Every stage of life has its unique challenges. Teenagers struggle with autonomy vs dependence. Singles may worry about finding a companion or loneliness. Seniors can struggle with empty nest syndrome and/or mortality. Are there Variances and Variable? Oh Yes. But there are some themes too. For me, as a parent of young children, I struggle with lack of sleep and time. Practically, this means that prioritizing is Do or Die.
What makes the top of the list? Anything urgent for starters which could take the form of a check due NOW or a dentist appointment at 4:00pm. Urgent items are non-negotiable.
Self-discovery comes after the urgent times. To unveil our true motives and values, we must dig past the urgent and get to the next category: Important To-dos. In my life, important to-dos (not including health/safety) are quality time with family/friends and anything work related. I’m opting not to publicize what I don’t get done in this forum (our religion doesn’t glorify person-to-person confessions!), but it’s plain to see what I shuffle to the bottom of the list.
Truth is, our time is limited and there will, of course, be to-dos that don’t get done. As long as our choices of what does get done reflect our actual priorities, then we’re being authentic.
Divine Providence constantly creates opportunities for us to choose between what we feel like doing (in black/white terms: evil) and what we know we should be doing (good). It’s strange to frame seemingly small moments of our lives into dramatic choices between good and evil but, in fact, that’s exactly what they are. Everyone’s challenges look completely different, of course, due to differences in culture, generation, age, personality, preferences, DNA, nurture, economic strata, and choices up until this very moment.
With all this in mind, I’m choosing to spend the remainder of my evening cleaning my house and getting as much done for tomorrow morning as possible so wake-up/school/work transition time is harmonious. These are my priorities. Dull, sure, but important- absolutely. What do I feel like doing? Pouring myself a nice hot cup of tea and looking at Yahoo’s headlines (my milder confessions do make it here!). How about you? When motivation lags, let’s remember that every moment is made up of a choice between good and evil.