36 full years and a cancer diagnosis to figure this out – 36 years is far too long, I’m learning from my mistakes.
“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities”
– Stephen Covey
It’s time to put myself first – not because I’m being selfish, but because I’m worth it. I think that was always my problem, I thought I was being selfish if I put myself first. One of my friends continually reminds me, “it’s no longer about them, it’s about you…” Even after the diagnosis, I was more worried about how to make others “okay” with my newfound reality – ovarian cancer – instead of making sure I was okay with what was actually happening. Maybe it was my defense mode kicking in, so I didn’t think about it.
I was a “yes” person – I’d say “yes” to everything, schedule myself so thin doing things I’m not even sure I wanted to be doing, but I did them. What I’ve found, is that it’s time to make myself a priority and with everything I have on my plate, I have to re-evaluate the manner in which I schedule my time – my priorities now come first. My priorities at this point in time are fairly simple – my time is allocated to what needs to be handled and the things that give me joy – my children and my health are top of the list. By saying “no”, it’s not a negative, it’s merely me saying “I’m sorry, I can’t make that work.” My body only has so much energy to go around, everyone’s does, and I want to make sure I use it in the best way possible for me.
“Balance isn’t fitting everything in. It’s starting with what’s important and letting the rest fall as it will”
– Erica Layne
So how do I spend my time, and how do I prioritize the things that are important to you – here’s a little peak:
My health – obviously, this come first and foremost at this point in time. This is not only things related directly to what was my illness (or is, I’m still on the fence about how to say this), but indirectly as well. Making sure my body is in the best possible condition it can be in, is key (it should be for anyone!) – for me, this is spinning, yoga and building/defining key muscle groups. These three things allow for me to be able to enjoy the other things I want to do. Fueling my body with the right nutrients – you’ll see more of the cooking and things starting in February – I’m still a work in progress when it comes to this part, but I’m making changes for the better, replacing the not great things, with foods that actually help to ward off cancer cells. Mental health is key too – this is where my yoga practice comes in, I need this hour to focus only on me and drown out everything else around me.
My children – Olivia and Jaxson have always come first, probably to a point that it could be considered a flaw, because I’ve pushed things aside for myself to focus on them. This is my choice, they’re only young for so long and before I know it they’ll be grown and out of the house. They need me right now – the past 3 years have been a TON of change for all of us – where more things have happened than any person should have to go through, let alone a tiny human. I can guarantee you, if they have something and I’m asked to do something else, 99 times out of 100, I’m going to tell you “I’m sorry, I can’t make that work, but thank you for asking.”
My Joys – It’s been so long since I’ve actually done what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it, that I’m probably making up for lost time. I stopped doing things that made me smile and feel good, simply because I let other things get in the way – whether this be people, work or life. Yes, you see me traveling frequently as of late – I LOVE to travel. You’re going to see me snow skiing more than once this season! You’re going to see me doing epic hikes more than once this year! You’re going to see me meeting up with my gal pals OFTEN (understatement)! And if I’m in an area where a friend(s) might be, I’ll reach out and try to get together — however, if I have the children with me, see above. Right now, my focus is on them when they’re with me – I couldn’t do much with them last year without help. Right now, they need to know that their mom is okay – WE need to have times to look back on and smile. It’s been so long since I’ve actually let myself breathe and enjoy life, they way we should. I’m also going to start reading more, I LOVE to read – my goal is 1-2 books a month, I will be posting reviews on those which I feel can benefit everyone.
I’d love to say “yes” to everything I get asked to do. I’d love to make time to see everyone. But it’s just not possible. Right now, my extra time, outside of the things listed above, is going to things ovarian cancer related – building a community, raising awareness and funds. Right now, it’s time I put myself first, for once. It’s time for the “fixer” inside of me to take a backseat – I need to take care of me. Maybe it’s your time to focus on you too – make yourself a priority, try saying “no” and prioritizing what’s important to you, not what’s on your schedule.