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  • Writer's pictureRachel Bennett

4:30 AM? Girl, you’re nuts!!!

I forget how easy it is to fit in everything I want to do in the summer. My son, Orren, has little to no scheduled activities, and so I can kinda go at my own pace. Being a working mom, the only real time I can spend time at the gym is in the early morning. So having the ability of not having to rush is always so nice. BUT now school has started and the idea of getting out of bed just 15 minutes earlier is like MURDER!!! Why are the smallest changes so hard to make sometimes????

School started this week and I’m just exhausted. And so is everyone else. I think the kiddo fell asleep on the couch on Thursday after school but refuses to admit it. Wednesday was the start, and the day before I stared to reverse engineer my morning for the next day to see what time I needed to be up.

For those of you who are new to the reverse engineering concept, let me fill you in.

· First you start with the thing in your day that is timebound.

· Then make a list of the things you need to do before that.

· Assign a time amount to each one of those tasks.

· Walk your schedule back to determine your start time.

Well, that first day it was 4:30 a.m.!!!! Holy moly! I had to get my training run in, and then a shower, and then go pick up donuts for the first day of school, then get the kiddo up and ready, take first day of school pictures (for the gram, people!), then head to the school by 7:00 to get set up for new parents PTO event, then walk the kiddo to his class by 7:40 and then come home and go to work. I think I was ready for bed by 11:00 a.m. It was a lot. And it got me to thinking. Out of all those things was there anything I was willing to give up? And there was... because I gave up my coffee and quiet time. The time where I reset my mind and my intentions for the day. The time where I read and journal. Honestly if I’d gotten up even earlier, I think my brain would have already been hijacked to even take the time.

You might be thinking, “Rachel, you’re *(%#$#(& crazy”. And you’re probably right. But there are things in my life that are priority… my faith, family, and fitness. And if I’m going to prioritize anything it’s going to be those three. Other things can fall off or be delayed, but as long as I keep those intact I’m good.

Good thing not every day is like the first day of school.

When I walked in the gym the next morning you could see others were in the same boat. First thing I noticed was there were less people. And then those that were there were focused and quiet. Not a lot of chitchat. Just a lot of work and then back out the door. These are my people. The ones who head nod to say “hey”, instead of stopping and having a conversation. If you’re an early morning gym goer, you know what I’m talking about.

The point it, if it’s a priority, you make changes or shift a bit to keep the priority. I was having a conversation with my coach a few weeks ago and we were talking about shifting priorities… or at least shifting them to different times of my day/week. I compared them to boulders. There are some things in your schedule that are little pebbles, and they can just be thrown. Or small stones that can be given to someone else. But your priorities are like big rocks. You’re not able to move them very well. And you’re not able to really get rid of them. You may be able to shift them to a different time, but you can never get rid of them. Because they’re that important. And here’s the kicker. If they’re able to be skipped over or forgotten, then they’re not really priorities TO YOU. Remember when I said that my priorities are faith, family, and fitness. Every time I skip over spending time with my son to work late or go to the gym in the evening because I skipped it in the morning, I’m choosing to not make him a priority. Every time I skip over my prayer and quiet time for something else, I’m choosing to not make my faith a priority. I’m taking that big rock and looking at it like it’s not as significant as it really is. Sometimes it takes my breath away a little when I sit with those realizations. I feel so convicted. Because I can’t tell you how many times I’ve skipped my quiet time to do something else that could easily be delegated or delayed. Especially being a present mom when my son walks in the door from school and he’s so excited to tell him something. That one probably hurts the most.

Sometimes when I think back on my week and what I’ve accomplished my priorities look a little out of whack and more like fitness, family… and maybe my faith. So, this shift in schedule and new school year offers a time to reflect on how to be better at managing those big rocks. It’s almost like a new year resolution? Maybe? Time to set some better intentions.

Think about your priorities. If you were to look at your schedule, what would it tell you? Would the things that you think are important to you show up there?

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