Life lately has been all about me. Sleeping in until the last minute because I stayed up too late the night before. Spending my mornings on the computer instead of being with the kids. Putting off school because I'm too busy trying to catch up on chores. Ignoring the blog because I'd rather play on Facebook. Watching TV or surfing the net late into the night instead of spending time with my hubby or getting some much needed sleep. I've truly become very selfish with my time these last few months.
I'm starting to hear things from my kids like "You're always on the computer.", or "You'd rather be on Facebook than play with us." (Yes, sadly, my children know all about Facebook and the games I play on there. Sierra has even started asking me when she will get her own account.) It's finally starting to hit me that this recent obsession with all things computer-y is not good for my children, my house, my hubby, or me.
All of this realizing has got me thinking about what is really important. About what is first on the list now, and also about what the order really should be. As of last week-ish, these were my priorities, in order of importance:
1. Me time (staying up too late, being on the computer as much as possible, sleeping in).
2. The house (trying to play catch up with chores when I finally look at the clock and realize it's mid-afternoon).
3. The kids (hurrying through school, playing with them just enough to get them to leave me alone for another 30 minutes).
4. Jason (talking to him over the back of the couch while one of us is on the computer and the other is in front of the TV, not getting to bed at a decent time very often).
5. God (I almost feel like He doesn't even make the list, since the only time I really acknowledge Him is at church on Sunday and Bible study on Thursday).
Now, I don't want to sound like I'm addicted to the computer, letting my children starve and my house go to ruins just for another shot of Cafe World. But if I keep on the path that I've created, it might not be long before you see me on the episode of Dr. Phil entitled "Help! My kids got lost in the chaos while I was chatting on Facebook."
Not only have I become selfish with my time, but I've noticed this selfishness leaking into other areas of my life as well. When I buy things at the store that I like ("special" healthy food, a certain candy, a particular brand of cereal), I find myself hiding and hoarding the stuff so that Jason and the kids can't have it. When Jason gets on the computer to play poker, or one of the kids wants to play Nick Jr, I can hear huffing and puffing in my head because I feel like they are intruding on "my" computer. I've become miserly with the things of this world; things that don't even really belong to me. Things that were given to me by God and my husband's hard work.
So, that's my confession to you, Blogosphere. I've been a very selfish person of late. Now how do I fix it?
First, I think I've got to come up with a new list of priorities. A list that better reflects the person I want to be. Here's what I'm thinking:
1. God (get up early to read my Bible and pray, start school with a prayer and a Bible lesson each day).
2. Jason (purpose to spend one-on-one time with him at some point everyday, go to bed earlier so we can, ahem...you know...more often).
3. The kids (make awake times during the day about them, play with them and be silly, read with them more often, be at the table with them for all of the school lessons, include them in my daily household chores, spend time planning each week's schoolwork instead of throwing stuff together at the last minute).
4. The house (once the people in my life are fulfilled then it will be time to pay attention to the stuff, make tidying/surface cleaning a daily priority, plan meals/shopping better, set up a schedule for deep cleaning).
5. Me time (figure out what past times are really enjoyable to me and spend my quiet time doing those, spend some time focusing on health/nutrition/exercise).
It might seem that I'm doing myself a disservice by putting Me last. But really, I'm not. What good is having hours and hours and hours of Me time if I'm unhappy and frustrated because my house is a mess, my kids are whiny, and my husband is mad at me? When I stop to think about it, I've actually got quite a bit of kid-free time during the day. Zeke naps for two hours in the afternoons, and Emma usually naps for a bit while he does. When he naps, Sierra and Tyner either play outside or go next door. I usually try to use that time to do stuff around the house (mostly because afternoon is my high-energy time), but I consider doing chores in a quiet house a form of Me time. Plus, we have a pretty set bedtime around here, so the kids are usually in bed no later than 8:00 p.m (more often it's 7:30). The latest Jason would like for me to join him in bed is 10:00, so that gives me two full hours of Me time. I think that's more than some moms of four kids get.
The problem I have isn't how much time I have to myself, it's how I spend it. My inclination is to play games on Facebook, chat on the Diaper Pin, or click my way through 50 billion blogs. Sometimes it's truly mind-numbing, and before I know it, it's 11:30 and well past my bedtime. Instead, from now on, I want to sit on the couch and catch up on my recorded shows and knit on my latest project. Or take a bath and read whatever book I have going at the moment. I'd love to blog more often, since I miss writing so much. Or play Wii bowling with my hubby. Or maybe even go to bed early and get a full nights sleep (if Emma will allow that).
Really, it all comes down to self-control and discipline. It's easy to plop down on the computer chair and put my hand on the mouse. It's easy to get lost in other people's lives. I need to constantly remind myself that there are other things I love doing, other passions I want to pursue. I need to get my buns out of this seat and go get lost in my life.
And now, it's almost 10:00. I guess I'd better heed my own admonition and get to bed.
See ya' later!