Sunday, September 13, 2009

It's ALL the most important thing!

The last few days, I've been feeling pulled in many different directions. I think it is the fate of any working mom. To make sure I get the most important things done, I often make lists. But what is the most important thing?
As a mom, the most important thing to me is my family. Your kids are only young for a little while. My son will leave home in a few years, so taking care of him and being involved in his activities is a focus of my life now. I don't want to miss his youth. But someone else will say, the most important thing is your marriage because once the kids leave home, your spouse is the person you will grow old with. Nurture your marriage. So okay, set aside some time for the kid's activities but also set aside time for the husband. Check.
But I'm also an author. My job is important to me. I have commitments with more than one publisher. Other writers will tell you, the most important thing about being a writer is to keep writing, keep putting out quality books and your readership will grow. But in this electronic age, more and more there is an emphasis on promotion online. Have a blog, a Facebook page, answer your email from fans, participate in chats and online communities. Staying in touch and accessible to readers is the most important part of building a loyal following and creating a buzz about your books.

Okay, keep writing more books and also spend lots of time online to promote the books and build reader relationships. Check. But also spend time with your son, who'll be leaving home soon and don't neglect your marriage. Hm... okay.
But when I go to church on Sunday morning, the preacher tells me to put God first and how important it is to help the church and be involed with the church activities so that the church can keep the programs running. Okay, God comes first, and find time to help keep the important church programs vital. Check. But don't forget to write more books to build your readership and maintain a web presence and take care of your family.
Whew! And the poor kitties. They can't feed themselves. Or clean there own litter box. And you know the dirty kitchen really has become a health hazard. If you wait for the kid or husband to empty the dishwasher, it'll never get done.
And oh, yeah, don't forget that you promised to speak to your RWA chapter this weekend. Keeping your commitments is important.
All right, I'm checking my notes now and ready to make my to do list so that nothing important gets neglected. But...but... it's ALL the most important! How am I supposed to cherish these last few years my son is home, be active in his school projects, give my husband quality time, write more (and better) books, promote on line and build reader relationships, put God first, support the church programs, take care of the helpless pets, avoid the health inspector, and write a speech for the RWA chapter. Now. This week. It's the most important thing on your list. ALL of it is the most important. Aaaaahhhh!
Yeah, it's been one of THOSE weeks. Am I complaining? Not really. Being this busy means I have a great kid, husband, writing career, readers, church, home, pets and writing friends that make my life full, interesting and wonderful. Busy but wonderful. I wouldn't trade my hectic life for anything. Except maybe a quiet weekend sometime...? Soon. Please? Pant pant....
So how do you balance all the parts of your life that are "the most important thing"?


  1. I have no idea. I just spent the last two hours (of my Sunday) doing work for my chapter since I'm president.

    If you find out the answer, please share it, because I'd love to know.

    Now off to do some of my blog preparation for Wild Blue Under's launch before doing my daily page count!

  2. I think it boils down to what's the most important thing RIGHT NOW. You can prioritize things all you like, but in the next moment, that list can change. The things you must do will present themselves in due course. The one shouting the loudest is the one I hear.

  3. LOL Beth!
    What a cute post! I know what you mean and I think Cheryl has a point (with a definite nursing POV) about whatever is yelling the loudest at the moment. :-)

    Me? Some days, the only reason I know my own name is because people keep yelling it at me! :-P


  4. Hi ladies-
    So I see y'all have days/weeks/months like mine. Working mother syndrome. We can't do it all, but we sure TRY! :-)
    As far as which thing is calling the loudest...maybe that's where this headache came from... all the yelling! (Not really)
    This week reminded me of a Southern saying... I'm as busy as a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest...
    Well, hope this week goes well for all of you! Beth

  5. Good grief! My day is like that everyday. Fortunately for me I have a very understanding husband, but with three teens and one pre-teen I'm always busy. Between piano, guitar, and dance lessons there isn't much time, but there is always something more added to the plate.

    God should always come first, but that doesn't mean supporting church activities. Your time with God, prayer etc. I do mine in the shower or just constantly. There was a time when our church always needed somebody to do something, but there was never anyone to do it but me. I burnt out after two years. After 17 years of people always wanting me to do something I learned to say no. And I mad a few people mad, but oh, well.

    Husband should come next, but again that doesn't mean your every waking minute needs to be his. As long as he knows you've got his back when it comes to the nitty gritty and there's a lot of loving going on, you're good to go.

    Children-well, hmm... they are high maintenance creatures, aren't they? ;) I wouldn't trade them for the world. And I know all too well how fast time flies from their first cry to their first apartment. Cherish every moment. You may not be able to be at every activity, but if you can do so. Life is way too short.

    And saying that, take care of yourself. For me writing is my out let. Yes, it is work, but it is there that I can put my true feelings. It's cheap therapy too. ;)

    Okay, I'm done preaching. But take it from someone who knows, I've said many times, but it's only this one thing, it'll only take two hours out of my day, Yeah! Right! All these other things won't be necessary if you don't write the next story. And writing that next story won't be necessary if you don't take care of yourself. And like you said, the dishes will still be there. At least you have a dishwasher. Now, if only I could listen to my own advice. :)

  6. Hey Beth-

    Sorry this is late! But I think one thing to remember for anyone, no matter what it is that is making them busy (job, kids, family, etc), is to BE SELFISH. Just a little bit. Do something you WANT to do everyday, not just what you have to do. And you'll realize that a lot of time, the things you want to do are actually the things you have to do, too :)

    Hope things calm down soon,

  7. I so agree, Danielle! While I was in Toronto, I read two books!!!! *sigh* I so love to read but am finding very little time to do so, and I really enjoyed it. Just stretched out in the motel room and ... read. :) Same thing with on the plane. Usually, I hate to fly, but I was in a different world entirely!!!

  8. So yesterday I had a couple hours to myself (after I'd written my minimum page count for the day and before I drove band carpool) and know what I did? I napped. Not just light rest, I SLEPT. I was beat! Felt good! Now back at it... :-)

  9. I don't think I'm balancing - falling over with style perhaps. But perhaps that's the trick - just keep moving then somehow momentum keeps everything on top.