Thursday, January 15, 2009

on being present

Today I'm going to share with you a little more about juggling, but mainly in how it relates to the concept of being present. At first this concept may seem as if it's in opposition to juggling, but I really think it's key.

The temptation when juggling many things is to try to multitask, but I feel that multitasking really leads to feelings of failure. In fact, as I write this post I am multitasking. I'm typing this post and nursing Aiden. But because I'm doing two things at once, I'm not truly present to either one. Therefore, I don't feel as successful at either task as I would if I were to do each task separately.

If I was completely present writing this post, it would probably be more articulate and get my point across better, not to mention the fact that I could probably write it faster. If I were truly present in nursing Aiden, it would add to the amount of quality time spent with him, and it also wouldn't hurt the way it does right now (since I'm twisting to reach the keyboard as he nurses - ouch!).

I came across the concept of being present on another blog (I would link to it, but I can't remember whose blog it was), and it really struck a chord with me. She said that she is trying to truly be present to whatever task she is working on. That really hit me; I'm almost never present at any task. At any given time, I'm doing at least two things at once - nursing Aiden and looking at the computer, reading and watching a movie with the kids, sitting at school and making lists of chores to do later, etc.

Obviously I'm still not good at being present (as evidenced by my prior confession), but it is a concept I'm working on. I really think it will lead me to not only feel more successful at my juggling act but to be more successful at it.

Is this concept new to you? What do you think?

on juggling

I've been thinking about this post since Monday when I started back to school. As many of you know, this is my first semester of the nursing program at UT Tyler.

I want to share some of my thoughts on juggling. I know this is a concern that most women share, and probably most men, although I think men probably spend less time thinking/worrying about it. Now that I'm actually in the intensive part of my nursing education, I find myself worrying even more about how I will "get it all done".

How am I going to balance being a student with being a mom, wife, etc? Here are the areas of my life which I really focus on:
  1. being a wife
  2. being a mom
  3. being a student
  4. going to church
  5. time spent on myself
I would also like to add volunteer work and daily exercise to the list.

Right now, I feel like I'm not reaching my potential in any of these areas.

I don't spend much quality time (or time at all) with Aaron (mostly due to our schedules, but also due to other factors). I don't feel like I spend enough quality time with my children - time that is focused on them and what they want to do. My apartment is a wreck. I don't consider it dirty (except maybe the kitchen), but it is definitely messy. My house is not giving me warm hugs as FlyLady would put it.

Last semester I was not a good student; I was an adequate one. Now that I'm really learning things that could later mean the difference between life and death I have to buckle down and do more than "just pass".

I haven't truly made God a priority in my life yet. I go to RCIA every week, but it's hit or miss if I go to Mass. I'm not spending enough dedicated time in prayer.

I probably spend too much time on myself, but it's not spent doing things that really matter to me. Instead, I waste most of it fiddling around on the internet looking for something to look at.

I really feel a call to volunteer in the pro-life movement, but I have yet to make this a true priority in my life. I never exercise.

So, how am I going to improve my juggling act? I think the keys are prioritizing and organization. I have to keep writing lists (I'm a huge list writer), but I also need to follow those lists. I need to waste less time doing fruitless things. And finally, I need to work on the concept of being present (which I'm going to blog about in my next post).

What areas are you juggling in your life? Do you feel successful?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

who I am

Happy 2009!

The last time I blogged (which, I am embarrassed to say, was over a month ago) I said that I would possibly share some excerpts from a letter I wrote to Aaron. Here you go:

First of all I am a strong, independent woman...

I am also rediscovering my faith in God and am working toward building a better relationship with Him. Right now my journey back to Christ is leading me to the Catholic Church...

Even if I decide not to pursue Catholicism, I firmly believe in Natural Family Planning. I no longer want to use artificial birth control methods...

I want more children. I believe it is our call to have as many children as we can feed, clothe, and educate...

I love my kids and place them as my number two priority. I lean toward an attachment parenting style and think it is best to nurse my children exclusively (when possible) and until they self-wean...[I should also add here that I meant exclusively the first year, and then let them self-wean once the first year has passed] I strive everyday to be a better parent...

I believe that I should be married. I believe that a marriage is the basis of a good family and must be continuously worked on for it to thrive. I believe a good marriage is attainable...

Obviously I have removed a great deal of the letter. I only felt comfortable sharing the parts of the letter that were about me. So that's that - a little insight into who I feel I am and am becoming.

Let me leave you with this: