Thinking Out Loud: Plans and Priorities

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about plans and priorities, not just for organization’s sake but because I have a lot going on this spring and all the plans on the calendar reeled off in quick succession make it scary to think how fast the time will fly by. This weekend was the last for awhile with no major events. I had the happiest day on Saturday even though I wasn’t doing much of anything – running, baking and blogging, a burger and fries and ice cream with my boyfriend. I really need that kind of day once in awhile. I’m looking forward to everything that’s coming, but there is a certain amount of stress that accompanies it all, especially for a natural planner like me.

 

 

Bareburger Duck Burger and Fries

 

 

Over the past couple of years I’ve slowly gotten more comfortable with spontaneity. But I’m reaching the point in life where you have to make plans in advance to be able to see anyone. Not too far in advance because they’ll get cancelled, not too close to the time when they’re already booked. It’s a balancing act, one that I don’t always perform well. At the end of January I realized that I already knew what I was going to be doing every weekend in February, and with the exception of a change of plans for Valentine’s Day/Arctic Freeze Day, everything was as expected. It was comforting to know I had a full life, and enjoyable in the living of it, but it also meant not a lot of time to breathe. Then the same thing happened toward the end of February, right after my Florida trip. While the first two weekends in March weren’t jammed, I suddenly realized I could tell you what I’ll be doing almost every weekend for the next two months!

 

 

Brett and me on the Boardwalk

 

 

 

It’s all good stuff. The New York City Half Marathon this coming Sunday, a trip home to Connecticut the following weekend for a special dinner, running the Scotland 10K on April 2nd, heading to Philadelphia the weekend after that for a party, the MORE Women’s Half Marathon on April 17th, Passover, my dear friend’s bridal shower at April’s end, and a trip to Maine over the first full weekend in May. Just stop and re-read that. It’s a lot to take in, right? I think the key is going to be finding time in between when I can relax and enjoy the mundane little moments.

 

 

 

Bow Bridge

 

 

The upshot of this rambling about such a lucky-to-have conundrum is that I took a step back and thought about my priorities. I love a lot of things (hence the title of this blog), from running to cooking, reading, writing, brunching, volunteering, museum/performance-going, traveling, and of course above all else spending quality time with friends and family. There’s only so much time in the week outside of work to fit it all in. The first step was recognizing that my personal and professional lives are both very different than they were a year ago, and that it’s okay to have different priorities now.

 

 

Central Park Reservoir at the start of spring

 

 

Take November Project. I was introduced to this amazing tribe of people at exactly the right time for me. It was the start of my last semester of law school. I wanted to branch out beyond that world. I was excited to meet others interested in waking up early, working out, and socializing around fitness and food. I was never the most social at the 6:28am workouts, but I showed up every Wednesday for most of the spring. I started going to some of the other meetups, meeting my friend Kaitlin on a serendipitous Saturday long run (I ended up losing the pack because they were all speed demons like her, but we went to brunch after the next race, discovered we were both bloggers, and the rest is history). I wasn’t going to participate over the summer while I was in Connecticut studying for the bar exam, but I had every intention of returning come autumn and work. I looked forward to having some continuity as I began a new phase of my life.

 

 

NP Run As One 2015

 

 

 

I went to a workout or two in October, and then life happened. Even though my working hours are earlier than a lot of lawyers, they’re not so early that I need to wake up the sun other than in the dead of winter. Going to an NP workout meant sacrificing sleep, and if I wanted to see my friends or boyfriend on a weeknight – which meant staying up a little later – I would be burning the candle at both ends. I told myself I’d go, but I ended up switching off my wake_up_the_sun alarm (yes, I had one) every week and feeling a little disappointed in myself. I wasn’t skipping a workout, I was just going to run 4-5 miles and be back at my apartment getting ready for the day within the hour, because that’s what I can manage with my schedule. So why the regret?

 

 

November Project

 

 

It was the fact that I still had that alarm, and that when I went to shut it off, or even glanced at it when setting a different one, I was reminded of something I wasn’t doing. That made me feel guilty – and I shouldn’t. There are many reasons why NP is an amazing thing, but I need my weekday morning runs to be a time when I can clear my head and mentally prepare for the day ahead. I need them to be time-efficient. NP just doesn’t fit with either of those considerations. I’m grateful it exists and would urge anyone to #justshowup and give it a try. I’m so happy I made the friends I did through showing up myself, and hope those friendships will continue. But yesterday, I deleted my wake_up_the_sun alarm, and with it the reminder of a feeling that I wasn’t doing it all. I have different priorities now than I did, and that’s okay. Everyone’s version of “all” is different, and I’m on the way to figuring out mine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have your priorities changed over time?

 

Do you find yourself over-scheduled?

 

Is it hard for you to let go in order to make room for other things?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© 2016 Renaissance Runner Girl. All rights reserved.

11 thoughts on “Thinking Out Loud: Plans and Priorities

  1. I loved this post! Your introspective posts are always such a great food for thought. It’s so true that little things like your alarm can make us feel like we should be doing more.
    Priorities are a constant struggle. I am a working mom, who blogs and likes to go for (longish) runs and prepare healthy meals, spend time with my family,… The days are full, and while that’s a good thing, there is always the possibility that full becomes too full, and busy becomes stressful.
    I’m trying to be more intentional and allowing myself some “free” time, but I’m just starting to figure it out…

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    • Thank you for such kind words. These types of posts are what make me feel like blogging is a real part of how I live my life, and how I can connect with readers, even if running and recipes are most of what draw readers in. As an introspective person, it’s like an open letter not just to the world but to myself.

      And it sounds like you are doing a great job with the juggle. Nobody can have it “all” all of the time, but if you have what you need for right now, that’s what matters 🙂

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  2. Lately I have been overscheduled… I’m really trying to think about where I should place most of my time and praying for more grace every day. ❤ And I love that you've been more spontaneous over the years.

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  3. As usual, we are so similar! From a Myers Briggs standpoint, this is most definitely our “J” types at work – not just the planning and scheduling itself, but the need to structure the world also shows up in the commitment to certain things, like November Project, because we feel like we should and because we are holding on to the idea of it working the way it worked in the past. I hear ya.

    What you described sounds a lot like how my summer was last year: every weekend scheduled. Sure, it’s all good things, but when you look ahead at an entire season and see most of the calendar filled already it suddenly seems so short – like it’s somehow over before it even began. I’m really thankful that our summer is not shaping up that way this year (so far, anyway – fingers crossed!). It’s nice to be active and busy but I missed out on a lot of things I really wanted to do, like camping and hiking, which made me sad.

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    • Part of the reason I love blogging is because it leads you to like-minded people, and I loved reading your comment because it’s like getting to bounce my thoughts off of someone who probably has spent time feeling the same way 🙂

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  4. Priorities definitely change and that is OK. I am a MAJOR planner and anticipate everything. I have learned to become more spontaneous, but it is hard. But I have found that if my life is not planned out 100%, well sometimes I will have a great opportunity come up and sometimes I just stay home and catch up on my sleep. Less planning has increased my sleep time and made all the difference in the world….

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  5. Yes, my priorities have definitely changed over time. As I said in my post today, I used to be able to go to yoga after work, but if I did that now I would have to wait until after dinner, which would then cut into my time to relax and rest in the evenings. I think its important to just accept where we are now and try to do whats best for ourselves!

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  6. I think everyone’s priorities change over time and it’s important for them to do that. As humans, we grow and adapt. Life changes and we have to change with it too. It sounds like you’ve been pretty busy recently.

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  7. Pingback: Scotland Run 10K Race Recap | Renaissance Runner Girl

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