Getting my priorities right has always been hit or miss. I have never been very big on order and for a long time this worked for me, I managed to get things done and convinced myself that I was better at doing things last minute as this somehow produced the best results for me. I was operating from a place of limited knowledge as I had never given planning and its associated benefits such as having extra time left to perfect projects a chance. As responsibilities in life increase so too does the need to organise, staying on top of bills, work, assignments, keeping relationships going and looking right all require planning. The most important resource, time, being unreplenishable is the most precious resource of them all so use it thoughtfully.
When my first child was born, I was so stuck on getting everything right for him and being his only source of everything which led to my chaotic world becoming even more chaotic. I had a team of helpers that were for a while redundant because of my stubbornness. One afternoon as I wandered into the living room still in my pyjamas, hungry, exhausted and on the verge of tears, my mother offered me breakfast, but I declined as baby comes first and I was sure he needed another feed. My darling sweet as pie mother replied, ‘how are you going to feed the child when you are dead?’ Extreme but fair. Normally this would have sparked an argument but I could only muster a shadow of a smile, defeated chuckle and accept the food. As I ate the baby lay happily in grandma’s arms, the two of them were so lost in their bonding session that I was able to sneak away get clean and put myself together, and learn the lesson that prioritising my basic needs was necessary for me to be there for the little person I had brought into this world. In taking care of me I was also allowing someone else to help and develop a relationship, bonus and I woke up to the fact that mum was not going to be around forever so something needed to change.
Bringing a child up away from extended family is tough, being from an African family where normally the village that is needed to raise the child is readily available, be they hired or not, adopting a routine for mother and child did not come naturally but it came because it had to. When prioritising it may be necessary to delegate and assign tasks to others where possible and that is ok it does not take anything away from you. Sometimes we want to do everything to prove how strong or capable we are, there is strength in admitting weaknesses and the need for support. I appreciate that there are circumstances in which we are truly alone in this regard I would say do what’s most important first but remember what’s most important may not be what you think is most urgent. Identifying what is important to us and acknowledging that matters of importance are as unique as we are starts with considering your values and beliefs. Rather than being constraining mapping or planning (and writing it out) our life’s and goals frees not only mentally but it creates more time and space for other things too. Once you have a plan commit to it, but make changes as needed no process starts off perfect. Committing to a process brings with it focus and improved quality when you know you have a limited amount of time to do something you make the best of it.
A perfectly timed one-liner from someone who cared changed an aspect of my life for the better, imagine what a quick call to check in and let someone know you care can do for their life, all it takes is making the time.