New city, new beginnings. Moving to a new town is like creating your own New Year’s – a chance to start fresh, start over, and redefine yourself and the way you live your life.
Or just go back to old habits, but ya know, one can dream! 😉
We’ve been in Galveston for two weeks now and as our life starts to come together, the uber-planner part of me is raring to go. I want to plan out every day for the next month, complete with meals and workout times and every “to do.” I want to revisit my goals and form new ones.
I also just want to nap.
I want to soak up every last potential napping moment before Baby #2 arrives and I no longer get to sleep during Pookie’s nap time (praise to the nap gods that Pookie still naps!!).
On our 3+ weeks of travel from Ohio to Texas, Rob and I had a few moments to reflect on the last stage of our lives (Rob going through medical school and me running my own business). The consensus?
We are tired. We have felt overwhelmed. We want to focus in and make things more simple, especially with the challenges of residency upon us.
Simple. But what does “simple” look like? How do we achieve that?
For me, the past four years have been a whirlwind of “trying to be my best self and trying to live my best life.” It’s a great goal, but honestly, it’s been exhausting. I’ve surrounded myself with information from high performing people, which is incredibly inspiring and encouraging, but…it also sets a really high bar.
I kept pushing myself to reach that bar – or at least something within the same realm. I just needed to keep the right mindset and do what needed to be done to reach it. But then it became clear: many of those people are not living the situation that I’m living, and many of those people are willing to sacrifice things I am not.
I needed to take a moment and revisit what my priorities really are now. Not what they “should be,” but what really matters the most to me at this point in my life. Married to a doctor with a 2-year-old and one on the way, and just starting out in a new city.
Here’s what I’ve come up with:
#1: My Health
Take care of myself by exercising, eating welling, meditating, taking time for myself, developing my spirituality, and getting as much sleep as possible.
#2: Health of My Family
Encourage and make opportunities for physical activity together or separately. Provide my family with healthy meals. Find one-on-one time for each member of the family: Rob, Pookie, and Baby #2 when it arrives. Make family time sacred by having special evenings and activities together.
#3: Budget Conscious
We are on a strict budget with Rob’s salary and me not working (I don’t plan to do much work until the new year). I want to stay on-top of spending, find more deals, prepare more meals at home, and limit non-essentials while still feeling like we can have fun.
#4: Maintain a Sacred Home
I want to live in a space that is tidy, organized, clean, and has good energy flow.
Develop and maintain friendships. Celebrate our friends and family.
#6. Personal Growth and Contribution
This is a biggie. This is where I get trapped. I want to do so many things. I want to achieve all my lofty dreams and goals. I want it all now. But when I write my priorities down, to my surprise, it’s actually the last thing on my priority list at this point in my life. I guess I want it to be first, but that isn’t true for me right now. It was true for me in the past, but in this new phase of my life, other priorities are coming forward. I still want to work toward them, but slowly and organically. I want to allow them to unfold.
To start out keeping things simple, I’m not going to dive into work until after the new year. I’m going to focus on settling into our new home, getting Pookie established into a routine, and then add a new member to our family. This means that I’ll take at least half a year focusing on home life.
In the past, I felt frustrated being at home. I felt this way at times when I wanted to work and either couldn’t find employment or couldn’t find the type of employment that was enjoyable for me. This was also before we had Pookie. I realize now that I have been worried about going back to that place. Going back to feeling like “just” a homemaker.
Oddly enough, when I look at my new priorities list, what do those priorities look like in action on a daily basis? It looks like a homemaker. Cleaning, preparing, making, organizing, and caring. For the first time in my life, I think I’m okay with that.
For me, this is keeping things simple. It’s simple because although it’s incredibly demanding work, it has the potential to be uncomplicated – like I won’t feel pulled in thousand different directions. I’ll know where to keep my focus and why I want it there.
In reality, it will be hard to keep this course and it’s going to take me awhile to get comfortable with this. Rob being the solo one working and me taking care of the “household” – all that it entails. Of course, Rob will help out as much as he can, but for the most part, it’s up to me to keep our lives on course and in line with our bigger goals of health and connection.
Just yesterday I was starting to get pulled down thinking that I had done nothing that day other than cook, buy groceries, cook some more and care for Pookie. But then I reminded myself: #1 – that’s actually a lot!!, and #2: this is what my current priorities look like in life, in daily moments. This is me taking care of the health of myself and my family. This is us meeting our budget. This is us connecting and having time together.
Don’t get me wrong, everyone needs a break and I fully plan on having Pookie start part-time preschool next week. But that’s part of the vision too – some time for myself and some help once the baby comes.
I’m realizing that my perspective is so vital to my happiness day in and day out. My new perspective is a work-in-progress, and I may need something totally different in a couple of months, but for now, this is enough. This is my simple.