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Monday, March 29, 2010

Prioritizing from behind

I seem to be in a constant catch-up loop. Or at least that's what it feels like.

Last week, no wait, it was the week before, I was in Indianapolis for the ACFW board meeting. Wow... So many interesting things to come out of that meeting. It's going to be a great conference, and a lot of good things are in the works. But that's all I can say about that. :) However, it left me behind on a lot of stuff I needed to get done.

Last week... I played catch up from being gone for five days. In the middle of the week, we had a huge snowstorm and snow day. Which put a wrench into my plans, putting me further behind.

And then, I left Friday for our church's annual silent retreat. Which is such an important spiritual time for me that despite everything on my plate, I wasn't going to miss it. An entire weekend with no connection to the outside world, and a day and a half of complete silence. Bliss! But of course, not having the weekend to catch up has me... wait for it... further behind.

With all the stress of a to-do list longer than I even want to think about, I had to make some decisions about my time.

This morning, we moved critique group to my house at the last minute because I'd forgotten that this week, my kids are on Spring Break (yes, one more thing to keep me from catching up). As I apologized for my disgustingly messy house, lack of planning, and completely scattered everything, one of my critique partners said very sympathetically, "you could have canceled. We would have understood."

Yes, I could have canceled. But I realized, as I was forced to confront my available time and completely full list, that when I'm behind, I tend to cut the things I love to make room for the things I must do. I hate every minute of it, and I tend not to do as good of a job at those things because I resent pushing out the things I love. As I told my very understanding friend, I'm learning not to cut the things I love. Those are the things that give me the energy to keep going.

So today, I didn't cancel my critique group. I let them see my dirty house. I let them read my unedited manuscript. I let them find their own cups for coffee that one of my critique partners brought so I didn't have to make any. I laughed with friends. I found encouragement. And my tank was filled enough to deal with the rest of my day.

Did I get it all done? Nope. But I feel good about what I did. And I accomplished more than I'd originally thought I could. I'm still behind. But it's looking a lot closer to being caught up than I could have imagined because I kept room in my schedule for the love to do as well as have to do.


Diane Marie Shaw said...

So glad you also took the time tonight to come to the WFTJ meeting. Hoping that you will be catching up real soon.

Robbie Iobst said...

I love what you are saying here, Danica. We will always, always, always have a list. But moments with friends, moments of joy shared and joy captured, should never be crossed off just to make sure our list is complete. Responsibility is important. I've heard it defined as "responding rightly." And you did! You were responsible with taking care of your heart. SO great to see you last night, skinny minny! :0)

Danica Favorite said...

Thanks you guys... it was so good to see you two as well. You're both tremendous blessings in my life.

Danica Favorite said...

Thanks you guys... it was so good to see you two as well. You're both tremendous blessings in my life.