Staying Sane Amongst the Chaos
Do you sometimes feel like you are engulfed in a circle of frenzy? I know I do!!! I have 4 kids, ages 16, almost 18, 23 and 25. My 16 year old and my 23 year old live with us. My oldest is married and my soon-to-be 18 year old lives with his dad (my ex-husband). My husband and I are very active in our church, particularly the youth ministry. I have 2 grandsons who are 2 and almost 6 weeks old. We have a dog; a black lab to be exact who is a big, black baby. I work part time as a bookkeeper, just started my virtual assistant business, write for two other sites, help coordinate an annual youth event called The Chosen Youth Conference, and help coordinate a Christian music festival called The Big Ticket. My husband is a meteorologist at the National Weather Center and works a rotating shift, full time. Can you relate? I bet you could fill in different things, but the picture would still be the same – craziness!
You might be thinking (and I don’t blame you) “How can she give me any advice?” Well I can’t say I do any of it perfectly, that’s for sure. So, if you’re a perfectionist, this post probably isn’t for you. Or maybe it is and somethings telling you to let go of some of your perfectionism (wink-wink).
So, how do I juggle it all? Prioritize! Yep, you guessed it (I knew you would-I had no doubt!). Just how does one go about setting priorities in this crazy life? You have to figure out what’s most important and do that first! My husband and I are Christians and believe in God first, family second and career third. We believe (as God’s Word teaches) that when you put God’s kingdom first in your life – that is seeking His will for your life and living a life that glorifies Him – all the other things will fall in to place.
Putting God first doesn’t mean, putting CHURCH first. It means putting your relationship with God first and seeking Him first. My husband and I are active in our youth ministry, however, we are active only because that is where God desires us to be and has placed that desire on our hearts. (Whew, this is getting a little deeper than I intended!). We both have a heart for today’s youth and want to reach them before it’s too late. So, we put that first – God’s will for our lives.
Then I always make sure to have lots of family time with my kids. We go to my oldest daughter’s house and play board games, watch movies, eat pizza or make tacos, play with the grand kids, and hang out. We spend quality time together talking and going on small outings to the mall or one of my son-in-law’s concerts.
Last spring when I was laid off, I was able to start my virtual assistant business, and when I got called back to work, I opted to go part time because I wanted to be able to spend that precious time with my family, but also knew I needed time to promote and work my VA business. We sacrificed some money to do that, but my husband and I both feel it was the right thing to do. Priorities.
When working on things I’ve committed to, like writing a post for a blog, leading a group in a social networking site, or working on a project for a client, I think about what needs to be done first. Is there a deadline? Is there a time issue that needs to be met before another? Figure those things out first, write them down, or enter them in a calendar and do those first!
Speaking of calendars, I’m a one calendar girl! I like everything on one calendar so hubby and I use Google Calendar. It is so easy to use and share! We both enter our work schedules, any meetings, youth group, kids stuff like choir concerts, school plays, soccer games, ski meets, birthdays, anniversaries, doctor’s appointments; if it has a time, or even a day, it goes on the calendar. That way we know what the heck is going on! LOL. Does it work perfectly? No, we miss something or forget to put something on the calendar once in a while, but it works pretty darn good almost all of the time!
You’re probably thinking, “What about house work? She hasn’t mentioned housework yet. I bet her house is a mess!” Ha. It’s not spotless that’s for sure, and I need to dust. (I hate dusting, just so ya know!) My hubs is GREAT at keeping up with the dishes and really helps me out a lot. His rotating shift makes it possible for him to be home at weird times sometimes so he does stuff like dishes, vacuuming (oh the black dog hair) and laundry. He does a good job too! (I’m so blessed!) And since I have a 16 and 23 year old living with me, they do stuff to keep the house up too. Could it be better? OF COURSE! Do I worry about it? Nope. It’s not on the top of my priority list. If it is on yours though, make a schedule. Write your priorities down, from most important to least important. Get a calendar, one that is easily accessible for you and your spouse (if applicable) and put all your appointments, work schedules (including working at home!), and other dates on it. Refer to it often and adjust where necessary. You may find something you thought was important, isn’t so important now. Who knows.
If your life is engulfed by chaos, it’s time to put a stop to it! A few simple steps of prioritizing and you will find yourself living in a much calmer state.