Wednesday, March 21, 2007


If Life is a journey, priorities form the road map.

Priorities are not all alike. For example, there are the trivial; "Honey, let's have potatoes instead of pasta." There are intermediate: "Do we refinance the house to pay for the kids' college?" And then there are enormous, powerful, life-changing ones to light our way and guide us to our final destination.

In philosophical discussions at dinner parties, the question arises, "In order, what are your three most important priorities?"

My well rehearsed reply rolls off my tongue, "Health, Family, Career." I know this because I am enlightened (and have engaged the service of fine therapists). Such topics matter to enlightened people.

I also accept that one might disagree (even I do at times); that misses the point. Rather, the issue here is "The Three" are so critical, I don't even have to think about it. Yet, therein lies a dichotomy: if they are so very important, why not reflect upon them more than I do?

I vocalize, "Health," then eat excessively, evade the doctor, and seek extensive rationale to avoid exercise. If health is my highest priority, I manifest it in an unusual fashion.

Second Priority: "Family." However, when my wife says, "let's play," resistance wells up; I just have so darn much work to do. She - being the loving, supportive partner - gives me permission to enhance Priority Three: Career, and write my overdue speech. I opt instead to use those two hours adjusting the desktop photograph on my computer. After all, who can be productive when the scenery on screen is unattractive?

As a result of my inappropriate time management, Guilt makes its appearance - always a catalyst to eat blindly, medicate away my feelings, and insult my health. Voila, a cycle is complete!

If analyzed by what I do, rather than what I have memorized to impress people, would not my priorities be: "Eating, Procrastination, Guilt"? After all, that is what fills my days.

It's so easy to proclaim out loud what's essential (especially when directing others), yet it's not so effortless to actually follow through.

If health is truly my Priority One, I must act upon it.

I was going to conclude with sage advice on how you could adjust your priorities. But you'll excuse me if I instead put down this donut and take a walk.

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