The Litmus Test for your Priorities

We’re trying to sell our piano on Craigslist. On Saturday a potential buyer was coming by at 10am to look at it so we spent the morning clearing off all the junk that had settled around it.

And we had to dust. My husband sneezed his head off all morning, there was so much dust.

While we were waiting for the potential buyer, I laid my fingers on the keys. I played a bit, my fingers clumsy. It had been a long time.

But eventually the music came back to me, a song I had written many years ago, when playing the piano had been a daily discipline.

Awww! I love this! I miss playing. Suddenly, I wished we weren’t trying to sell the piano.
But I knew the truth. Before Saturday, I hadn’t touched the keys in years.

And as much as I wanted to deny the truth, in my heart I knew: Playing the piano isn’t important to me.

How did I know this? Because if playing was important to me, I would make time on a regular basis.

I like to complain to my husband that I never have time to do XYZ.
He quips back, “Well, we all have 24 hours in a day.”
“But you don’t understand. I’m too busy.”
“If it was really important to you, you’d make time for it.”

And he’s right. In fact, he recently proved his point. Even though he works 50-60 hours a week, he still makes time to run and work out. So far, he’s lost 25 pounds.
It is important to him, so he found the time.
I’ve been blogging for around 8 years. For 7.5 of those years, my writing was hit or miss; I would sigh and moan about how I “wished I had more time to write.”

Then, last October, I did the Write31Days challenge where I blogged every day for a month. It was life changing (for many reasons), primarily because I realized when I made writing a priority, I actually “had time” to write. #mindblown

Sure, it meant I had less time for other things: sleep, housework, facebook (but who needs those things? Ok…let’s be honest. I do need facebook).

But I had time to write because I bumped “Writing” to the top of my priority list.

When 2016 rolled around, I made a commitment to write twice a week. The Write31Days was amazing but the stress of that month (compiled with grading papers, a sick baby, and my son’s Autism diagnosis) nearly did me in.

I was committed to writing. But I also needed to be committed to my own personal sanity.

Is this the definition of balance? Making time to do what you love while ensuring that you don’t go crazy in the process?

I don’t know.

What I do know is that the question of “do I make time for this?” is a good litmus test for how important an activity—or even person—is in my life.

Sometimes that litmus test is encouraging:
I make time for daily prayer and cooking dinner for my family.

Sometimes it is sobering:
I don’t make time for daily Bible study or listening to my kids read aloud for 20 min per day (sorry, teachers. Personal sanity is also high on my priority list. I do read to them, I promise!).

I know that it’s not all about quantity though. Carving out quality time for hobbies, disciplines, or, more importantly, relationships speaks truth about my priorities as well.

I can take the time to text a friend, saying “I miss you!”
That’s nice, a thoughtful gesture.

Or I can rearrange the rhythm of my daily life and carve out two hours to spend time with that friend.
Hmm. That takes a lot more effort.

I can complain all day about being lonely, not having time to do the things I want to do, or just basically being discontent with the way my life is going.

But we all have 24 hours in a day.

The real question I have to ask myself is, “Does the way you spend your time really reflect the things you say are important to you?”

What about you?
What do you wish you had more time to do?
Does your time management reflect your priorities?

I hope that my story can bring hope, healing, and encouragement to you. TheBamBlog is trying to grow! Did this post encourage   you or would it inspire someone you know?
If so, please share! Thank you! 🙂

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