A priority check is needed for me once in a while. Sometimes I'll embark on a new something and lose my purpose. Other times this thing I find seems to have some real value to me or others, only to find that over time it's not a valuable thing at all. Either of these can detract from my home, my family, and myself.
I still remember really great sermons from my pastor when I was younger at the church I grew up in. He said once, "You want to find out where a person's priorities are? Look at where they spend their time and money." I think of this more often than just once a week, believe it or not. I'm constantly looking at other people's priorities. There are 24 hours in a day. Where are they spending 10 hours a day? I even look at people in the store. I see they have a budget, but will blow money they don't really have on something anyway. What is that something? What is more important than the rent? It's sort of an inward hobby of mine. I have a scrapbook of photos in my head of people's priorities. I don't judge. I just find it interesting. When we are broke, Daniel and I will grab a cup of coffee and walk around Walmart just people-watching
You'd think I would be sensitive of my own priorities then. I am actually pretty dubious about it. The last few days (or maybe weeks?) I've slowly been unconsciously evaluating my priorities. Today it has hit me like a ton of bricks that I've been doing this. I've had one of those moments of epiphany. What am I spending the majority of my time doing??? I have goals. Goals for my house, myself, and my relationships. Are these goals really of the utmost priority? I say they are, but are they really?
Over this past week, I have been looking at how I'm spending my time, but I haven't flat out asked myself any questions until today. I would only think, "Yes, this is fun. I don't really want to be doing this, though." I would think, "I wish Daniel weren't busy. I'd really like to have coffee outside together before winter, or play Minecraft together", but then not say anything. "I love my dog and she need a walk," but then I'd get busy doing something else not as important as her walk. All of these things have depressed me in one way or another. Not a really bad depression. Just a kind of regret.
"This is fun. I like doing this. I don't really want to be doing this now, though. I'm just bored and looking for something to do." This is a time killer. I think it's sinful to kill time as it's a gift given to me. Do I need to be productive when I don't feel like working? Sometimes, yes. The house needs cleaned. But sometimes, no! Maybe I need to just sit and be. Maybe just sit and have a cup of coffee and stare out the window at the birds, even if I'm by myself doing it while everyone else seems to be exploring their priorities doing other things. I think it's like that movie you watch, but don't turn off. It's somewhat entertaining, but at the end you feel like you could've spent your time somewhere else and had more fun. I need to stop wasting my time doing things that aren't giving me anything.
"I wish Daniel weren't busy. I'd really like to have coffee together, or read, or play a game." This can make me feel resentful. I can start feeling like I'm not the priority. Meanwhile, I'm sure if I'd spoken up, he would make some time for me, even if it wasn't right that second. We all have our own interests. We usually do everything together, but we each have things we like to do where the other isn't as interested. Right now, Daniel has a game he is playing that I like, too. However, my passion for this game isn't as great as his. So, I'm stuck either playing with him, or finding something on my own to do. I have been choosing to play with him for the most part because even if I'm not enjoying the game as much, I'm still doing stuff with him. Slowly though, I've been leaving him to his own devices while I spend my time on things I like to do. This is healthy, I think, as long as it doesn't take up more hours of the day than time spent sleeping.
"I love my dog. She needs a walk. I'll get to it in a minute. In an hour. Tomorrow." I walk my dog, Big Things, almost every day. She however seems to need more than this. I get busy though, and her needs get put on the back burner. The solution is simple. I need to make more time for her. I'm responsible for her well-being, and part of that is ensuring she gets enough time outside. I think this applies to other things as well. My son needs me to spend time with him. Daniel needs me to spend time with him, too. I need a better balance so that Big Things gets her walks in. Simple in theory. Maybe I need to write it down on my housekeeping schedule, so it's there in black and white.
Yes, some of my time is being misused and squandered. I can rectify this. My goal is to not waste my time, not carry resentments, and to balance my time and priorities. Perhaps in the future I will be more mindful of my thoughts and unhappiness. I see now that I haven't been very happy doing what I've been doing. I've been spending too much time doing things that aren't really benefiting me or my family.