As much as I hate the thought of it, life has gotten to a point where it seems that everything must be scheduled. My days go much more smoothly when I have a general plan already mapped out at the start of the day. I also have to schedule time for the things that are most important to me and the things that will throw my day off if they're not done. It's hard to do this when everything you do seems important to you. I've read articles that tell you to free up more time by removing nonessential tasks, activities, and even people. The fact that people would even be included in that advice always makes me sad but I won't go into the reasons why here.
My important things...
Scheduling times to work on my goals is something that I am pretty anal about. Things don't happen by sitting around thinking about it. You've got to make them happen through focused actions. I resent it sometimes because it can take so much time away from other things. But, I do it because I know it's really the only way to get my life the way I want it.
I've been a regular exerciser since 2004. While exercise is not my favorite activity, it's on my priority list because it's become a habit. I've found a way to work out that I can stick with and that's convenient. I have no excuse since all I have to do is pop a workout in the DVD player. Working out at 5:30 in the morning doesn't help me stay motivated but I push through it -- most days.
I've already written about my intense dislike for housework but it's still something I schedule. I blame this completely on my mom but I just can't function if I think my house is out of order. Keeping a clean and comfortable home is important to me. I'm not nearly as diligent about decluttering (I tend to be a bit of a book, magazine, and paper hoarder), dusting, and vacuuming but the overall cleanliness of our home is important enough to me that I dedicate at least an hour to it every day. It's a major time zapper but I can see no other way around it.
I love my family and I want to preserve it. My little one always takes priority. Unfortunately, sometimes my husband doesn't fare so well. Scheduling time with him often doesn't happen. Hmmm. So, does that mean he's not as important? It feels awkward saying that but maybe it's true. My husband may just be on the back burner while I prioritize other things. That's definitely something I should fix. Since we're two hours away, we do try to schedule time with his extended family and see them about twice a month. My family lives in Alaska so time with them is not as easy to schedule. I plan to visit every year but it actually happens every few years. As crazy as they make me when I get there, that's not nearly often enough.
I've done a really poor job of maintaining contact with my friends, especially the ones I had in high school. It's like I graduated and they didn't exist after that. I didn't attend my 10 or 15 year reunion and am still debating whether I should attend the 20 year reunion next year. I did have a few good friends so the fact that I didn't at least keep in touch with them bothers me. I think the reason I'm avoiding my reunions is because it will feel like walking into a room full of strangers.
I also made some wonderful friends in the military but lost touch with them and haven't seen or spoken to them in ages. I've done a much better job with former coworkers. I say former because it seems that I don't realize how much I liked them until after I leave the job. Although, I've lost touch with some of them, there are still a few that I talk to regularly and some I reach out to now and again. I'm off today and would love to enjoy my day just hanging out around the house with my little one and getting some writing done during nap time. But, a few of my former coworkers and I have been trying to schedule some time for lunch for months now. Since our schedules never seem to have a free moment. I'm driving to Atlanta to meet them at their workplace so we can have lunch. Even with the price of gas, it's a worthwhile sacrifice, I think.
I guess my job should be on my important list but it's simply not. It's a means to an end and it's a shame I spend 8 hours there and another two hours (including getting me and the baby dressed, packing lunch, etc...)solely dedicated to getting to and from it. I love my employer and the people I work with, but this is pretty good sign that I should find more meaningful work.