Question: How far down are you on your own “TO DO” List? As a wife and mother of two young, very active children, I often discover that when it comes down to finding time for myself, I am usually at the bottom of the list. This was especially true while I was working full-time. It can be a daunting task to find balance between work and family let alone time to focus on doing something for myself. Working women or women in general are especially challenged to somehow find a balance between all three (work, family, self) without ending up on the verge of a nervous breakdown!

In my case, it was especially challenging because I kind of got a late start on this whole “starting a family” thing. It wasn’t until the age of 35 that I got married and then at age 36 had my first child. So as you can see, based on current medical standards, I was already considered  ”high risk” when I had my daughter. Oh, but I’m not finished!  Just when I thought that I was done having children, God intervened and we found out that I was pregnant with my son. Ok, so you do the math! I was 36 when I had my daughter and 6 years later we welcomed my son into the world just 5 days after my 43rd birthday! It still amazes me how I was able to make it through all of that at my age. I strongly believe that due to the fact that I have been an athlete pretty much the majority of my life, has made all the difference with my ability to nurture and bring forth a new life at such an advanced age. Which leads me back to the fact of how important taking care of yourself and living a healthy lifestyle can be. After all, you never know what challenges life is going to throw at you! Living a healthy lifestyle to me means that there needs to be a balance between the “spiritual you” and the “physical you.” It is my opinion that if you feed your spirit just as you feed your body this can lead to balanced living.

As I stated earlier, while I was still working, it was often difficult to find that balance no matter how good my intentions were. There just never seemed to be enough hours in the day  to get everything done that I felt needed to be done. Because of this, I honestly believe that getting laid off is my golden opportunity to not only fulfill my true purpose but also to re-connect with my family and most of all to re-focus and improve my personal relationship with God. Therefore, I have had to take a good long look at both relationships (God & family), to see what I needed to work on. In doing so, what I realized is that I was allowing the wrong things to take precedence in my life.

It was not until I re-prioritized the  key areas of my life, did God start to open my eyes to what He has purposed me to do. So now my priorities are lined up in the following order: 1) God; 2) Self; 3) Family and 4) Work. You may be wondering why I have decided to focus on “myself” before my “family.” Well simply stated, it was revealed to me that I can not adequately take care of my family if I am falling apart inside and out. With that said, I make it a point to take some time for myself each day. You will have to define what this entails for you and what will work best for you.

As for me, I have made the decision to spend the first part of my day giving honor and glory to God! This practice has been key as to why I am able to stay focused and positive throughout this journey. Next, I have chosen to spend time doing something for my health which for me means that I find time to pursue another passion that I have which is running. Even if it means that I have to get up and hour earlier before my kids get ready for school, I make time to run on my treadmill or if it is the weekend, to go running at a neighborhood park. This is time that I also spend praying or listening to a particular teaching on the “Word” that will motivate me through my workout and also with dealing with the challenges of the day.

By focusing on these key areas, it has made a tremendous difference in my outlook on life and in my health. I’m sure that you have probably heard the saying, “Your attitude will determine your altitude!” Well, I am an example of how this quote resembles truth because I am flying high and have no plans of landing anytime soon! By maintaining a positive attitude, I aspire to accomplish greatness by following my true purpose  to serve God and others while I
continue my journey through life and by believing that “There is Life After Layoff!”

Today I am posting this in honor of my father’s 73rd birthday! I am so grateful for him! I love you daddy! Happy Birthday!



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