Is life getting away from you? If so, you might need to start figuring out what your true priorities are.
It's been an interesting four months. My life has been getting away from me, and I finally feel as though things are settling down and becoming manageable. During these last four months, I've had to crystalize my priorities and let some things slide.
What's Most Important Right Now?
If your life is getting away from you, try to carve out a few minutes to figure out what's most important right now. When the train starts rolling, it's hard to slow down a little and at least see where you're at. You often end up going with the flow, rather than trying to steer.
In my case, “most important right now” consisted mainly of putting my life back together while maintaining, to some degree, my client work. Writing for my own sites had to slide because it just wasn't practical. I tried my best to steer what felt like an out-of-control crazy train, but in the end it was mostly just nudging the train a little bit.
Here's what I decided to put first in my life in the last four months:
- Doing whatever I could to get the divorce taken care of as quickly as possible. (My husband asked for the divorce in May, and for it to be on the brink of completion four months later is pretty good.)
- Moving across the country to be near my parents for support for my son and me.
- Taking care of my son's emotional and physical needs through a summer in which he hasn't had a summer camp (usually he attends three or four different day camps).
- Trying to get a fresh start by getting moved into my new place quickly and putting my life back together.
- Recovering emotionally with some time in nature (hooray for camping!), and by turning our cross-country move into a vacation.
- High-paying client work in order to pay for the move, and to maintain good relationships.
A lot of what I've had to do in the last four months hasn't been exactly what I want to do, but it's been more about re-setting and figuring out how to put life back together. There are some events that shatter expectations and your future and completely change you. Divorce is one of those things — especially if the brunt of it is on you (even though it's not your idea) and especially if there are children involved. I can't even imagine what this would be like if my ex made problems (he has been great, all things considered) and/or if I had more than one child. I've barely made it this far as it is, and my situation is comparatively easy.
Do You Neglect the Following with Life Getting Away from You?
There were some things I let slide, even though I shouldn't have, all of them related to my health. I let my nutrition slide. I started eating poorly, and everything was so disordered (especially since I didn't have an actual home of my own for about 10 weeks) that many of my meals were taken in restaurants.
Not only that but my exercise habits suffered. I'd been exercising every day until my husband asked for a divorce. Even though I exercised sporadically for about four weeks after that point, eventually the exercise stopped altogether. Combined with the nutrition challenges, I ended up gaining quite a bit of weight and running into sleep problems. I also stopped meditating, which affected my ability to cope and deal with stress.
When you feel life getting away from you, staying healthy should be a priority. If I had to go through it again (and I hope I don't), I'd make a bigger effort to keep up with good health habits. I wouldn't have ended up a complete mess, and taking sleep aids every night for weeks, if I'd exercised, ate right and maintained my meditation practice. While, I'd probably still have struggled, and had some difficulties, they could have been reduced if I'd not neglected my health and my self-care.
One of the things about freelancing is that you still have to keep going if you want to maintain your customer base. I did it — but barely. I could have done much better. But I'm through the hardest part now (I hope) and on my way to rebuilding my life.
What do you do with life getting away from you?
0 thoughts on “Life Getting Away from You? Choosing What to Let Slide”
Wow, sounds like a rough few months. Sorry you had to go through that but it sounds like you are coming out on the other side. As women, I feel like most of us put self-care at the bottom of the to-do list but it is so important. You did the essentials to get you and your son through the storm, now it’s time to get back to taking care of yourself.
When life gets away from me I make a very detailed list so I can cross off a lot of things as I finish them to encourage me to keep going.
That’s a really good point. I’ve been trying to work on self-care recently and doing my best to improve how I handle these situations. I feel like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.
Miranda, you have a testimonial from David Leonhardt, whom i respect enormously. That says loads, in addition to the blog post, about the kind of person you are. As women we think of having needs for self-care as weakness (men have this too, but differently). However, it’s a huge sign of strength. We can’t be creative and care for everyone around us if we don’t take care of ourselves.
You write, “There are some events that shatter expectations and your future and completely change you.” Amen. It sounds as if you have done a fantastic job and overcome the challenges.
Thanks for your kind and encouraging words. David is great, and I enjoy working with him. You’re right; we often see self-care as a selfish weakness, but being able to say no and do what’s best in the long run sometimes takes more courage than we give ourselves credit for.