priorities, choice, and that nagging desire for more

I know you.

You want to finish the project you started last month. You want to have the next great idea. You want to stretch your creative muscles and energize your imagination.

You want to stop making conventional choices and start marking ones that make the rest of the world question your judgment.

But you don’t have time.

Or enough money.

Or maybe your kids something get in the way. And I mean that in the nicest, most honest way possible.

You struggle.

Not with who you are but what you’ve become. You struggle with responsibilities that aren’t glamorous, thrilling, or interesting in the least. Is this what you signed up for when you played make believe under the tent in your purple bedroom?

You prioritize your responsibilities. You choose to uphold your end of the big girl bargain.

Wait, who is this a bargain for?

I know you, because I am you.
Or I was. I’ve been caught in the rut of feeling like I don’t have time or money – and I didn’t even have kids then. I’ve been caught feeling that the real world was not what I wanted to live in. That the promises I was made in school were lies. Like creativity was nice but not necessity.

Even still, I made surviving in the “real world” a priority.

And what I prioritized I had time for. What I prioritized I found the money for.

What I didn’t prioritize I didn’t have time for. What I didn’t prioritize was too expensive.

But something nagged at me. And I asked myself why I had no time or money. Why I wasted energy on things that were common. Why I never seemed to move forward with all my grandiose plans.

You feel that nagging, don’t you?

That desire that nags you, tugs at the hem of your shirt like a 4 year old you don’t actually have, is waiting to be made a priority. And that desire is you.

You are not your responsibilities: rent, mortgage, cable bill, PTA, carpool, dinner parties, appointments, children, husband, boyfriend. You are the sum of your desires and your talents.

You prioritize your responsibilities. You find the time and the money. You can prioritize yourself, too.

Priorities come down to choice.

Each barrier, problem, concern originates in a choice to accept it or to reject it. Each day we make thousands of choices that mean the difference between moving forward & shirking back into the shadows of our own hang-ups.

Choose to prioritize yourself and answer that nagging feeling.

What will you choose today?

What can you let go of?

What is less important than your own self? What can be put off until tomorrow so that you can prioritize yourself today?

Want to know what you’re capable of? Want to know how far you can stretch yourself? Grow yourself? Build yourself? Start prioritizing yourself.

Forget the way you’ve always done it. Forget the way the Joneses do it. Make every choice anew. Find help, find peace, find abandonment.

Find joy in doing things differently: for yourself.

36 thoughts on “priorities, choice, and that nagging desire for more

    1. Chrystal, this is such a great time for you to really choose to put yourself first in new areas. Your new baby will thank you for it later. A good momma is one who takes care of herself in order to take care of her baby.

      Never forget it!

  1. Perfect :) I’ve been having this discussion (debate?) with myself a lot lately, and with my partner. We want me to be successful, but happy with what I’m doing, first and foremost. Thanks for this, Tara :)

  2. You are absolutely correct! Now, here’s the thing: Knowing this principle AND putting it into practice are two different things. And, the key word here is “practice.” I have to say that you’re mini course on action is a great help as far as jump-starting this process. One thing I’m learning is that a lifetime of putting everything but my priorities first takes time to reprogram. I’m also learning to that three steps forward and two steps back is still progress. Thanks for the encouragement!

    1. Mary Ellen, you are right on the money. Putting it into practice is difficult. One thing I left out of this post that I will definitely write a separate post about is the “myth of me time.”

      What I’m writing about above is not just this need for “me time” that we discovered in the 90s. This is a mindset where we don’t beat ourselves up for wanting more or different. And that’s a *practice* that takes us all a little work!

  3. yes! you are so right Tara. I have been saying this over and over lately. Actually, I was discussing it with my family today. I still have much room for improvement, but I’m getting there!

    1. Dannielle, having your family’s support is so important. Even if it takes them FOREVER to get on board. It took my husband forever to get on bored. And he’s still trying to work out these principles for himself.

      But you can support each other in crafting the life you wanted for yourself before you learned there were “rules.”

  4. this is such a great post! thank you!

    i’ve been feeling this way but didn’t quite realize it was about not prioritizing myself. i was all about looking at my outside goals and everything else outside myself.

    thank you :)

    xo, juliette

    1. You’re welcome, Juliette! It took me asking what people’s hang-ups were to realize it for myself. I do prioritize myself – almost always have (does that make me totally selfish? lol) but I see people struggle with this all the time.

      Thanks for stopping by today!

  5. I just had a breakdown last night about how I don’t have time for all the things I want to do and to take care of myself as well. I need to prioritize. I need to make some choices, then move on. Thanks for this.

    1. Yup, that’s exactly what you need to do, Laurel. You can’t do everything – I’m not delusional! – but you can choose to do more of what you want and less of what you don’t want.

      Good luck!

  6. Hi! Tara, I really like your writing, it really hit my point. I need to figure out which is prioritize for me. Otherwise, i will be very stressful & unable to handle my busy daily life.. Thanks again!

  7. Thank you for this!! Having just returned from one of the most important things I’ve done in my career, the prioritizing of myself needs to happen stat. My continued success depends on it!! Hope you are well, TG!!

  8. you are such a wise old (young!) woman, tara. the struggle that you describe is so natural, and i believe, almost a developmental stage for women in their 20s.. some of us make changes, but many of us continue to fill up our days with things that do not make us happy, because if we are busy we are important. but at the end of the day, week, year…where are we?

    good for you for catching yourself so early – and good for all of us to be reminded that there are more exciting & rewarding ways to live a life!

  9. How did you get into my head, Tara? Haha… This post reminds me of a quote: “You can’t expect different results by doing the same thing”…. Or something like that. Great post, thank you for the encouragement and words of wisdom!

  10. Sigh. Oh man, this is so me. And it seems like I realize this, and then forget about it, over & over again. Like I take 2 steps in the direction I really want to go in, and then get scared or embarrassed, and go hide under the covers again. But, I’m trying. Thanks for this post. I guess it’s time to try again. :)

  11. Tara…..You are so “Spot On” ! How did you know that I was having one of those days today?

    This whole, “Do what YOU want” and be yourself mantra, that I have been repeating to myself all day makes more sense to me now. Thanks so much for clarifying it for me and helping me to realize what my priorities are, I have so many I really need to let go of.

  12. Fantastic post as always, Tara!

    I definitely need to work on this. I tend to spread myself so thin because I don’t prioritize. I never feel like there’s enough time for everything I *want* to do, and when I add that to all the things I feel like I *should* do, it’s enough to drive me crazy. I am starting to realize that I need to figure out the difference between the things I *actually* should do and the things that I just *think* I should do, not to mention the things I desperately want to do, versus the things I just think it would be nice to do.

  13. this rocked my world. i’m stepping into my power more and more every minute. choosing to prioritize my soul & my sultry. it’s hard work in the best way possible & reading affirmations like this adds an extra boost to the belief that it’s the only way to go. thank you, love.

  14. wow… like one of the other ladies said… did you get into my head :) I feel akin to a butterfly coming out of it’s cocoon… and it’s all good, just have to keep forging ahead…
    looking forward to hearing from you via email for your minicourse!
    thanks as always Tara

  15. Excellent, again! For more years than I want to even think about, I’ve made it a priority to stay with the ‘comfort’ of jobs that go nowhere. It feels like there’s a risk to choosing other priorities but then, the status quo hasn’t exactly led to success…hmm?

  16. This is such a great article. This is just inspiring! I even wrote down your quote “You are the sum of your desires and your talents.” I’m going to make a plaque of it to remind myself that my bills do not define me. This makes me want to stand on a soap box and yell to the world “My bills don’t define me! I am what makes me happy!” =)

    Such an ego booster of an article! Amen to Tara!

  17. wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. Always good to have a reminder that we have choices, even when we are so wrapped up in chaos that we “think” we do not. Thank you for the great post, Tara.

  18. My whole life right now is wrapped up in waiting and dreaming and nagging and desiring. AND NO ACTION. Many people have told me I am the most talented person they know (huh?) so this idea of “You are the sum of your desires and your talents” is interesting to me. I’m not sure I completely understand it. I never believe I am enough. I never believe I can do it. And I know its because I am stuck in the dreaming and nagging. I am not taking action and it is killing me. It is sucking the life out of me. IT IS SO TIME for action. NOW is my time to make things happen. It is becoming too painful to wait anymore.

    Thanks for this post. I am a daily follower but rarely speak up. You rock.

  19. Thank you so much for this encouragement!
    I’ve some experience with practicing this and I can testify: it’s a pure source of happiness!

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