I was thinking today about priorities, and how some folks seem to have theirs a little mixed up. I’m sure that could also have been said about me at various times in my life. As you move through life your responsibilities and your priorities change.
When I was young, my priorities were taking care of my kids, maintaining my marriage, and working to keep the bills paid. That last one probably came first more often than not, because it had to. Working wasn’t an option, at least for me. I was raised with a strong work ethic and you kept a job and took care of your financial responsibilities no matter what.
Unfortunately a steady income wasn’t always a priority with my exes, neither was our marriage, sadly. One spouse actually told me on more than one occasion that I was the number three priority in his life, right behind marijuana and making music with the band. Naive as I was, I thought I’d move up in rank with time. In thirteen years I never did.
One thing I’ve learned about successful marriages is that no matter how different you might be from each other, you’ve got to be on the same page when it comes to your priorities and goals in life.
Now that I am retired and my kids are grown and on their own, my priorities are focused on faith, spending time with Papa Bear, taking care of the furkids and house, bettering myself, and reaching out to friends and family with a little encouragement when I can. Note that nowhere in that list do you see fame, fortune, power, image, partying, or acquiring lots of stuff. Those things have little value to me.
I also have little time for people who are loud, self-absorbed, contentious, close-minded, prejudiced, entitled, or morally bankrupt. I prefer to surround my myself with kind, positive people who are trying to be the best they can be and don’t hesitate to reach out to help others. The company you keep matters.
I think it’s important to re-evaluate our priorities now and then, taking an honest look at where, what, and with whom we are spending our time and energy. It is never to late in life to choose a new direction, to become more true to yourself. With each year I am becoming more me, and it feels good!