Take Time for What Matters Most
In the next room, I can hear my son stirring in his crib. Sometimes in the middle of the night, for no reason, he’ll say a few words and then fall back to sleep. Late at night, I like to sit and read, watch television, write, and draw. I often get to sit and listen to the noises of the house, the dogs turning around on their beds, and the cars driving down the dirt road. It’s peaceful when the cool night air teases the curtains and slips through the window to blow over my hands and across my face as she sneaks into the dark room and disappears.
I’m sitting here taking some “me” time, because I think it’s one of the most important things that anyone can do for themselves. When we are intentional about spending time on the things that matter most, we can then step out and interact with the rest of the world in a more positive, influential way. When I am whole, happy, and content, I am able to exercise more patience and be kinder to those around me. It helps me focus on how to more effectively serve those that I love, and it helps me stay in line with my real priorities.
In the years gone by, during my first attempts at life on my own and business ownership, I made a lot of mistakes in the area of focusing on what matters most. I left a lot of important things undone and ignored the warnings of those older and wiser than I was. With 10 years behind me now, I am thankful to have, what I consider to be, a second chance at a lot of things. I don’t know if everyone deserves a second chance, but it seems like a lot of us get second, third, and fourth chances. So with this second chance I’ve been given, I’m doing my best to get it ‘more right’ than the last time.
My wife and son matter a lot to me. I spend the majority of my day working hard on things that I hope will make their lives better and give them what they want and need. I have to be careful though. In my very good goal of providing all I can, it’s easy to forget what matters most. Spending time with them. An extra hour at work or another technical success in programming should never replace serving and supporting my wife, who cares for our family so faithfully, and spending time watching my son grow up. My driving nature can often eat my lunch like an addiction, so I have to set goals and parameters, so that my efforts to do what’s best in providing for my family don’t actually sidetrack me from what I truly care about.
It’s late now, and my eyes are starting to get as tired as my fingers. Working in a digital business usually means that, by the end of the day, my fingers hurt and my eyes burn; but it’s good to feel like I’ve actually accomplished something useful. After everyone’s asleep, I get to sit back and think about what I’m working on and what I want to accomplish in the days and weeks ahead. I try to set aside times, just for us as a family, where I won’t let work or my own interests usurp. It’s hard, and it’s something that I have to adjust and work on daily and hourly – decision by decision. I promised my wife and my son, before he was even born, that I’m going to be there for him and not let the urgency of today steal me away from him. I don’t think I’m ever going to get it just right, but I know I’m going to keep trying.
I’m going to keep trying to take time for what matters most.
How do you prioritize your time? What helps you decide between the good and the better things in life? Share your thoughts in the comments below.