Here are at least five that I can think of:
1. Update my law firm website and blog.
2. Convert the junk room back into a functioning dining room.
3. Weed the garden.
4. Review my finances and, uh, weep?
5. Sign up for even just one of the many volunteer requests that get sent my way.
The title of this post was originally going to be “Things that I’m Currently Too Busy to Do,” but I scrapped that title. You know why? Although we all say it, “I’m too busy” is really code for “this is not a priority for me right now.” If you’re wondering where I learned this insightful bit of wisdom, here is the link. I related this concept in a job interview once, and my interviewers must have been struck by its profoundness, because I was hired, even though I really wasn’t right for the job.
It is so true. And you know what? It’s absolutely OK to make parenting your number one priority and let everything else slide for a while, or at the very least, shift into survival mode. In fact, I think it’s better when we admit this is happening, rather than lying to ourselves and everyone around us that we have every single ball in the air, when this is usually impossible. And as much as we may hate to admit it, it’s just true that while some things are important to us all the time (our children’s well-being), some things are only important to us some of the time (need to do laundry because we need clean clothes now), and other things, well, they are never truly going to be important to us, although we may give them lip service (volunteering). And that’s ok. In life, I would rather focus on whatever it is that’s important to me all the time, or at least important to me right now, than waste my time and energy worrying about the things that I feel should be important to me, but that I constantly ignore or push off into the corners of my mind with a mental sticky note reminding me to do it … someday.
Don’t get me wrong: if you do happen to have every single ball in the air, I commend you. Parents like you do exist, and I’m not even a little bit jealous. SOLIDARITY. But if you’re like most of us, and you are just too tired to wash your hair, I want you to know that I get it. I really do. And when someone asks you to “just take a few minutes to do” whatever it is they are asking, you might want to try “NO, BECAUSE I JUST DON’T WANT TO,” rather than feed them the line that you’re sorry, and you would love to, but you’re just too busy. Or you know what? How about just plain no. Because that works too.