We can’t have it ‘all’ at the same time.
There are only so many hours in a day. We have to sleep 8 of those, eat well, exercise and find ways to destress ourselves or else we get sick and die…then what good are we to anyone?
We can strike a balance amongst our priorities.
I’ve come to believe we can juggle about 5 aspects of our lives with proper time management skills and effective destressing routines:
God Family Friends Community Me
In that order, too.
God: in everything we think, do, say…keep him front and center, allow him to work through you. Set aside time for prayer, mass, holy days, etc.
Family: in everything we think, do, say as wife, mother, daughter, sister, keep God front an center allowing him to speak to them through you. Set aside time to connect with each of those in your life - regular phone calls, dates with husband, family game/movie time, etc.
Friends: in everything we think, do, say as a friend to those God brings into our lives - through our jobs, through our volunteer opportunities, etc. He brings people into our lives to stay but a moment, perhaps years, perhaps a lifetime, but he brings them to us for a reason - so we nurture these relationships not from the perspective of what they can do for us, as much as what God needs us to do for them. Sometimes, most times, it’s really just us being a companion, giving a hug, listening. Keep the connections open with each friend in your circle, making time to be with them if/when they need you and turning to them when you are in need of God’s ‘touch’…remember God uses them to speak to you as well.
Community: in everything we think, do, say as a representative of God within the community in which we live matters. We, as Catholics, are obliged to commit to corporal and spiritual works of mercy. We fulfill that obligation through church, school, community volunteer opportunities so we do have to set aside time for those meetings, activities, fundraisers and such.
Me: in everything we think, do, say as God’s light in this world we must praise Him and give thanks for being alive yet one more day. We must set aside time to develop a personal relationship with him so that we can feel his purpose for us in this life. We must explore and develop the skills and talents He has blessed us with, and then use them - not for our personal gain or egos - but for Him.
That being said, there is a time and a season for all things. Before marriage my focus was on getting my education, developing a career path. Then God sent me my husband and I was able to experience my career for a brief number of years before we were blessed with children. The next 19 years have been devoted to raising those children to know God and to love Him. That meant stepping away from my career path in order to take a less stressful job - one with flexibility which let me go to mid afternoon lunches with the kids’ classes, to attend field trips, to take them to the doctor at all hours, to stay home with them when they needed to get better. Money was tighter, but God provides. When the kids leave (in about another 2-3 years) then the opportunity for me to reestablish my career (if that is God’s will) will present itself and I can choose to go back to it. Or I can find I choose to devote my time more to community or my prayer life. I don’t know…that’s something God will guide me to when I get there.
But because God is always center in every decision I make, I am happy, I am content, with the live He has designed for me. It took a while to give the reins over to him, but life went so much smoother after I did.