Call it what you will, but this issue is likely to come up quite a lot in my blog because it’s something I think we all have to deal with, and today…it hit me smack in the face. Each day, we are all faced with the decision of where to spend our time and energy. Sometimes we are pulled one way, other times another. It helps to have a solid idea of what your priorities are, because it can make these choices easier. I love the ideas explored in this blog, where instead of work/life balance they talk more about what energises you and what deflates you. It’s great to regularly sit down and assess where you are at with this, and make some lifestyle shifts if you need to.
But even when your priorities are clear to you, you are still going to be faced with days when you have to make choices which aren’t black and white, but grey and grey. In these situations there isn’t necessarily a right or wrong, there is just a choice to be made. I HATE these decisions. I find them so hard, I don’t want to have to make choices which may mean I let someone down or I don’t get to work on a project I really want to. This morning I woke up to just one of the choices and I didn’t want to deal with it. This morning I discovered that my sons school assembly, which I had already moved work meetings around in order to attend…was rescheduled to this afternoon. To my son, this was a simple change of time. For me, it spelt disaster…because after all my wonderful juggling, now it was clashing with a really important workshop meeting I need to attend. Now, I have to make the call, Now , I have to choose between work and outside work. And I don’t want to choose. I love work, I want to be there for the meeting, I want to be part of the workshop and I want to contribute. But I also want to be there for my son when he gets a merit award. I want to do both. But I can’t. And it is eating me up, festering from the inside. I’m stamping around the house this morning, yelling at the kids and my husband, I’m angry that I have to make this decision, make this choice. I’m just angry.
But that’s life. It is inevitable that sometimes our priorities clash. It doesn’t matter how good you are at balancing or what choices you have made about what is important in your life, there will always be times when you have to make a decision between equal priorities. And it’s hard.
What I’ve learnt, is that you need to make these kinds of decisions quickly. Like ripping off a band-aid, make the call and accept the consequences so you can move on. Remember that there isn’t a right or wrong choice here, there is just a choice. Think about your life priorities, imagine yourself in a years time, which choice may have the longer term impact? Make the choice, observe how you feel, observe the impacts and store that information to help you make the next choice when it comes up. Don’t over think or over dramatise the decision. And of course, communicate, explain to people involved in the decisions you’ve made. You don’t need to over explain or feel like you have to justify your decision, but simply keep them in the loop.
Because if you don’t do these things, you just dig your own hole. Like I did this morning. Instead of just making the decision, I let it eat away at me and ruin my whole morning (and probably my childrens). But I’m here now, with a cup of tea and a big deep breath. I’ve made the decision and I’m sitting with the consequences, and I’m Ok with them. I wish I’d made that decision before I went all psycho this morning (sorry everyone), but hey, sometimes we learn our lessons the hard way…and that’s Ok too…