The dictionary defines priority as something of the greatest importance.  The state of having most importance or urgency.  And it says right in the dictionary that you’ve got to get your priorities straight!

But do we know what that means? Do we really know what should be given the highest rank among all things in our lives?

I don’t think most of us do.  Not often enough anyway.  Because if we did, no one would have debts for luxury items, or own homes or cars that far exceeded what any normal person could possibly need.  People would make do with less, and spend more time enjoying life instead of working extra hours at stressful jobs to pay for the extravagances. 

I personally had to make a shift in my priorities when it became evident that my job was causing me enough stress to make my blood pressure unmanageable.  So in a precedence setting decision, I left my job to live a more stress free existence.  I would write full time—something I have always wanted to do—and my husband would bare all of the responsibility for supporting our family. 

But our attempt to get our priorities straight was only a partial success. 

As it was supposed to play out, I would stay home to take care of the house and the kids, and Mike would go off to work, business as usual.  On paper this sounded like a wonderful idea.

For me, the deal should have been spectacular, but in truth, I found myself stressing over the fact that Mike was stressing.  Because, as “stress free” as staying home sounds, it is not as free of stress as one would think.  Not to mention the fact that I was suddenly a full time parent and housewife.  These two things make up a full time job…an unpaid full time job.  I’m not knocking the job.  It was my career of choice when my children were small, but I had no idea that even now that the kids are teenagers, it requires more responsibility and has more long lasting effects than any bank position I had held, up to and including “bank officer.” 

So in round two of addressing our priorities, Mike and I are looking at the larger picture and where we can scale back to alleviate stress from both of us, and plan for our futures.  There has to be a better way to live our lives that doesn’t involve killing ourselves to maintain a lifestyle that does nothing to add value to our lives. 

First things first…no more diet Coke for me.  That should lower my blood pressure AND save money! And the caffeine is keeping me up at night.

Until the next time…I’ll be walking through the house to see what can be sold on EBay or donated to Goodwill!

Copyright © 2000-2018, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.
Posted on November 21, 2010 .