in when someone asks for a favor and, truthfully, being there for other people is what makes me feel the best. But I realized over the last few years that I was letting my “helping others” get in the way of my own well being and my own goals. I feel like this is a problem that a lot of people have, especially Type-A females. (Disclaimer: the discussion of men v. women will happen later, if it ever does. That does not mean that you won’t likely glean my feelings on the differences I see and experience between the two. I respect your views on this and if you want to talk about it, I’m in; so please also respect my views.)
Back to it: I was starting to make myself sick with guilt (read: not sleeping or eating well) when I told someone I couldn’t help him or her. I was losing my exercise time because I was stepping in to fill holes left by people who backed out of things last minute. I am not going to lie, I think a persons’ willingness to abandon a responsibility is the biggest indicator of their personality (or my less PC way to say it: failure as a human). However, it does not always fall to me to fix that personality defunct in others. I was starting to feel like my self-worth hinged on being around to fix the holes left by those people, and it’s not! Don’t let another person’s lifestyle drive yours. That is what I am trying to remind myself of every day.
I feel like I’m doing better at not feeling guilty for not always being able to fill the gap. I said “no” to a phone conversation that I didn’t have time to have with a person who definitely hasn’t earned the right to invade my free time. I am going to leave this post and go on a long run in my efforts to get to that half-marathon and then go grocery shopping so I have more than PB&J all week. I will do my schoolwork today to be ready to go for the week. And finally, my new promise for the week: I won’t say yes to any new responsibilities this week. I will finish what I’ve committed to for the week and keep reminding myself that I need to go to bed at 10:30 so I can wake up at 5:30 to get my run in every day.
So, what do you struggle with on the daily/weekly? Do you feel guilt when you have to say “no” to someone? Any suggestions on staying strong?
Thanks for reading and adios for now!
Promises of posts to come: how to eat and eat well when you have no time and little money, why long-distance relationships are a little selfish no matter how much you love them, packing lunch – ugh, and any of your requests!