Many surrender their power of choice…or think they do…allowing circumstances around them to define their priorities.
This is a choice too, and it bears repeating: Choices, whether consciously made or not, have consequences.
So, why do folks let “others” or “circumstances” force their choices?
Because choices are hard. Responsibility is a weight. And priorities will offend. We want to look to the outside to excuse those offenses, and most do. That is the path to bullshit.
What are YOUR priorities? You DID set them…but did you do it consciously? If not, I’d suggest revisiting them may be an order.
It took me better than 50 years to realize this…or perhaps I knew it early in my youth and simply forgot. Makes no difference. My priorities were skewed. The consequences were severe. Knowingly or no, I chose them as well.
It’s heartbreaking…until I learned…that I can choose to fix them as well.
So…what are MY priorities today? What are my choices? What are my offenses? They have changed. How about a “Top 5”?
1) My wife’s safety and well-being.
2) Our relationship.
3) MY physical and mental fitness.
4) My career/income/means.
Hard choices. Some seem selfish. Some seem out of order. Some may offend. All will have consequences.
So, on to the explanations:
1) My wife’s safety and well being. Why is this the very top of my list? The easy explanation is that I swore in front of God and the State of Texas that it would be.
But it goes deeper than that. Right to my very core. We’ll call it a “moral code” and save THAT for another post. Suffice it to say (and I’ve said it before), I’d burn the world and everybody in it for Her.
2) Our relationship. This is one of those that may seem out of place. Shouldn’t it be above #1? Well, no. It shouldn’t be, as sometimes being the man I NEED to be to ensure #1 is not the man she may want at the time.
The man she needs. The man she wants. The man I am…these are not always the same thing. Sometimes they’re not even close. Fortunately, we generally choose that they WILL be, and mostly we’re successful. Protector, lover, friend, and provider…mostly all at the same time.
3) MY physical and mental fitness. Seems selfish, yes? I used to think so. Hell, it may need to be #1 on the list, in a cold, hard examination. I’ll have to settle for #3 for now. That’s an improvement. This was never even in my top 100 before…and that very nearly cost me everything. It has to be at least this high as I can’t provide anything else for anybody else unless I’m here and capable of it.
THAT…is not a casual endeavor. It’s a moral obligation. I just never understood that before.
4) My career/income/means. This is another many would call out of place. Why is it above family/friends? Because cold, hard facts. Choices. They must be made, and consciously. Rule #1 in helping or being there for ANYBODY is that you don’t make yourself a victim whil doing so.
And the cold hard fact is that my value to family and friends is mostly in what I can provide in help, support, assistance, or occasionally, just plain company.
And I can’t achieve ANY of that if I can’t support myself and my wife. Cold hard fact, that. Offensive choice.
Heck, given that analysis perhaps it should even be moved up to #1 or #2…and I think it was there for a long time. But it’s not today…nothing but her well-being comes above our relationship simply because in my view, the world without her isn’t worth pursuing.
5) Friends/family. They really aren’t the bottom of my priority list…they are in the top 5. There’s hundreds of items, and frankly, below the top 5 they are constantly changing and rearranging. I can’t nail them down…consciously.
Make of this what you will. That’s a choice too.
You can read more about my fitness journey here.
I’ll see you on the road.