‘Tis the season to be stressed and overwhelmed.

As much as I love the holidays, I tend to feel buried in obligations and lists instead of feeling carefree and joyful. If I had my way, I’d throw a party and invite all my friends and that would be our gift to each other- being together. Because who needs more stuff? Sure, I like stuff as much as the next person but I treasure TIME with the people I love. Time seems so fleeting and precious. A long, long time ago (okay 4 years) I threw a Friendship Feast and invited my nears and dears. It was the best Christmas celebration I can recall even though they totally broke the no gifts rule and bought me the computer I am using to type this blog post. It’s harder nowadays to throw such a Feast with many of my friends spread across the States (and beyond).But if I had my way, we’d all be together in one room laughing and toasting to the love between us, to our pasts that shaped us and our bright futures ripe with possibility. We’d be together. Simple as that.

Meanwhile in reality land my time seems usurped by meetings and work and more work. I’ve let working out take a back burner and can’t seem to find my mojo (help?). The weather isn’t helping- gloomy gray skies and the darkness blanketing us by 4:30pm. Why can’t I jump back into my work outs when I KNOW that they are the one thing that can help me survive the winter blues? Will someone please kick my ass (lovingly)? I’ve been trying to motivate myself but it’s turning into self-flagellation and we’re getting nowhere quick.

Prioritize what’s important to you.

I keep saying this to myself  because I say I want to be doing certain things and yet my time seems monopolized by everything but the things on my priority list. What gives with that? If I had my way I’d work less, work  out more, and spend more time with loved ones. Why is balancing life such a challenge? How do you do it?

24 thoughts on “Priorities

  1. It’s a big fat royal pain to learn we can’t do it all. Sometimes, prioritizing means cutting out things we want to do but just can’t. And sometimes it means doing a number of things we want to do, but not doing as much of each as we’d like. I wish I had the magical answer to give you … but, I think it’s different for each of us.

  2. YES! I agree 100% on having a friends party and having that be the present. Because there is NO better present.

    No one gets the balancing part right 100% of the time. Sometimes life just gets crazy. It also settles down again eventually. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Soon enough, you’ll have a normal routine back.

  3. I want to have a party with all our friends too. But I’m pretty sure we’d have to break the space-time continuum to make it happen.

  4. I’m personally working on really setting boundaries for those who suck my time and energy. I did it this past weekend and suddenly had time to do things for me. I was surprised to discover that I haven’t really worked on a knitting project in three years and now I have three different ones going. I don’t know how I will find the balance but I do know that I’m not willing to give up these little things anymore.

  5. I still cannot believe that was 4 years ago!

    It’s your busy work time…so it is hard to fit in the fun or needed activities (or lack of :)). But I have found that I just don’t do as much social stuff in order to make time to work out or spend the day walking/doing nothing.

    Small sacrifices.


  6. I love the idea of a big ol’ get together with lots of sitting and chatting and enjoying everyone’s company. Hanging out is so much more fun than fighting crowds and worrying about whether your gift is good enough.

    As far as priorities, I wish I could help you balance but I suck at it too. Such is the life of having to earn a living I guess. 🙂

  7. I have said it before and I’ll say it again… I hate this time of year for all the same reasons you listed. What I didn’t think about was the friends and family part. Thanks for the reminder. 🙂

  8. Yes, quality time with family and friends is truly the best gift of all.

    I cram all my quality time with family and friends into my 2-3 weeks of vacation when I fly back home to see everyone. Therefore, I don’t really know what vacation is, because the time with my family is rarely relaxing, but still the best time to be had.

  9. I can’t speak to the busyness issues…I just am not a busy gal, myself! My family is far away, my husband and I work similar schedules so we always have ample time together, and my job is a 40 hour week Mon – Fri…because being an admin is easy much of the time. (But we make less than most of the world does, so it’s a give and take kind of thing.)

    As for the exercise, I’ve had to switch things up for myself. I belong to a gym, and I used to go in the mornings because (a) it’s cooler in the gym in the morning, (b) there are about 10 other people there instead of 150, and (c) it’s easiest for me to start my day off with the workout, rather than find way to plop it someplace in the middle or the end. But I lost my will to get up and go. And after about, oh, twelve months of me not getting my as in there regularly anymore, I finally thought to myself, “Hm…maybe this isn’t working.” So I bring my workout clothes to work with me now, and I change just before I head out the door. Then I head straight to the gym (except when I have to drop off my carpool…then I go right after that), and I allow myself at least 20 – 25 minutes on a recumbant bike (hill program at level 5) while I read my latest Sookie Stackhouse book. That makes it a treat for me. And I either start with 20 minutes on an elliptical, or end with 20 minutes on the treadmill. I figure I’m getting at least 40 minutes of cardio a good 3 – 4 times per week, and I’m being good to myself on many levels in that regard. I get home at about 6:45, I eat dinner, then I shower, and I relax with Leo. It’s working out so far! Can you switch things up in a similar way, maybe?

  10. I would love to do a big dinner like that with friends.

    I have a hard time prioritizing too. I kind of just have to make a schedule and make myself stick to it. I write weekly workout reports, not because I think anyone cares, but because it holds me accountable, and it feels good to look bad and know that I did something.

    Can you sneak in a workout during your lunch break?

  11. I would take time over gifts any day of the week. I totally agree it is priceless and so fleeting in our busy, bustley lives.

    I got the 30-Day Shred with Jillian Michaels on Amazon for about $7 bucks and it adds a nice break in the routine. Plus she is totally mean and it works for some reason. My friend lost 17 lbs so far just doing it. Might help on the days when you don’t have tons of time and the skies are gray? Good luck.

  12. The lovely thing I am doing for myself this year is enjoying exactly what *I* want to rather than feel obligated to everyone else’s agenda. The holiday season is supposed to be peaceful yet we let it get out of hand way too often.

  13. Yes! Every year a group of my friends has a ‘Chosen Family Holiday Dinner.’ It’s the best time. There is a no gift rule and everyone brings a dish so there isn’t a lot of stress for the hostess.

    Also, if you find your workout motivation let me know if mine is lurking somewhere near 🙂

  14. mmmmkay. I haven’t been reading this blog for too long, but my take is that even if you threw a party for your friends where everyone would just celebrate, no gifts, that you would still go way beyond to make things perfect, perfect perfect.

    Although, I do agree with you, that the holidays mean so much more, my dad and stepmother are awesome examples of what I think you are getting at. Each year we do a party with no gifts, but a bunch of food (nothing even too crazy, we’re talking meat and cheese and veggie platters here), and we have the most amazing time ever. Lots of liquor is usually involved, I do admit. It makes everyone feel good because we don’t have money for xmas gifts, so no one spends a cent, even on the little kiddies. Most brilliant xmas time ever! Dance parties to Christmas tunes and whatnot. Love it! May your holidays be merry and bright! I think they will be.

  15. well you know, if you name the date to have another friendship feast my ass would be there in a heartbeat (well my entire body not just my ass, i would not do that to you).
    miss yah

  16. I’m convinced there is no way to balance it all. It’s too hard. Even when I was unemployed and freelancing, it was hard to do everything I needed to do.

    I love your Friend Feast idea. It’s so true that none of us needs more “stuff” we really just need more time together.

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