In some ways, my life has been chaos since late January. It seems that every time I feel like I’ve got a plan for making progress and managing my time, something gets in the way. In January and early February, those “distractions” were mostly related to my duties at my church. In late February, my husband and I miscommunicated and it took about two weeks for me to be able to turn the “oops” into “ok” — even with his help. Then, as March was beginning, my mom went into the hospital with pneumonia. (Thankfully, she’s fine now and finishing her recovery at home.)
My dreams include learning Spanish, writing music, and starting my own business. I’d love to become one of the “big wigs,” at least in my own little suburb of the U.S. I have these visions of what my home and my life will look like when I’ve “arrived,” and I’m eager to get there.
Instead, the reality is that I live in a small home filled with unfinished projects, and my living room is in such chaos right now that I’m embarrassed to have anyone visit.
Experts would say that I need balance and boundaries. I need to carve out “sacred time” that is for me and my dreams and not let anyone or anything interfere. That sounds awesome, but I’ve never had life work that way.
So, I have decided to work on my mindset. I have decided to layer my priorities.
Top Tier Priorities
I have learned that making a difference for good in life requires integrity to high moral standards and it also requires making connections. I tend to think of Mother (now Saint) Teresa as my example. She made a huge difference for good. She did it without fanfare. She did it by getting personally involved when there was a need. She knew and loved the people she was trying to help.
Of course, since making a difference for good is my top tier priority, it fits that I will have to put other things aside when something at my top level “pops up” in my life.
Second Tier Priorities
Honestly, this is largely what I would call personal advancement. This is where my efforts to increase my physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and financial health fit in. This is the clean house, daily exercise program, gardening, starting a business, and most of the rest of my life fit in.
Third Tier Priorities
This is pretty much everything else. The truth and the reality are that I won’t be spending any real time at this level.
I find that understanding my real priorities is freeing. It doesn’t take away the frustration when the plans I thought I had for the day or the week are suddenly rearranged by an unforeseen need from higher priorities, but it does help to lessen the amount of frustration I feel. In fact, I was able to relax while I spent time with Mom in the hospital and feel gratitude that I still have this time with her and that life has worked out that I have the time to give.
So, do you try to balance your life or understand your priorities? Have you found a way to do both? Share in the comments!