Monday, November 29, 2010
Not Dead, Just Buried
Nope. I'm not dead. Just buried.
I know the blog-stage has been darkened for a bit, and this is not even a proper blog post in and of itself.
But it's been a crazy roller coaster ride, what with me getting used to the new dayjob, and the holidays, and trying to find my way.
We've all got the same 24 hours in a day. We may not have the same amount of money, we may not have the same amount of talent, but we've ALL had EXACTLY 24 hours in the past day. That being the case, I'm really wondering what I blew my 24 hours on, because I honestly can't see that I've done much besides survive.
Sometimes, though, you get a gold star for just surviving, just treading water until the Coast Guard can scoop you out of the murky deep. And that's how I've felt lately. Sooner or later, though, just surviving isn't enough.
I read something once that made me realize how useful priorities were in making life decisions, no matter what those decisions involved: family, money, time, stuff. I believe it was a Dr. Phil book.
I'll roughly paraphrase here: say you wanted to go to Miami, and you started from DC. You're tooling down the interstate, and you take a wrong turn. Instead of going down I-95, now you're heading west. You go about two miles down that road, realize what you've done, and say, "Self, I've got to turn around."
Now a flashback to your dreaded word problems in math class. Just how far off course have you strayed? Nope, it's not just the two miles ... it's the two miles down the wrong road, the two miles back to the initial wrong turn, and the fact that you could be at least four miles further along your path and closer to your goal if you hadn't made the wrong turn in the first place.
The thing about priorities is that they make you ask this question: Is this choice leading me closer to my goal? Or further away?
Theoretically in a perfect world, we'd never choose a priority that takes us away from our goal. But we aren't computers. We don't make calculated choices. Our choices are steeped in emotion -- which is not all bad. We don't even, sometimes, recognize that whatever the choice is DOES affect our priorities.
But it's back to those 24 hours in a day. Like my "stuff" in my closets, only so much can be jammed into those 24 hours. I have to figure out what I want to get accomplished long-term. And then I have to be disciplined about using my time wisely.
That's what I'm doing now -- my brain is busy cogitating the top three things I want to get accomplished in the next year. After that, I'll be able to give a flint-hearted, cold-eyed stare to a decision and say, "Yup, that's gonna help me get there," or "Nope, that's taking me west when I wanna go south."