Now, before you go off looking for a link where to buy cowgirl hats, let me tell you, this post isn't about that kind of hats. It's about trying to juggle priorities in life and wearing several proverbial hats at the same time: a business owner hat, a designer hat, a jewelry maker hat, a wife hat, a household pillar hat, a church member hat, a company employee hat, and a pet caretaker hat. My head is spinning from just trying to list all these, but I wear them all every day of my life, and sometimes I add on a few more here and there: a dog rescuer hat, an art association member hat, a horse rescue supporter hat, and a show booth attendant hat. All of this can get exhausting, and priorities can get skewed, so how do I manage, you may ask.
I don't claim to have a foolproof solution for this juggling problem, and I don't think I ever will. Still, there are some things I know to be helpful and others to be extremely unhelpful when trying to be a jill-of-all-trades.
First thing I would advise anyone who struggles to juggle is, don't listen to all the online or book advice out there. Why? Because we're all different in who we are and in what we are juggling, so someone's well-intentioned advice that works for some people may be completely wrong for you. Instead, take everything with a grain of salt, and assess your own priorities first. Then, once you've got a clear idea of what's most important in your life, you can pick and choose bits and pieces of advice offered by others that suit your priorities best.
My first priority is to live a life pleasing to God, and all others must fall in line with this one to even become priorities. That means, I'll try my absolute best to be a good wife to my husband, and will not throw our marriage and family under the proverbial bus in order to be successful in business, even when my husband is not fully supportive of my business efforts and even when the "business experts" tell me I should do so. That also means, I won't sacrifice my personal values to succeed in business. No mantras and eastern meditations for me, no "manifesting" nonsense of prosperity gospel, and no low tactics applied in my business. God honors those who honor Him, and He will provide what He has intended for me in His time. All that is required of me is to stay the course and look up to Him and His word for guidance.
So, what does that look like in practice? Honestly, some days are smooth and others are a total mess, but it's my mess and God will help me clean it up eventually. In a normal week, I work my day job from 9:30 to 6:00 Monday through Wednesday and juggle that with answering phones for my business. Then, I cook dinner which my husband and I make a point to eat at a properly set dinner table every day while talking about the events and struggles of the day. After dinner, we usually spend some more time talking or watching a movie at home. These first three days of the week, he gets to bed much earlier than me, because I stay up until midnight to catch up on business correspondence, bill paying, website edits, and any other quick business related tasks. Thursdays, I usually devote 12 or more hours to business: designing, making jewelry, ordering supplies, working on the website, responding to inquiries, and whatever else needs to be done. Some Thursday evenings, I attend a church study group. Fridays are my grocery shopping, house cleaning, ahead of the weekend cooking, and any kind of appointment (doctors, dental, etc.) attending days. Before sunset on that day, a special dinner is ready, house is clean, and everything is set for our day of rest. So, from Friday evening through Saturday evening, no ordinary work is done in our household unless an absolute emergency arises. Saturdays are for relaxing, studying God's word, spending time with the family, and generally letting our minds rest from the weekday hubbub. Sunday mornings, I go to church, and then, depending on what loose ends were left untied the previous week or what known challenges await in the week ahead, I tackle some home or business projects for the rest of that day.
Now, during the show season, the weekend schedule gets messed up, but I still remember that God is in control, give Him thanks, acknowledge Him, and go about doing the best I can. Because I am using the day He commanded us to rest for business, I make it a point to donate my Saturday profits from every show to a worthy cause, be it the local church, a missionary group, or an animal rescue group.
I'm blessed to be able to work my day job from home, so that makes my juggling much easier. Still, juggling and struggling is real, and I long for the day when business is producing enough income for me to quit my day job. So, there you have it! I'm not a superwoman, I'm not perfect, I struggle like you do, and yes, I do a little jig every time you purchase a piece of jewelry from me because that'll bring me closer to the goal of quitting my day job.
What are the things you juggle and struggle with? Share in the comments below. I'd love to connect with fellow "jugglers."
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