Life Lesson #125 – Choose your priorities wisely.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition of Priorities is: The things that someone cares about and thinks more important.
This is a BIG one, at least for me!
When we are born our priorities are simple. Sleep, eat, and drink. It is pure survival. As we grow, our parents or guardians set them for us. However, there are some adults who believe that you are never too young to learn how to prioritize on your own and they allow their children to do it all by themselves. It is believed to build character and encourage free thinking. I hate to admit it, but I did this with my kids. In hindsight I think it was because it was a 180 from how my parents raised me. And I honestly believed that I was doing the right thing. I’m still trying to figure out if I did?
Regardless of which philosophy you adhere to, priorities are decisions made consciously and deliberately. In our tweens and teens, this is usually self-fulfilling. In our twenties and early thirties as we mature and our responsibilities increase, we are more likely to set them accordingly. As we age, we continue to reassess, as our life and focus change.
There is no right or wrong way, it is very personal. For me as a Mom my priorities never waiver and are ruled by my maternal instinct. I always follow the same list: 1. Kids. 2. Animals. 3. Home. 4. Self. Once my kids have families of their own, I am sure my list will be a little different, though they will always remain at the top of it!
Now that my sons’ are in their early twenties they are at the point of living the consequences of their priorities, which for me at times is hard to watch. In fact, I find this to be one of the most difficult parts of parenting. Throughout their childhood, I always emphasized the importance of their decisions. Reminding them, as I still do, about how the choices they make affect others and that they should always take that into account.
Day after day we prioritize. We make lists. We weigh and balance. But most importantly we need to remind ourselves to be mindful of our decisions and how that can and usually will influence the final outcome. Remember to choose wisely.