Priority List

I read a few weeks ago that if you call something a season of life or short term, but then it continues for months and eventually years, then it’s not just a season, it’s now your life.

And I think about that a lot.

Life can get super busy. There are times when I don’t feel like I have enough energy leftover at the end of a hectic workday to spend time with the people I care about or invest in those who I want to have solid friendships with. And, if that goes on for a couple of weeks, or even a few months, then that’s short term. We all know that short term we sometimes have to give up and make sacrifices. But, if that’s how I feel day after day, week after week, and eventually for years then it’s not a season anymore – that’s just life.

Learning how to prioritize and set aside energy for the things that really matter to me is something I’ve decided is worth putting a lot of effort into. That means sometimes I have to stop and listen to what I’m saying – if I consistently tell someone (or myself) that I’m too busy to do a certain thing, that means that thing isn’t a priority for me. What I say is a priority and what I make time for need to line up.

One point where I find this especially important is when it comes to relationships. Each of us have a limited amount of meaningful relationships we can maintain and there are around eight billion people in the world. Which means if we don’t strategically plan and maintain the relationships we want to be a priority in our lives then they’ll get lost in the shuffle of people vying for our time, help, and/or attention.

Occasionally I make a Relationship Priority list. And that sounds rather cold and heartless, but when I’m trying to give everyone in my life the same amount of attention and time then basically no one gets it. I come from a family of ten children and there are now more than twenty nieces and nephews, which means that I don’t even do well with keeping up with my actual family, much less non-relatives who mean a lot to me. My list isn’t a cure-all and I still consistently find myself taking far too long to spend time with those who I really love and care about, but it does help me to do better with prioritizing and take some of the guilt away when I realize I haven’t responded to a text for several days. Well, for certain people, anyway. I still feel that guilt when it’s someone on my priority list, which is something I’m still growing in and failing at a lot.

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