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Of Hot Cocoa and Pajamas

I wisely signed up for a class being held the week before school starts.  Two credits towards my MPH in 5 days on a topic I find interesting, bring it on. As I finished up my last minute projects on Friday I wished for one more day to feel ready before school started.  It seems my wish was granted.  Winter weather has closed down the town, and my school.  All work is being completed via email.

What did I do with my extra day today?  I ignored my to do list by playing and reading with the kids, baking muffins and shopping online. I am shocked at how tired I am tonight, and embarrassed to say I wished for one more day off to complete all the things I had wanted a day off for. The winter weather was able to maintain the snow and ice, giving me another 24 hours out of class.  I wonder if I will make better use of that time tomorrow?

I share this with you because I think it is important that I start to remember my to do list needs to be balanced.  Starting the school year exhausted was not the way to go.  It needs to be just as important to get a good nights sleep as it is to complete all financial forms and keep my laundry ready to use. But sleep is the physical need I tend to ignore.  I know other women who ignore their nutrition, and others who ignore family relationships.  We all have something that sinks to the bottom.

I’m not saying things should be lower priorities – everything fits neatly (or not so neatly) somewhere.  I’m just recommending that you become familiar with what your lowest priority is.  Then make sure that whatever it is you give the least time to is really the place you want to give the least time to.

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Jennifer Vanderlaan CNM MPH is the author of the BirthingNaturally.net website. She has been working with expectant families since 2000, training doulas, childbirth educators, and midwives. She has worked with midwives in Central America and Sub-Saharan Africa. Her interest in public health grew in 2010, and she is now a PhD student learning to become a producer of knowledge.

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