Do You Make the Cut?

I bought this t-shirt a few days ago because it made me smile (and that’s my key t-shirt buying criteria) (because apparently I am a ginormous child). There’s this part of me that sincerely believes that the printer hosed up the shirt because it just says #Adulting when it really should say #AdultingAttempt, #MostlyAdulting, or (if it was yesterday evening) #AdultingFail.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m trying. I’m really trying hard. But I still feel like I can’t get it all done. The tasks never end.

In an attempt to mitigate the madness, I started prioritizing my mental task list a couple of months ago. My approach is to write down the key items I need to take care of on paper (yes – on real live paper while using an actual physical writing tool – I’m so O.G. like that). Then I determine which ones are the key-iest of those key items. Those are my really must do’s. Anything else that gets knocked out is just a bonus.

Forcing myself to prioritize has been extremely helpful, but you never would have guessed that if you had been able to witness Hurricane Jo in full force two evenings ago. It just seemed like there was stuff piled everywhere. No. That’s inaccurate. It didn’t seem like there was. There WAS stuff piled everywhere. And then there were all of the non-pile items that needed to be addressed. Homework, spreadsheets for work, finances, meal prep, something else, something else, something else, etc, etc. I could feel the stress building, but there was no good way to say, “Buckle yourselves in tight kids because the crazy mommy train is currently exiting the station!”

Eck. So that was fun for the whole family.

The next morning rolled around, and my task list started to kick around in my brain once more. I felt the anxiety from my overloaded schedule creeping in before I even got out of bed. I hauled my mini-monkeys to school and began to take a closer look at my list. What was I doing wrong? I’m a mom and momming is always relaxing (always = never). But even I knew that it really wasn’t anything specific to that. Work was doing the work thing and the other stuff was doing the other stuff thing. I had been prioritizing my tasks regularly and “get my panties in a bunch” was not on the schedule until the following week. What was my deal? I looked at my list again and then started to contemplate my previous lists. And then it hit me.

I wasn’t on my priority list. There wasn’t one thing specifically designated for my own personal happiness on the “key things to take care of” section nor did it make the “stuff for later” section. I wasn’t on any of my priority lists.

Countless people can relate to the idea of not landing anywhere on their stuff to do priority lists, but that doesn’t make it right.  We should always make our own freakin’ cut.

Is this an issue of self-worth?  Is it about intentionally disregarding our own needs? I don’t think so (but my actions and lack of self inclusion on my numerous lists certainly seem to point to a major therapy opp). I believe that the real issue at hand is that we do value our individual needs to some extent, but we forget that they should hold the same level of importance as those of others we support in our lives. We would not expect those around us to debase their value relative to us, but that is the reality we apply to ourselves. It is also the example many of us set for our children.

To be clear, serving others is NOT the same thing as consistently sacrificing your own needs. The two are not mutually exclusive.

Many of us have a nasty habit of wanting to fix everything for everyone. We want to be flawless parents, support our spouses, volunteer when possible, work the perfect job / run the perfect house, and on and on. We avoid telling someone “No” when they ask us to do something when sometimes it’s really the best answer we can give. We get swallowed up by the turbulence of life, and our sanity and inner calm go down with the ship.

But there are countless things that have to be done everyday.

Well…are there really?  Yes I agree that it feels like there are, but let’s look at the list and be fiercely honest with ourselves.  What do you have on your “must do today” list that could also fit on the “must do to avoid world destruction” list? If you have items that fit on both of those lists, stop reading and get to work. Otherwise, let’s look at the list again. I bet big money (no whammies!) that you have items on your list that most definitely don’t have to be done today.  I would also wager that you have items on your list that someone else could do, or very possibly, someone else should do because it was never really your task in the first place. Even if it isn’t exactly how you would do it, let other people (including your kids, spouses, parents, coworkers, etc.) take care of their own stuff. You aren’t helping them by shouldering their responsibilities, and you definitely aren’t helping you.

Find 15 minutes just for you. Maybe it’s taking a walk around the block, running a quick errand for something you want, reading a chapter of a new book, or meditating for a few short minutes. Perhaps what you really need is to agree to give yourself a a little quiet time. I don’t care if you have to lock the door and sit on the potty longer just to have an excuse to get those few minutes to yourself (unless it’s a public potty, and in that case, you go in and you get out asap – no exceptions).

Make some time for you. Really commit and sometimes truly spoil yourself (if you can). Your wants and needs should hold the same level of importance and value as those around you. We must honor that in ourselves. We are better people when we validate our individual needs and recognize own self-worth.

Find a place for you on your priority list.  Make sure that you always make the cut.

Love and light always – Joanna




18 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Shareece Dumont
    Sep 22, 2017 @ 17:25:45

    Not to add to the to-do list, but ironically, spending a bit of quiet, reflective time each day for myself has been on my to-do list for a long time. I do, on occasion, make this happen, and feel better each time I do, but it’s not nearly often enough. Just 30-minutes to start the day would do, rather than hopping out of bed and jumping into the “real” to-do list. I realize that I am the one getting in my own way, no one and nothing else, but it just seems that an endless list is pulling on my every limb the moment I wake up!


    • MoJo
      Sep 22, 2017 @ 17:29:27

      It’s funny how we come up with all these excuses about why we don’t have time. We are busy. Definitely. But we can mysteriously find time for everything else when needed. I looooove that you have this on your list. At least you have had the wisdom to recognize that you should be on it. Now we just need to do those things for ourselves! 🙂 I adore you sweet girl! xoxox


  2. wakinguponthewrongsideof50
    Sep 22, 2017 @ 18:17:28

    The first thing on your to do list should be taking care of jo. The second thing should be taking care of me. Screw the family and work and house stuff……


  3. Blog Andrew
    Sep 23, 2017 @ 04:17:45

    A mom’s wisdom you sound so like my own mother. There’s a BIG difference between sacrificing and serving!


  4. roseelaineblog
    Sep 23, 2017 @ 04:26:01

    You remind me of my youngest daughter she chases round everyday until she is exhausted because she wants to be a good mum, a good wife, a good sister, a good granddaughter and a good daughter…….. she rang me yesterday and said I will try to get to see you on Sunday, I replied no pressure, take a break and do something just for you and enjoy yourself

    Sorry for going on lol, but self time is so important ❤️


    • MoJo
      Sep 23, 2017 @ 10:04:31

      You aren’t going on at all! I love that you gave her permission to take care of what she needs to take care of (herself). The real trick is getting her to actually do that. 😘


  5. MichaelStephenWills
    Sep 23, 2017 @ 09:50:09

    I guess you will keep that shirt well ironed.


  6. I tripped over a stone.
    Sep 23, 2017 @ 12:59:20

    Love this post! Amen siter! ~Kim #adultneed.


  7. Playamart - Zeebra Designs
    Sep 23, 2017 @ 22:14:55

    Because I have had your life, I can now enjoy and appreciate the ‘less is more’ one… BUT – had I not had that earlier life of working a trillion hours each week, taking car pool turns for school and cross country and basketballl and – and – and all of that, then I might be wondering now, ‘what did I miss?’ there are rhythms, and presently you’re in one where you juggle what you can, forgive yourself – and laugh if possible, if you drop any or all of those balls, and do the best you can with each day!

    My day today? I’m still moving – from the earthquake-stricken area on the coast to the ‘new’ home four hours from there, and for the past week I’ve been hibernating, watching birds, eating well, painting reading writing and just being part of surround-sound nature…. Today my goal was to leave the house by 10 because I really wanted to leave by nine, but I knew myself, so at 10 I was doing the finish on washing the truck before shoving off for Mindo, a 7-hour drive…. I stopped nsevera hours down the road – for fuel and lunch, chatted with the gal who cooked my lunch and she said she had an aunt that had an hostal where I was going.. and yes I knew her aunt and uncle… resumed the drive, stopped to buy grapefruit 10 for a dollar so I bought 20… shared with my friends when I reached Mindo, where grapefruit are 4 for a dollar….. Am here in a tiny apt for another five days – will be packing and then returning to new home…..

    So.. full full day, but it’s all relaxed and by the whim of the moment.. and I have paid my dues and earned this unstructured life!

    There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, though for you, your family’s shining eyes are rival to that other light, one you’ll discover when ’empty nest syndrome’ creeps in….. You are definitely worth the cut and the luxury of doting on yourself!!!!



    • MoJo
      Sep 24, 2017 @ 17:28:56

      Girl I so so love reading your adventures. In my mind, you are like a beautiful bird spreading joy wherever you land, and then you fly off another direction to share that light and spirit at the next stop. I sometimes dream of homeschooling my kids so we can go all over the world on a whim, but that isn’t my life (for now). You are incredible!!!

      Is there anything I can send to help out on the earthquake relief? I know it’s a world away, but maybe there is a group I can make a donation to that you feel is legit and is on the ground helping?


  8. elbycloud
    Sep 24, 2017 @ 09:35:18

    Such a great post, and well timed. Also, I want my own shirt that says Key-iest.


    • MoJo
      Sep 24, 2017 @ 17:20:43

      We all know that key-iest is most definitely a word. (Also I adore it when someone picks up on my goofball-iest stuff.) (Also also you are my favorite-iest!) xoxox


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