Thursday, September 11, 2014


My sweet friend Kelly prompted this post, so thanks Kelly!! Here is a post she wrote on my Facebook page a few weeks ago.

First of all, it was so humbling reading this.  In my mind, I am a complete hot mess that has nothing together.  Thank you for your sweet words my friend.  I sincerely thank you for they meant more than you will ever know!

In that post, she suggested I write a post on how I balance it all.  Well, my friends, get ready for a good laugh!  

I am not an organized person.  I am the epitome of a Pisces with my head always in the clouds.  I am very much a dreamer.  I tend to be a jack of all trades and master to none because my attention span usually doesn't stick with one thing too long.  However, when I truly invest in something, I invest my heart, head, and soul and completely immerse myself into it.  Nothing will go amiss in a project that I am truly vested in.  As a matter of fact, as my husband has pointed out time and time again, I almost tend to get tunnel visioned on things when I invest myself into it.

So, for me, I don't think I balance things that well at all.  I do have a trick though.  My trick will not work for everyone, but it works for me.  I know it works because I could look each and every one of you in the eyes right now and tell you that I am truly and soulfully happy with myself and my life right down to my toes!  I am genuinely at peace, and I am so blessed to be here.  What is my trick? Prioritization.  

There are things in life that I can spend my time on and those things make me happier.  They are fulfilling.  They make my soul soar.  Then, there are things I spend my time on and they don't really do that much for me.  They aren't bad, per se, but they aren't making me feel any fulfillment whatsoever.  These are the things in my life that need prioritization.  

Before I get into how I prioritize my life, I think it's important to talk about how I figured out what really adds to me as a person and what doesn't.  I learned it the hard way.  I, for some dang reason, HAVE to learn EVERYTHING the hard way.  It takes a lot to get my attention...  I also had to learn one very, VERY important lesson about life.  That lesson is that you only have so much of yourself to give and if you want to give more to something, it is inevitably going to take away from something else.  For example, if you want to start a blog, you need to first decide what current part of your life is going to get less attention because of that blog and you need to be at peace with giving that up!  So many people think they can add something in without taking something away.  It just doesn't work like that.  Once again...I learned that the hard way.  

So, after many mistakes, here is how I currently prioritize my life...for now. 
  1. Me - I am important.  If I don't take care of me and make sure that my needs are taken care of, then everything (AND I MEAN EVERYTHING) else in my life suffers.  I have gotten to know Jamie pretty well.  I need sleep.  I am not a "rally on 4 hours of sleep" type of person.  I need to wake up and get going or else I will dally all day.  I need to eat.  It's pretty simple, or so it would seem, but for so long I put my needs off until last.  I realize though that making sure I get enough sleep might take away from other things like watching a show I love, or hanging out late with friends.  I realize that, and I need to realize what those choices cost me.
  2. Mark and Benny - This should be obvious.  Your husband and your children should be pretty dang high on your list of priorities, but I know that I learned the husband part the hard way. My career used to take precidence over all.  I used to prioritize my career over everything, including Mark.  If you don't know, Mark and I almost divorced a few yeas ago.  I don't mean we were fighting and said it, I mean we literally separated and got right down to what would have been our final court date.  I told you I learn things the hard way.  Mark and I were having serious issues and I thought they were all his fault.  Just a word of advice from someone that's been there.  If your marriage is struggling, it's BOTH of you that are at fault in some way.  It is very seldom that a failing relationship is just one person's fault.  Look to yourself to find the answers instead of focusing on what your partner is doing wrong.  Today, I ALWAYS make sure I have time for my husband and my son.  I will put off just about anything to spend quality time with them.  I need time with both of them together, and each of them separately as well. They make me a better person.  By feeding into them, I gain so much in me.  But, guess what? To gain something you have to give something up, right?  Sometimes I miss out on fun things with friends to spend time with my husband and son.  Sometimes, ok a lot of the time, I put off laundry and dishes.  Sometimes we eat peanut butter and jelly for dinner.  A lot of times, my house is a mess.'s the thing about that.  My life is better because I prioritize them above other things.  I am happier.  I have tried spending time every day keeping up on all my housework to constantly have a spotless home.  I end up sitting in a clean house and realizing that I haven't read a single book to Ben that week.  I have all my laundry clean and folded and put away, but realize that I haven't had a conversation with my husband in two days. Granted, you can't let all your housework completely get away from you, but I am more than comfortable at 34 years old having a somewhat messy house in which I hang out with my family in.   
  3. Career - It's number 3 for a reason.  My career is important.  I am the breadwinner in my little family, and will be for at least the next few years.  I have worked extremely hard to get where I am right now.  I have an amazing job working for Verizon Wireless as a Sr. Marketing Analyst supporting Training.  My job challenges me daily and I love it.  I have been with my company for 15 years, and I don't plan on going anywhere anytime soon.  So, if I don't want to be forced to go anywhere anytime soon, this will stay a priority even if it has scooted down from the number 1 spot.  I love my job and my team, and I am a lucky girl.  They have seen me through many title changes and paid for every bit of schooling I have had resulting in me having a Master's Degree in Teaching and Learning with Technology.  Once again, this sometimes means giving things up.  This means that sometimes I miss important events.  Sometimes it means that I don't get to do everything i'd like to.  This is one of those priorities that is necessary to support my #2 priority - Benny and Mark.  I would love to be a stay at home wife and mama, but that's just not in the cards right now.  
    My Partner in Crime at work - Liz!
  4. Framily - I am so blessed to have so many people in my life whom I love and love me back! They are so important to me and I know I am important to them as well.  It's hard to carve out time, but I have to do it to make sure those relationships stay in tact.  I am very picky here though, because my time is so valuable.  The older I get, the more I realize that I need to be pickier and pickier about who I spend my time with.  Are they adding to my life?  Are they helping me to be a better person?  If neither of those answers are a yes, then I have the hard decision of reevaluating those people.  It sounds so mean and so harsh, but for me I am just no longer willing to give up time with those who add to my life for those that leave me feeling empty.  I'm still working on this one...
  5. Writing/Projects - I love to write.  I love my blog and I love my Down syndrome diary project. These things are a passion for me.  They keep me feeling inspired and creative, and they are my number one outlet for relieving the stress that is associated with being a Mama to a child with special needs.  I have made so many friends in this past year that I met solely though my blogging and my social media projects.  Kelly, who inspired this post, is one of them.  We live hours away from each other but have already connected through our shared understanding of one another's situation.  People who get you are a beautiful thing.  Advocacy is a beautiful thing.  These people i've met and the projects we have created add to my peace in way I don't think I can describe.  It is my coping mechanism, my outlet.  

You see, my friends, I suck at balance.  There is never a great balance for me, but there are my priorities.  Even though my house will get messy, and I will be late for birthday parties, I know that I will always have a smile on my face if I keep these top 5 things in check.  I'm not always great at it.  I stumble, I fall, but I always get back up.  I have weeks where I sleep in too late, and I have others where peanut butter and jelly is on our menu way too many times, but there is an infinite peace in knowing yourself enough to understand what truly works for you in this lifetime.  I have it figured out pretty well right now, but it could change tomorrow.  Until then, i'm just going to keep doing my best.  

I challenge you to think about your own priorities.  What are your top 5?  What do you have to give up for each of them to stay on top?  It's really liberating when you figure that out. :)

So what's the trick to balancing it all?  In my opinion, the trick is that it is impossible.  You just can't balance it ALL.  What you can do is figure out what is truly important to you, what truly makes you happy, and focus on those things.  As my best friend/sister Ramie always tells me, it will all just work out.


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Would love to hear your thought, comments, advice, or emotional outbursts!

-xoxo Jamie