On Priorities

"Priorities" Road Sign with dramatic clouds and sky.

I’ve been feeling incredibly overwhelmed lately. I think it’s something any writer-with-a-day-job can relate to. Or really anyone with a side passion. Anyone raising a child. Anyone who’s working towards something that they don’t currently have. So basically, everyone.

You know how it is: we have a certain amount of things we need to accomplish each day to maintain the life we have. Things like showering and commuting to work and performing work at said day job and cooking dinner.

But then there are also a certain amount of things we need to accomplish to move ourselves towards the life we want. If we want to buy a house outside of the city, we have to save up some money. If we want to be healthier, we have to exercise. If we want to be a writer, we have to write a certain number of words each day (as well as query, blog, tweet…)

When I get overwhelmed, I tend to make lists. I think I got it from my dad. So I made myself an excel sheet with all the little things I needed to get accomplished each day in order to move towards my goals.

And it was long.

Like, 30 items long. The only person who’d have time to get through my daily list would be someone who doesn’t sleep. Like a vampire. And sleep is kind of important for us mere mortals.

It was time to prioritize.

I remember reading somewhere that you should write down the three things you want most in life. And if any of those things conflict with each other, you are destined to be unhappy. (If anyone knows where I found this, please let me know, I can’t remember.)

So that’s what I did. Here’s my list:

1. Maintain strong relationships (People are important. More so than anything else.)

2. Be a writer (Yes, ideally, eventually, a published one who makes money off her writing. But that takes time. For now, just hone your craft. Being a writer is enough.)

3. Be healthy (Because if we don’t have our health, what do we have?)

So those things don’t necessarily conflict with each other. That’s good! They do require a certain amount of balance, though.

So that is my new goal in life. Balancing myself between these three things that I want. And also, being more forgiving of myself for not cooking elaborate dinners every night of the week or having the cleanest apartment or tweeting  five times per day.

I am a mere mortal. And that’s okay.

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