June 2018

How I ruined Mother’s Day

Kevin Slater

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I ruined Mother’s Day. How could I be so insensitive that I would let my wife down on a day I know is so important to her?

Life got very busy. Many people and organizations that are important to me needed things from me and I lost track of my priorities. I failed to remind myself of who and what I valued most, and what I could realistically give. Instead, I made a series of choices trying to address everything that felt important.

Predictably, in my attempt to live beyond my limits of time and energy, I ended up getting sick. Heidi spent the weekend taking on more responsibility when she was supposed to have a day of celebration. Instead of brunch or flowers, she received an apology (days later).

Many of you are fairly self-aware. You may be able to state your priorities and values quite clearly. How well does your focus and time reflect your highest priorities when there is no time (or energy or money) to do everything?

It is impossible to maintain our priorities without regularly pausing to decide, remember who and what is most important to us, and consciously adjusting our schedules and commitments accordingly. Many great books have addressed this, including  Lead Yourself First by Raymond Kethledge and Michael Erwin, and The On-Purpose Person by Kevin McCarthy.

Are we interrupting our busyness to be clear on what matters most? Are we communicating our priorities to others—through our commitments or our apologies? Are we changing our calendars? Are the things left undone the things that matter least?

Let’s live lives that reflect our values and priorities. Our choices have an impact on those we care about most. For their sake and ours, let’s choose well.