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In a world of endless choices....how do you choose??

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Mamas,

 

My whole life, I have wanted to know everything, do everything, and try everything. I played 5 instruments in the high school band, in addition to doing drama club, debate team, golf, AP classes, choir, you name it. In college I took extra classes that I didn't need to graduate just because the topics sounded so interesting to me. I'm on several mailing lists that range in topics - Parenting to FreeCycle to Spirituality to Cooking to HealthyWomen etc. etc. because I can't stand missing the info in them.

 

There are so many things I feel I really want to and must do. I want to get my Masters. I want to become a really good runner. I want to practice yoga daily. I want to learn my second language like a native, I want to cook from scratch, make money, hike, have time for crafting, reading the newspaper etc.

 

Problem - I can't do it all, and I can't seem to get it through my own head. All the mailing lists pile up and it drives me crazy that I can't read them. I have a toddler and barely have time to shower let alone study a second language. I haven't worked out in 3 months!

 

Please teach me: In a world of endless choices, how do you choose what you include in your precious time?

How do you feel content and not feel like you were leaving the other things behind?

 

Thanks

post #2 of 16

I don't know if this will help, but I recently heard something that made me really stop and think.  (This is not a technical definition, just how it was presented in the forum I was in.)  The definition of a value was something you actively work on every day.  An ideal is something that you would like to have, but aren't willing to sacrifice to do today. 

 

Perhaps sitting down and defining three values and three ideals would help.  It would keep you focused on the values you hold dear now, while allowing you the freedom to know you want to do your ideals some day, you just don't have time to do it now. 

 

 

post #3 of 16
I understand. I keep a journal and I list and update my top priorities often.
post #4 of 16
I still do them, little at a time. I set aside time for a little bit at a time. Eventually I'll get where I want to. And you will too. Right now take a break and relax with babe. You got a life time to do it all, there really isn't a concrete timetable other than what you might make up in your mind.

My mom, grandma and Aunt finished college in the 50's and 60's. If they can just keep going and doing, so can I.
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 

Great ideas, everyone. *Bejeweled* (nice to see you around the forums! big fan of your 15 minute cleaning posts), I am glad you reminded me of journaling. This has helped me define my priorities in the past.

 

Katwoman - I like your suggested approach. Here goes:

 

I guess my three values are 1) Exercise/be Healthy 2) Increase my knowledge and learn new things 3) Develop myself so I can help others

 

So I guess that yoga, running, cooking could go under the first one.

Masters, second language, reading the newspaper, cooking/crafting could go under the second.

Masters, reflection, being a Mom etc. goes under the third.

 

I guess as long as I have some exercise, try something new, and some self time each day, I'm on my way.

Thanks heartbeat.gif

post #6 of 16
Thanks youngspiritmom. smile.gif I like your signature. It sounds like you're on your way. What is your passion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by youngspiritmom View Post

Great ideas, everyone. *Bejeweled* (nice to see you around the forums! big fan of your 15 minute cleaning posts), I am glad you reminded me of journaling. This has helped me define my priorities in the past.

 

Katwoman - I like your suggested approach. Here goes:

 

I guess my three values are 1) Exercise/be Healthy 2) Increase my knowledge and learn new things 3) Develop myself so I can help others

 

So I guess that yoga, running, cooking could go under the first one.

Masters, second language, reading the newspaper, cooking/crafting could go under the second.

Masters, reflection, being a Mom etc. goes under the third.

 

I guess as long as I have some exercise, try something new, and some self time each day, I'm on my way.

Thanks heartbeat.gif

post #7 of 16

Just wanted to chime in. I have three dds, 9,7, and three.  I have periods where I completely lose myself, usually when there is a newborn in the picture, usually for about 2-3 years at a time. I get what you are saying, COMPLETELY. There are so many things that I keep wanting to get back to, but there are only so many hours in a day, and  only a fraction of them get to be for "me".  What has helped me is to do things in seasons.  In the summertime, it's all about the outdoors (and now that the kids are older it's gotten so much easier to include them). When the weather changes, so does my focus.  I'm currently am taking a dance class (yay!).  The constants are the things that I can fold the family into...crafting, cooking, decorating for the holidays (seems like there is always one around the corner). I speak a second language, but this has fallen off the radar. I may need to check out a book at the library and shift my reading focus (reading is a newly refound joy - more than magazines and online forums!). Some of things you mention sounds like you could fold into your everyday life. Maybe you focus on one reading list until it loses your interest instead of trying to keep up with 15? That works for me, but my interests wax and wane, depending on what is going on in my life. I think it's important to not LOSE the things that you are putting on hold.  Keep a list and refer to it.  But when it stops being enjoyable and starts causing stress and pressure, you are losing sight of what' it is you are trying to do.  Just my opinion.

post #8 of 16

Youngspiritmom--we've overlapped in a couple different threads recently--looks like we're in similar places in our lives with similar things on our minds! :) And I can definitely relate to how you're feeling--- there's so much on my plate right now I often don't have time to breathe. Taking care of a little one (or two, or three!) leaves very little time for much else, but I find it hard giving up the other aspects of my "selfhood" and solely focusing on motherhood. I have long lists of things I'd like to squeeze into my days (yoga, meditation, hikes, research on things that interest me, baking, painting, etc.) but I'm already so busy that I usually don't even make it through the basic household chores. I'd also like to pursue my Masters but since I can't even find time to complete the application, it's probably a bad time to go back to school :(

I try to remind myself that there is plenty of time in the future to pursue all my interests. If I can focus on what's in front of me with love and intention (funny, because my son is nursing right now and is literally RIGHT in front of me) than I find I'm much happier than when I'm trying to do it all. Someday I'll get my Masters, have a regular mediation practice, take hikes in the afternoon, and cook a leisurely meal. Someday.... :)

 

Cristina47454--what your wrote really resonated with me. Thanks for sharing! As a new mother, it's often hard to remember that this is merely a stage and that things will shift once again when our kiddos are older. Always good to hear the perspective of someone who's been through the wild early years---and made it out with "selfhood" intact!

post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 

christina - What you wrote resonated with me, too. I really appreciate the different perspective. I really struggle with seeing that I am in a phase when I'm in one -- I tend to just think that this is how things will be forever! I'm sure once there is more free time, I'll be missing things about this phase. Se la vie!

 

gitanamama - It's nice to know I'm not the only one who feels this way...

post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by youngspiritmom View Post

Mamas,

 

My whole life, I have wanted to know everything, do everything, and try everything. I played 5 instruments in the high school band, in addition to doing drama club, debate team, golf, AP classes, choir, you name it. In college I took extra classes that I didn't need to graduate just because the topics sounded so interesting to me. I'm on several mailing lists that range in topics - Parenting to FreeCycle to Spirituality to Cooking to HealthyWomen etc. etc. because I can't stand missing the info in them.

 

There are so many things I feel I really want to and must do. I want to get my Masters. I want to become a really good runner. I want to practice yoga daily. I want to learn my second language like a native, I want to cook from scratch, make money, hike, have time for crafting, reading the newspaper etc.

 

Problem - I can't do it all, and I can't seem to get it through my own head. All the mailing lists pile up and it drives me crazy that I can't read them. I have a toddler and barely have time to shower let alone study a second language. I haven't worked out in 3 months!

 

Please teach me: In a world of endless choices, how do you choose what you include in your precious time?

How do you feel content and not feel like you were leaving the other things behind?

 

Thanks

woman!!!  are you asking for career advice?  get thee to library school. 

(i struggle with the same thing.  i like EVERYTHING.) 

as for the precious time decisions.. i cycle... right now i'm very into knitting.  and i will read several books at once.  i find that if i do lots of different topics, or keep a fiction and a nonfiction book going at the same time, it is less crazy-making for me.

otherwise.. don't know if it's an age thing, but as i am getting closer to 40 (oh my) it's much easier to slooow down.  but i also have a toddler and a babe on the way.  ;)  i am told that when the kids get older it gets easier. 

 

can you work out with the toddler?  walk a track or a trail or use a jog stroller or something?
 

 

post #11 of 16

I do things in cycles.  Right now I'm in a pottery cycle and have been taking a weekly class for a few months.  Sometimes it's a fitness cycle and I'm at the gym 3 times a week, other times it's a work cycle and I finally catch up on things that have slipped with my work (I'm self-employed).  I'd love to be able to do it all at once, but it's impossible.  I'm ok with the fact that it all comes in waves, even when I'm frustrated that there's never enough time.  

post #12 of 16

Its not just me!  I've always felt like i'm the poster child for jack of all trades/hobbies, master of none.    I try to focus on the the fact that my constant yearning for new ideas/information/skills fills me with energy even though I don't always get to pursue them.  I like to think that this will keep me young as I age and will keep me entertained.  That said, I feel so bored sometimes because I can't make the time for all the things I'd like to do but I hope that in the future as my kids age and my financial situation improves that I will have an out of home career (or two)  and will be able to explore other interests and hobbies.  Right now I try not to drown in the mundane details of life and try to just be present with my kids and the housework.  One day at a time right?    

post #13 of 16

only read the first post by OP, but wanted to quickly chime in the book "renaissance soul" might be just perfect for you! i love it and it has helped me. here is her website. http://www.togetunstuck.com/

post #14 of 16

doulawoman:  wow, thanks for sharing that link.  I just read the first chapter of that book (available free on the website) and I really related to it.  I just put it on hold at my library. 

post #15 of 16

Have you read Refuse to Choose by Barbara Sher?  Really excellent book, not only relating that many of us have this multi-interest personality, but also laying out many different types of multi-interested individuals and various ways for each to work with this tendency and still make a living, develop a body of work, and most of all be really happy simply being who we are.  A lot of the posts here reflect various strategies in the book.  

 

One of the ones I like is keeping a book simply for ideas of things I want to do- something comes to mind, I have a holding place for it.  And it's JUST ideas, so if I'm ever looking for an idea it's easy to find.  My journals are impossible to find things like that in....and I even use page flags to mark stuff I want to come back to in my journal!  But what I really love is the focus on truly being able to get to everything that sparks you- making it easier to switch between activities, have things ready for yourself as you have the opportunity to do them, etc..  It's not written for moms, rather from more of a career pov, but most of the ideas are adaptable to the mom lifestyle (highly varied, often interrupted, changing all the time!).  

 

I've actually used the book with my 17yo who has lots of interests, and even as an unschooler feels he doesn't have enough time for it all :-) So much like his mom...

 

The time does come when the kids aren't babies anymore and gradually there is more personal time- however sometimes that's even more scary when you have so many interests and interesting things to explore.

post #16 of 16

"There are so many things I feel I really want to and must do. I want to get my Masters. I want to become a really good runner. I want to practice yoga daily. I want to learn my second language like a native, I want to cook from scratch, make money, hike, have time for crafting, reading the newspaper etc."

 

 Have you sat down and listed which ones are long-term and which are short-term or daily?

 

Here are some of my thoughts about your expressed wishes.

 

-----------------

 

Masters = Long term.  When do you want to complete it? Let's say most people complete it in 3 years. You want to finish in 2016, that means you need to start planning to apply now, make your application  next year, and then start.

 

Become a really good runner = life-time. How do you define a "really good runner"? Someone who can do a 6 minute mile? Someone who can run 2 miles a day for the rest of her life?  Could you turn that into a daily goal weekly goal?

 

Practice Yoga Daily = Start now, all you need is a flat space & making the time (20-40 minutes).

 

Learn my second language like a native = Long term or lifetime goal? Is this for work, or is it a daily necessity? Does it fit in with your Masters? If not, perhaps you can plan on devoting lots of time & energy to it after the Masters.

 

Cook from scratch = start today. Peel some potatoes & boil them and make mashed potatoes. Voila! You're cooking from scratch. It doesn't mean that you have to do it EVERY day ;)

 

Make money = ???  Do you mean you want to find a job? Or do you mean you want to make lots and lots of $$$? How does that relate to your desire for a Masters degree. When do you want to do it?

 

Hike - Is this something you want to do on a regular basis? Do you have friends or family who like to do this? Maybe choose 1 weekend a month for it? Bring the toddler along?

 

Have time for crafting =  This is probably something you can try and do when your LO is older.

 

Reading the newspaper = ??? What prevents you from reading the newspaper? Could you try and schedule it in when someone else is around to look after the toddler?

 

I would suggest unsubscribing from the mailing lists for a while too.

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