How to Prioritize Yourself

I recently had a conversation with my boyfriend of 5 years about my interests / hobbies. Long story short, he couldn’t name anything I liked to do other than going to the gym, and endlessly watching Netflix.

Imagine feeling that the person you share all parts of your life with doesn’t know who you are. Not great right? Now imagine you’re thinking of all the things he SHOULD know, and realize that he doesn’t because you’ve never shared that part of you, or don’t do those things anymore. How could he know that version of me? That isn’t who I appear to be anymore.

This simple conversation hit me hard. I realized that I have become this version of myself that hasn’t just grown up, but lost herself a bit. I think part of it comes from the hustle and bustle of everyday working life exhausting me, but I also think some of it comes from the comfort of a 5+ year relationship.

Old interests naturally start to take a back seat as new things like a career for example, or a serious relationship starts to blossom. The issue is in letting them become everything that you are. This is obviously what has happened to me over time, and I didn’t want to let all of me go. I started thinking about all the things I feel I’m truly missing from what seems like a past life. I wanted to find a way to incorporate what I could into the “new” Dana.

Below are three major things I felt I was missing in my my life. I encourage you to think about a part of you that you miss. See if you can find a way to bring that part of your life into your current life!

Found Time to be Alone

I’ve always loved locking myself away to devour a good book, or belt out an entire album by my favorite artist…which is Christina Aguilera by the way. :p I would also write songs, or make crappy drawings about things I was experiencing.

I know it isn’t easy to find time to do things like that anymore. I have work, I have a house, I have a family, among other obligations. And I know too well that when I finally do get a moment to myself, I binge on TV I’ve watched, or even doze off. I realized that I needed to literally pencil me time into my day.

I found the most productive, and best time of day for me is the morning. I know I won’t accomplish much beyond dinner and the couch once I get home from work. So I wake up at 5:30 am to go the gym 3 times a week. (8 am on Saturday for a 4th day though. Didn’t want to lie like I’m getting my ass up that early on a Saturday!) But on the other days I don’t go to the gym, I still wake up early to have my coffee alone with either a book, or my blog. The house is quiet, my coffee is hot, and I have the chance to relax ahead of my day.

Started a Blog

This ties into my first point above a bit. Everything I mentioned up there that was during me time, was something creative. Something that made me think, or express myself. What can I say? I’m a left brained kind of girl.

So yeah, you’re currently reading one of the ways I started prioritizing myself! Blogging isn’t something I was originally drawn to, but it feels like the right way to let that side out of me. Since I’ve started writing, I have been more and more excited as my ideas keep coming. Once I opened up that creative side again, I see that it never really left. I just pushed it away in lieu of everything else happening in my life. And it doesn’t matter to me if I have no readers, or tons of readers, because I’m enjoying this process again. I’m enjoying this side of myself. (Besides, it’s not like anyway ever heard the songs I wrote. I only wished I was a rock star!)

Saying Yes to Friends

I feel I mentioned this in my last post, but teenage Dana HATED being in on a Friday night. She had all the time in the world to spend with her friends, and honestly would probably get a little annoyed at them if they had something to do other than hang out. I mean this would send her spiraling into writing a shameless emo song about how no one loves her. Talk about dramatic. BUT, that’s how I loved to spend my time.

As I got older, and as I fell in love, I stopped saying yes to every plan my friends made. For a while, I even stopped getting invites. But as my friends got older, and found their partners, they stopped going out all the time too. Then it became never seeing each other, and realizing this wasn’t the answer either.

So we started making plans on a monthly basis, or something like that. But even then, I wouldn’t always say yes. And I will be honest, a lot of those times I didn’t have plans. I just didn’t want to go out on a day where my stepson was with us, or my boyfriend had the day off. I wanted to be available and around these people I love, even if it meant literally doing nothing.

It has taken time to change my initial response, and I sometimes have to remind myself, BUT I say yes to the plans my friends make. This even means saying yes to a girls trip once a year. (4 years strong!) These women are important to me, and the truth is, I need them. Friendships have always held a big part in my life. Just because my priorities aren’t the same as a teenager, doesn’t mean I shouldn’t make time for my friends.

So there you have it! Three areas of my life that now require work, but are so rewarding and worth it. If you don’t know who you are anymore, let’s work together to find that person again!

Until next time,

2 thoughts on “How to Prioritize Yourself

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