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Setting priorities, one cranky fit at a time

We’re at home this weekend, after a few hectic weeks for both of us, and it feel so very nice…

I forget, when I’m stressed or busy or traveling, how much downtime matters to my overall mental health. And then I take some, and I remember. Today’s realization is that it isn’t about how much I get done or don’t get done, it’s about how many details I feel like I’m in charge of remembering and how much choice I feel like I have in what I choose to do or not do. When I’m hyper-scheduled, or trying to manage things for other people as well as myself, I feel like I’m out of choices and have too much to manage. When I can make choices about what I want to do, managing details for others isn’t as onerous. When I have to do a particular collection of things, the lack of choice isn’t bothersome if I know I’m doing it all for myself.

One or the other. I need choice, or I need self-priority. When I have neither, my life sucks and I’m really unpleasant to be around.

Today I had a bit of both. I slept for 12 hours (we’ll not discuss what time I got out of bed). I did an hour of yoga. The throw rugs are all in the washer, and I’m about to vacuum the kitchen floor. I cleaned out the freezer, and reorganized some of the frozen goods between our three frozen locations. There are banana nut muffins cooling on the counter, and containers of cooked bacon and sausage in the fridge to feed us for the week. I retrieved and sorted the mail, and dinner is halfway prepped. The sinks are empty and clean dishes are drying in the drainer. Once I’m done vacuuming, I’m going to put away the mountain of clean laundry in the bedroom, change the sheets, and sit down to mine through Sock Mountain until we both feel like we actually own socks. (Hint: WE DO.) Most of that was powered by Science Friday podcasts, so I learned some stuff while I was at it…

And mostly it just feels like a good productive Sunday, but it has the balance of doing for me and doing for others that matters to me, and I was able to choose when I do things and which things I do in a way that has meaning. There’s a giant pile of stuff still to do: Tidy the living room, clean out the travel detritus in my car, sort through the messy mountain of stuff on the kitchen table and my desk, clean up the den, organize the bills and do some filing… but I feel like I moved through some of the things that matter to me.

Small victories in understanding ourselves. I’ll take ’em.

Also, farm fresh eggs forever:

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