In this interview on balancing parenthood and work (something we struggle with in our house), Brene Brown said something simple yet powerful. When asked about how she structures her day, she identified her non-negotiables:
I don’t negotiate sleep, exercise, or healthy food. I can’t show up for my life when I’m tired, eating crappy, or not exercising.
Isn't that the truth? A couple of months ago, during a period of time when the baby thought it would be nice to get up and eat three times a night, my husband and I were non-functional. Our thinking was fuzzy. I lost patience & presence with my older kids. I found myself reaching for energy in the form of Coke Zeros and anything I could eat from a bag while standing up.
Since then, we have turned things around in the sleep and eating departments and we are working on the exercise. This means that sometimes, for the sake of sleep, a pile of dishes is left in the sink overnight or work is left undone. It means more frequent trips to the grocery store to buy fresh food. My next step is opening the calendar and scheduling walks.
My husband and I also recognize that if our current way of living does not support what's most important (time with family, our health), it's time to make bigger decisions about how we live and work.
What makes your life work? A morning run? A walk during lunch? Reading the paper? A daily green smoothie? Time to pray, write, or paint? Family dinners? Date night?
What supports your values? What sets you up to do what matters? What will you not negotiate?