Wednesday, August 11, 2010

what matters more *contest closed*

This is sponsored content from BlogHer and Bayer One A Day Multivitamins.

With three active boys and a husband who is often gone on 24-48 hour shifts 2-3 times a week, there are many opportunities around here to get lost in the hustle and bustle of need to do, gotta do, wish I could do.

During any given week during this past school year we (big breath) had three scout meetings to attend, two basketball practices and two games, 3 afterschool activities (art, drama, and NEHS) and more. For them. For me, there was school and clinicals twice a week, church activities, and of course the regular house managing duties. I get a lot of help from Hubby, (when I ask, and when he's home) but for the most part, I am the driver, the shopper, the cleaner, the cook, the budgeter and more.

We all have busy lives. We all have to find that balance and learn to juggle, right? Find out what is most important, not be afraid to say 'no', and prioritize. I've been using Bayer's "What Matters to You" website (home of One A Day Women's Multivitamins) to plan my days and remember to keep the more important things at the top of my To Do list. Their "My Tree Matters" tool helps me manage the goals I have per week (or longer) while encouraging me to live a balanced and healthy life. I was able to break down my weeks into varying segments that I wanted to focus on: I chose creativity, relationships, and leisure, but I could have also chosen family, health, money, health, nutrition, and more.

This past year, certain things to me were critical for my personal well being and sanity. One was allowing myself a few minutes a day or hours a week to just sit and read for pleasure. Yes I was in school, and yes I had some pretty heavy subject matter. But there's something about just opening a book because you want to in order to escape Momhood and the constant pressures of Go Go GO. To just indulge in someone else's imaginary land and reboot, so to speak. Leisure time was paramount to me and my overall well-being.

Another thing I absolutely did not want to do without (and I think I only missed 2-3 times the whole year) was the opportunity to volunteer weekly at my children's school. Though technically not leisure time, (giving up a day of my week was a sacrifice!), there are many reasons I do this...1: I enjoy getting to know my kids' teachers. 2: I like them to know I'm an actively involved parent regarding their education. 3: I like to know what my kids are learning. 4: My kids love it. And 5: it's a great way to say thank you. Even though I'm doing it for them, I also do it for me. My children love it and I have fun with it, and it helps me slow down one day a week and better connect with my boys.

Having and acting on my priorities, including allowing for leisure time, made the busy busy year not so toxic. There were few (yes, I'll admit) meltdowns along the way, but finding a little bit of personal time to relax and a bit of a public way to give back helped me keep my world going, and helped me feel like I mattered to someone by being there for them.

For the $150 BlogHer giveaway, tell me what matters to you more? how do you prioritize your personal time? Yes, we all have our gotta do's and our need to do's, but what makes your list of just plain old wanna do's? Share your opinion here in the comments.

Contest runs 8/11/10 through 9/11/10.

Five more chances to win here, as well as one chance to win $100 from the exclusive offers page.

See here for official rules.