Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Priorities: A Balancing Act

I've been thinking a lot about priorities lately. Maybe it's because my life is usually very out of balance. If I'm caught up and doing well in one area, the other areas are likely to be suffering. I think it's been affecting me more than it ever has in the past. For instance, I may be trodding along with my work and doing well, while my house is slowly falling apart. If I'm on top of all of my housework, you can be sure that I'm falling behind on my work assignments. The same goes with my church responsibilites. And the more I fall behind, the more overwhelming the thought of catching up.

It's always easier, for some crazy reason, to take care of a big looming project with an immediate deadline than it is to care for the small and simple things that must occur on a regular basis. Ironically, these are the things that make life easier to manage and help those big projects to go more smoothly. I think that lately my priorities have been out of whack and I'm paying the price for it big time.

I listened to a talk by Julie Beck the other day and it brought it all into perspective. I can categorize all of my regular tasks into three areas: Essential, Necessary and Nice to Do. The Essential items are at the core of who I am, my values and my most important goals in life. The Necessary items are essential to survival and the Nice to Do are just that: nice to do, but I can afford to put them off.

I find that most of my time is spent in the necessary and the nice-to-do area. I have to work in order to help pay for our necessities (and some nice-to-dos). I have to eat (although maybe not as much as I do :)) and feed my children. I have to care for my home (for my health and my sanity). I don't have to watch television, but at the end of the day it's nice sometimes to unwind and relax with a good show.

Sometimes in my quest to fill the necessary and reboot, I find that it's my children and my husband that are neglected. These are the essentials in my life. My relationship with Deity starts to suffer as well. Ironically, these things don't often require big chunks of my time. They simply require daily deposits. Some days the deposits may be bigger than others, but there needs to be time invested daily. I believe that when I put the essentials first and the necessities close behind, I will still have time for many of the nice-to-do things on my list. But the essentials will never occur if I am upside down in my priorities.

This blog is one of the nice-to-do things on my list. I love it, it's a great release for me, and I get share some special memories that my children can come back to and remember. I get to meet some great people and interact with them. But it's all too easy to let it get in the way of the things that are most important to me (the very things that give me something to blog about, ironically). I'm still going to blog. I'm still going to interact with bloggers. But, I've accepted the fact that I may have to move at a slower pace than I had previously planned. If you don't hear from me here, it's because I'm busy tending to the Essentials and feeding the Necessities.

How do you find balance in your daily obligations?

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