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Friday, April 6, 2007

Priorities

During this process, I have discovered something about priorities. Life priorities are not always as simple as they seem. For example, if my priority is to save money then I might have to spend money (buy an IRA) or loan it to someone for a period of time (CD). In the long run, I will save more money by using the money, thus keeping my priority. Of course, I wouldn't book a cruise or loan money to a friend to save money.

In my life I have many priorities. I used to think that I needed to rank them.
#1 God
#2 Family
#3 Friends
#4 Work
#5 Self

Therefore, if a matter comes up with the family, I had to brush off work and friends to deal with it. This certainly isn't true. I realized along time ago that God is a part of all my priorities. Therefore, I did not need to rank God in such a way as to make him opposed to everything else.

Recently, I realized that there is a symbiotic relationship between my priorities. For example, spending 8-12 hours a day at work is not putting work over my family. Instead, I am showing that I care for my family by providing for them and giving my kids a good role model. However, if I spend 7 days week, 365 days a year working 12 hours a day, I would be putting work over family. After all, I need to participate in the family sometime.

Now, when I start to think of all my priorities (I have more than I listed, and even those listed can be broken down further), I realized how complicated things can get AND how easy it is to excuse my behavior by hiding behind some priority. What was the biggest thing I was excusing myself for? My fitness of course (which would be a subcategory of self).

If I take those basic priorities I listed above, I cannot truly put any of them first if I am not healthy. How can I make my family a priority if I live a lifestyle that will certainly end in my early death? What kind of lifestyle do I give as an example to my family? Heck, even playing horsie is hard on my back.

How can I make work a priority, if I live in such a way that I will be sick, contribute to the health care burden, and have low energy?

No matter how I look at it, if I don't live a fit lifestyle I am putting all my priorities way down on the list. Instead, I am putting myself way on top, but only in the worst way. I am really saying that eating cookies and Fettucine are more important than being around for my children and one day, grandchildren. I am really saying that sitting, pfft! who am I kidding, LAYING on the couch in front of the TV is more important than having energy to do a great job at work.

On the other hand, if I put my fitness first, I am really raising all my other priorities. By putting my fitness first I am really showing how important all my other priorities are to me.

This might sound like I am putting self in the #1 slot. Maybe so, but I am doing it in a good way. Before, I was doing it in a bad way...a self-destructive way. But I really don't look at it that cut and dried. As I said before, I think that my priorities have a symbiotic relationship. I don't really need to rank them.

What I do need to do is look at how my fitness affects all my other priorities. As complicated as they can all get, my fitness affects them all. So if they are truly priorities for me, I need to focus on my fitness. This is why I adopted the motto: Living Fit Is My #1 Job! To me, this says that all my other priorities are truly important to me.

Living Fit Is My #1 Job!

2 comments:

Spider63 said...

I agree with you that living fit is #1. Sometimes the other priorities can create so much stress and anxiety that it pushes food over fitness.

Anonymous said...

I can tell by your posts that you are a believer. I wanted to encourage you with a very common word from the Jesus, "love your neighbor as you love yourself." There is a lot of emphasis put on needing to be sacrificial (as indeed Christ was for us) however if we do not love ourselves then we cannot know how to love others. It is exactly like what you said about your work -- you show your love for your family by providing for them. Taking care of your body, making healthy choices, choosing moderation in pleasurable foods and choosing to do the work of fitness are all habituating you to better understand what healthy love is for yourself and for your community.

I want to tell you that your blog has been such an encouragement to my husband and I. We are not obese (200 and 160 for he and I) but we aren't healthy or fit. Your commitment to eating write and making physical exertion a priority especially in the midst of all your stress has been an inspiration to us. Thank you.