You’re Not Too Busy. Your Priorities Just Suck.
I have way too much to do today. I had to take my car in for service this morning. I have to leaf blow the backyard. Clean the house. Grocery shop. Write this. Return three packages. Go to Home Depot. Get my mom a Mother’s Day card. Figure out next week’s meals. Laundry. Car wash. Pay bills.
This is not an extraordinary life. I don’t know anyone whose life doesn’t look like this. I am not special.
My best friend called me at 9:00am in a panic because her dog ate her blinds and if she didn’t fix them, today, her apartment was going to give her an eviction notice. They don’t play.
She lives alone and doesn’t own a drill. It’s a two person job. For the life of her, she is trying to be a grown ass adult but she needs help. More specifically, she needs me.
My plans for the first half of the day went right out the window with that phone call. While my car sat at the shop, she picked me up and we got the damn blinds up. After that, we went to brunch, had mimosas, and caught up for an hour or so. Because we needed it and I love her. She is more important than the leaves in my yard that will be there tomorrow. Priorities.
I could have easily shirked her off. Told her I was too busy and that I had too much to do. She would have figured it out. Maybe she would have just found someone else to help. I didn’t do that. Because, really, I did have the time.
We’re not too busy. We just don’t care. We make excuses for not doing things by saying we’re too busy. Too busy to eat well, visit a friend, text someone back.
It’s so much easier to act self important than to recognize we’re doing a horrible job of setting our priorities straight.
We waste a lot of time. Every single one of us. Admittedly, I screwed around for a good hour this morning doing absolutely nothing. Not a damn thing worthwhile. There is plenty I could have gotten done but I prioritized reading backlash over the President’s tweets over my to-do list. That happened.
Right now, something in my refrigerator has died a horrible death. I don’t know what it is because I have not taken the time to get in there and clean that mess out and get rid of whatever putrescence is the problem.
This is not a time issue. This is a me issue. I don’t want to clean out my fridge. It’s as easy as that.
Because I see this in myself, I see this in others.
I have a tendency to like a certain kind of man. Successful, smart, driven and with a variety of interests. I have been trying for quite a while to find a man like this that can squeeze me in somewhere. They can’t. Scratch that. They won’t.
It’s shifted my perception of time. The less I feel people are willing to give me of their time, the more important I feel my own time is. I have learned to value myself.
These men are sending me a clear message and I am hearing it: “I do not value you enough to want to give you my time.”
It is plain and simple. And heartbreaking. But, the beauty of it is that it’s not my problem. Some guy’s tendency to overwork himself, not create balance in his life, and not set priorities that include me is not my issue to deal with. It has nothing to do with me but it’s taught me to be strong enough to not accept “busy” as an excuse.
For me, time is not only a gift. It’s the greatest gift. Time means you’re important. Time means you have value to me but time is of equal value. Yours is no more important than mine and vice versa.
It’s taken me quite a while to come to terms with the fact that asking for someone’s time doesn’t mean we’re needy. It’s recognizing that we are willing to give the best of ourselves but are asking for the same in return.
Stop being arrogant about time. Our to-do lists don’t define us. Get your priorities straight. We’re not too important for what really matters in life and the stupid things we waste our time on are not that important, either. Game of Thrones will still be there. Instagram will still be there. The president’s tweets will still be there. Sadly. Make time for what matters.
*Sometimes, I’m good at dealing with time. Sometimes, I fail miserably. Sometimes, I change my mind about it completely.
Getting My Priorities Straight in the Middle of the Ocean
I am a woman of obligation. I am a woman of “should.”