Friday, July 25, 2008

Keeping your priorities in the right order

For Obama and McCain, politics is still not their number one priority. At least that's what one might hope if they know what's good for them.

A patient and I had a discussion about "priorities". It was what seems like ions ago now, but there was one thing she said that I will never forget.

She said, "In life, if you don't have your priorities straight, nothing ever works out. If you you do not have your priorities straight, you will not succeed in your life."

She put her thumb up. "This is God. He is your number one priority. This pointer finger is your wife. This middle finger is your children. The ring finger is other people. And, least but not least, this pinky finger is other things.

"Now," she continued, "If you get these priorities out of place, nothing seems to work properly." She placed her thumb between her pointer and ring finger. If you place God after your wife and before your children, you can't grip anything." She placed her thumb between the middle finger and ring finger. "If you place your thumb here, you still can't get a grip on anything.

"See," she opened up her hand, and gripped mine with hers, "the only way you can really grip things, have control of the things in your life, is to put your thumb before your other fingers. God, in essence, is like your thumb. If you have no God in your life, nothing works right.

"The same is true if you get other things in your life out of proper order. You must love your wife before your children, and love your children before other people. But you must always put other people before other things."

I told my priest about this before I was married, and he loved it so much that he used it during our wedding ceremony. Not only that, but he told me he also used it during Mass.

So, that in mind, I thought I would take the time to list the priorities in my life. Perhaps you might do the same -- just for fun.
  1. God (however my relationship here is private)
  2. My wife
  3. My 2.5 children
  4. My parents and siblings and nieces and nephews
  5. My aunts and uncles and cousins
  6. My friends
  7. My co-workers
  8. My love of country (sure, I'd fight if I was asked)
  9. My job (way down here)
  10. My Column (it doesn't provide the benefits)
  11. My home (without the above I would not have it)
  12. Family entertainment
  13. Sleep
  14. Golf
  15. Baseball (I love this sport, particularly the Detroit Tigers)
  16. Football, Basketball, Hockey
  17. Reading (which includes the news and any books)
  18. The Respiratory Therapy Cave
  19. Reading medblogs
  20. Freadom Nation and politics
  21. Reading political blogs
  22. Material things

It's important to remind ourselves of these priorities, because when they get out of order, things simply do not work, as I learned quickly after I was married when I had to move golf way down on the list, and had to quit collecting baseball cards.

However, I've found a way enjoying cards vicariously through my son. If I buy him the cards, I find that my priorities stay in the right order.

So you can see why this political blog and blogging tends to take a back seat to all the other "things" in my life. While I love blogging, and reading blogs, I can just barely squeeze the little bit I do into my packed schedule.

The only thing I didn't list here is health. There's this old saying that the Customer Comes First. I always debated against this old theory, considering that if I'm dead, the customer would have no one to talk with.

Therefore, I suppose one might put health at #2. However, I think you'd be justified in putting your wife and kids before your own health. You know the old saying: Women and children first. It bodes well.

This is just a thought anyway.

I'm flawed, and occasionally I do get things out of order. And every time I have to suffer the consequences of doing so. But since I know of the importance of prioritizing, things usually get straightened out in the end -- so far.

But, you know, I see people every day who don't seem to have their priorities in order. I see this every day when I turn on the TV and learn about women like Winona Rider who put material items before other people. She ended up in jail you know.

Or the famous people who get divorced because the husband put some other woman before his wife, or vice versal. And sometimes we read about divorces that were the result of one person putting money before his spouse and kids.

My wife and I have to remind each other when we don't have our priorities in order. She grumbles sometimes that "All you do is sit at the computer all day."

Right now, for example my kids are sitting on the couch while I'm doing this, and I feel guilty about it. So, as you now understand, I have to go.

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