Friday, August 16, 2013

Budgeting, but not with money

As the beginning of the school year draws closer, I am feeling nervous.  How the heck can I get everything I need to do done?  Between writing my blogs (which has been admittedly sporadic this summer), taking care of the house and kids, and PTA duties (Feather Smoother-in Chief, meeting runner, Jack of All Trades, and Executive Cheerleader), I'm pretty certain I won't have time to do anything else until June of next year.  I'm likely overreacting, but it does bring up an important thought: Budgeting.  I need a budget for my time and energy so that I don't overextend.

Very, very few of us can decide to ignore the mundane world for a few weeks and work exclusively on our spiritual selves.  Obligations and everyday needs must be met, and it cuts into the time we can use work on our inner self.  This is where budgeting comes in.  We can, and probably should, prioritize our spiritual tasks.  We then can eliminate any task that is simply unworkable in the current time frame, whatever that means to you.  Put them on the next budget request.  Once you have priorities that are reasonable, then you can budget time and energy to put into those.  Say you need to reduce your stress, then you could, conceivably start by meditating for 10 minutes each day or planning some time out in nature.  You can also limit the amount of outside stuff you take on through the same process, but keep in mind that things sometimes go awry and that your budget needs to be flexible during those times.  Creativity, learning, or even relaxation could be built into your budget to facilitate spiritual health. You could limit the exposure you have to negative people, learn to be better about not being overloaded (Hello, Pot, I'm Kettle), and give up bad habits by starving them of your attention.

Budgeting is not just about finances. It can be a useful tool to helping us understand where we spend our time and energy, and more importantly, it can help us plan to spend a little more of our precious time and energy doing things that are better for us. We have a choice in how we invest ourselves in the various portions of our life.

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