The first time I visited Debra’s blog it was love at first read. Whether it is her “Immortal Monday” series, which is right up my fantasy nerd heart’s ally, or one of her many inspirational posts, I always know that I am going to find something enjoyable. I was absolutely thrilled when she agreed to write something up for me and, let me tell you, it is a good one. Take it away Debra!
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It’s a real pleasure to be here at the home of the sexy nerd, Jessica O’Neal. I want to be cool like her – shooting arrows with deadly accuracy. But that’s not why I accepted this gig. Anyone who knows Jessica knows what a fabulous, kind and true individual she is. That’s why I am here today!
Jessica has left the door wide open for me to discuss anything as long as it fits with her blog. That could be very dangerous, but I think I can keep myself in check.
Today, as I stood on the mid-way up the stairs, staring off into my living room at the splendor of my big beautiful Christmas tree –– YES, I know. It’s nearly the end of January and it’s still standing. Shame on me! But before any of you start looking at me funny, this leads me to my topic for today’s guest post – priorities.
The Tree Takes a Backseat
I held my coffee cup in hand and placed the box neatly beside the tree ready to collect all the ornaments so that the tree may be put away and stored until we do it all over again next year. My husband walks by and raises a brow, “Really, I thought we were just going to leave it up until next year and save ourselves the hassle?”
The man is a gem. He puts up with so much when it comes to our house. I’m a Type A personality. Translation — I go a little crazy when things are out of order or get a little messy. Well… I have had to do a little readjusting to that way of thinking or I would never get anything written – like EVER! I could seriously spend my entire day picking up after my kids, but where’s the fun in that?
Before the WIP I was always cleaning, organizing and spritzing. That was my typical day. But since I have made a full commitment to my manuscript, all hell has broken loose in the homestead. It has become a year of adjustment, as we all learned as a family what worked and what didn’t. The key lesson? That I needed to prioritize differently than I used to. And high on the list needed to be the really important things. The things that we sometimes take for granted – like time out with the kids or the husband. It seems obvious when you read or hear it, but living it is a different story. Life is funny that way. And so, when I started removing the ornaments that night and was then asked by my husband to join him for some television time, you can bet I did. The tree still stands.
Can I work on the tree while the kids are at school? You bet I can. But is that really more important than my workout or my writing? Again, it’s all a matter of priorities. I don’t care if the neighborhood thinks we’re crazy because our tree is still up. They probably think we’re a little crazy anyway. I am taking care of my most important needs first. My family and my (mental and physical) health come before the décor of my home. The holiday decorations… well, they are relegated to the back – the backseat, as my father always said.
I’m very capable of having the tree and all other Christmas decorations neatly put away by now. But I think you’re getting the picture. It hasn’t been the priority yet. Since joining the world of social media, I have opened myself up to many new things that fill my plate. And I am eternally grateful for all of it! I LOVE all the people I have met and the conversations we have. Sure, it cuts into my already short days, but that just means I need to keep my priorities in line even more. This is a good thing.
It’s been months since this weird pressure cooker living started in my home. My brain is feeling a little like a slurpee. Everything could be easily stiffened out with a straw, if you could only get that straw through my thick skull. Trying to do everything contributed to its rapid deterioration. But setting my sights on the most important things to me and dealing with the other items in small doses have helped me get back in control. So far, so good.
I used to be a serious list person. I made a list for everything. Somewhere along the line I lost my way. I didn’t want to take the time to make the list, so I chanced it and started going without. As a result I’d go shopping and forget small items. What does that get me – another trip to the store – more time wasted than it would have taken to make a list in the first place. Lesson learned – prioritize! Make lists.
Now I make a daily reminder list. I’ll remind myself that I am not my protagonist and I can not take on the world in the same manner. I will be forced to check off that my bra is on underneath my shirt and not over it. I’ll make sure I put the milk away in the refrigerator and not the pantry. These are all good places to start.
And when Christmas rolls around next year, I will likely have started a new tradition of celebrating all holidays in December because none of the decorations were put away throughout the year. That’s right. We’ll be trendsetters. And when Christmas rolls around, the tree will already be up!
How about you? How are you prioritizing? How have your priorities affected the home and family?
Big thanks to Jessica for having me over. I hope everyone enjoyed my post. (Waving) Bye all!
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I want to say a huge thank you to Debra for writing this post. This is something that I for one need to be reminded of constantly. I am not always the best at sticking to the priorities I set for myself.
Debra Kristi lives with her two kids, husband, and a Green Tree Frog names Darth. She is currently working on her first upper young adult fantasy trilogy. You can connect with her through her blog and twitter.