May 8, 2017: Priorities


Caption of photo: Miss Daisy Driving
(Zach and my recent Vegas/Arizona road trip to visit my parents)

A friend recently posted a quote that has stuck with me.

"The key is not to prioritize what's on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities." - Stephen Covey

Too often, I have let my schedule run my life. Not always, but more in my past than I'd like to admit. And I am not in the minority with this offense. It is more common for people to let their days run them, rather than them running their days.

Priorities.

This last month has been a win for me in the priority management category. There were many great times with my husband, kids, parents, friends. This feat did require planes and a lot of careful planning, but a success.

Zach has turned the page to 24, Ben safely past the age of 21, and Grant a golden 17. Although my three sons live in three cities, we found a way to uniquely celebrate each April birthday. My husband finished his teaching stint for the semester in Montana. My trips to visit him were nothing short of feeling like a couple of newlyweds discovering a new city. My visit to my parents was wonderful. They are in great health, enjoying their life in Arizona (and still acting like newlyweds at 70-something).

Don't feign my enthusiasm for ease of execution. My life is a juggling act most days, as household responsibilities and work commitments do not go away. It's the chicken and the egg...a necessity in gaining the enjoyment of leading a quality life, but a distraction in taking care of the noted priorities. The key is doing work you love and then allowing room in the schedule to nurture your life priorities.

Although I am thankful for FaceTime, texting, and social media sharing; electronics never substitute the enjoyment of spending time together. Too often I hear stories of people caring for sick and aging parents. They regret not spending more time while their parents felt well. Too often I hear people make excuses for not spending quality time with their kids.

I was reminded of this at a recent conference I attended. A very successful female entrepreneur shared her story with us. It was a wonderful story of achievement told by a remarkable woman. When the forum was opened for questions, most were inquiries around her inspirations, goals, and personal mentors. But one person asked about her adult daughter who was standing to the side, taking pictures of the event. Her question was how did the CEO juggle her parenting duties with her successful business. Her answer made my heart drop.

"I spent a lot of time on planes and in meetings. That was part of my role as CEO and my family knew this. I didn't make it to most soccer games and missed most events, but that's just part of the job. My family backed me so we could share this success together today."

I am not here to judge this mom, but my heart went out to her knowing what she had missed. My fondest memories and best life experiences happened during those spontaneous moments in time when I was sharing life with my loved ones. Not on planes alone or in board rooms. Although wealth and business success felt good at the time, they are not my proudest accomplishments nor are they my most treasured assets. Relationships bring me happiness, and successful relationships need to be nurtured and invested in daily.

With my flurry of recent posts from different parts of the country and a multitude of celebrations over the last month, I have received many comments on my busy schedule. "Are you exhausted?" was a common question. Not at all. The trips were short in time but high in quality. Spending time together is the best kind of celebration in my book of life.

Balance. Priorities. The daily celebration of life, family, friendship.

Life juggling bliss.

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