Hold your breath for an uncomfortable length of time. Hold it.
Seriously. Do it!
*Jeopardy Theme Song*
If you are a human, your first action was probably to exhale before breathing in fresh air. While you hold your breath, Co2 builds up. If you've seen Tom Hanks in Apollo 13, you'll know C02 is a problem. It is poisonous. So we have to exhale the residue before inhaling new life.
On Monday, Courtney and I did some exhaling. In the middle of a mildly busy time, I had been sick for ten days, most of which I spent watching the entire Battlestar Galactica Series (word to my nerds). The next week my parents flew into town. So having only given 3 guitar lessons in two weeks while Courtney did three times the work (Taking care of me, prepping for our absence at work, stuff at home), it was a rough month.* So when we realized we weren't working on Monday, we drove an hour away, grabbed some subs, bought two blank yellow notepads, and sat at the park.
We started by being honest with ourselves about what we were doing with our time and money, which I could summarize as our priorities were backwards. We whined and sighed and mourned (I'm dramatizing a bit). We exhaled.
Next, we recognized the wonderful fact that where we are in life allows us a lot of control and flexibility. But of course none of us have time and money for everything. Something had to go. We made cuts, canceled Netflix, Beats Music and our internet. We tightened up our budgets. We listed things we were doing that needed to happen only after we had done the most important things. For me it meant making the first four hours of three days a week my sacred creation time, which isn't that ridiculous when Courtney and I already get up at 5, three days a week. But it did mean cutting our evenings a bit short and getting to bed earlier.
A blank piece of paper is a powerful thing.
But it's not magic. And it won't last, which is why we repeat this sort of process several times a year. It's like a GPS, if you turn it off for a while you might get on track. But as soon as you turn it back on, no matter where you are at, you will immediately be back on track.
*my parents being in town wasn't the rough part. I like them.