Tending to Priorities
Rev. Robin Volker
Someone said to me the other day, “I don’t know how you do it.” I replied, “Do what?” She said, “All the things you do.” “Just like you; I just do it,” was my reply. I made it sound simple but managing our lives can be a juggling act.
When we were growing up, we didn’t think about how important it would be to manage our lives. We may have thought that when we got through school or college, life would fall into place. We may not have realized the planning that would have to continue. Somehow, we assumed that managing our lives would come naturally.
If you stop to take stock of your life, you will find that the demands on you come from an extensive list of time and energy grabbers, such as spouse, family, home, work, recreation, friends, parents, kids, grandkids, church, spiritual development, sobriety, school, hobbies, health, fitness, pets, personal care, and sports. You might add more to my list.
How do you balance all these things and live a full, rich life? It begins with recognizing what is important. There is only so much you can put into your life at one time. You have time and space for a certain number of life experiences. In the 168 hours in a week, you can maximize what you do with those hours, but you can’t create more of them.
What is the really important stuff to you? What are the things that repeatedly interfere with that important stuff? When you let those interference items take priority, you probably feel stressed, fatigued, angry, and defeated. You cannot fill your life with the interference stuff and expect to add the important stuff at the end of the day, the week, the month, or at the end of your life.
It is up to you to take ownership and responsibility of the important priorities for yourself. Then you need some tools to help you manage those priorities. It is one thing to identify them and another thing to take care of them. You must make an effort to put first things first.
Remember, you can’t control everything that life presents to you, but you can choose how you will deal with it.
This week, think about the top five or six most important things in your life. Yes, I really mean that you can only choose five or six. That part of the exercise gave me great pause. Although I have done this exercise several times before, I realized that at this time in my life, things have changed. My priorities are not the same as before. Perhaps, like me, you will be surprised.
Join me on Sunday, April 8, 2018, at Unity of Gainesville at 11:00 a.m. for my talk, “Tending to Priorities.” Here we will talk about how to discern those top priorities, what happens if we overload our lives, and the part that our spiritual walk plays in managing our lives.
Email Robin with your top six priorities and any questions that came up for you on how to balance and align your life.