WHAT’S REALLY IMPORTANT?
What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important. Eisenhour
I am a get it done, cross it off the list, make a new list and get that done kind of person. As I reflect over the past few weeks, it seems that I haven’t crossed much off my list. The really important things go onto my list…so I think; call the homeschool office, educate the kids (I did cross this off), call the doctor’s office, pay taxes (yes, this one gets done too), write a proposal for a new book, get paperwork together for a new insurance policy, and the list goes on.
When many of the items have to be moved to next week’s list, I tend to get a little discouraged. I ask, “What in the world did I do with my time this week?” I have tried to make a new habit of writing down some of the “extras” that I do accomplish. This week I have noticed that I talked, or rather listened and gave feedback, to one of the kids about something that was very important to him (that took TIME). In between calls I was receiving and making for my husband’s office I had tea parties with the little girls, made a ton of food (nutritious food which you have to plan to do), took a few rooms and deep cleaned them due to one of my kid’s allergies, watched my kid’s play football in the yard, taught school to my 5-year-old – NOT during school time; just because she likes it, cut my husband’s hair, listened to one of my boys (now in college) tell me about tests and stories about genetics he had been learning.
None of these items were on my list. Shouldn’t they have been? Aren’t they important too? Did I accomplish anything by these basic activities of life? Certainly! The phrase “children tie your feet” is often used because with children at home all day, you spend much of your time loving, nurturing and tending to them sometimes to the exclusion of your to-do list. These acts don’t get much recognition and you don’t get to mark them off your list because normally they are “interruptions” to a very organized day and they aren’t planned.
Maybe we list makers should write a category in our list that says “interruptions”, “delays”, “caring for others”. The “extras” are usually the MOST IMPORTANT things we do all day. No, we can’t see the hope we may give our children, or the character that one of our conversations may have contributed to our children’s lives, but these small acts of “giving a cold drink unto one of these little ones” are the very things we should be spending our time doing.
I know all the other items on our lists must be done, but sometimes I think I determine that they are more urgent than they really are. For me, developing trusting relationships with my family through the messiness of life (things to do not on my list) is of HIGHEST importance. This is where the rubber really meets the road for me. At the end of the day, did my life in the hearts of my husband and kids and those around me?
What is really important to you?