P111: Priorities and Patterns

Well I did it. I threw myself with a vengeance into the public sphere with this week and the previous several weeks. And I will admit right up front that I have been an all or nothing person my whole life. At one point I thought it was a Capricorn thing – one track person. It is exhilarating, it brings great clarity and a building of purpose, but there is a down side. Everything else goes to $hit.

I used to beat myself up. Now I just know I have to deal with the fallout – like getting a vaginal infection every time I take antibiotics. There are whole hierarchies of priorities I have ignored.

pri•or•i•ty [prahy-awr-i-tee]
1387, from Old French -- priorite (14th century), also from Middle Latin -- prioritatem (nom. prioritas) "fact or condition of being before." The verb prioritize was first recorded in 1973, apparently coined during the 1972 U.S. presidential election.

I just had to include that last line, thanks distributorcap.

I am especially bummed that this year of low impact and sustainability I have slipped up this month (but mostly just this last week). What it reminds me of is how difficult it is for working people across this country to do the right things for sustainability. These things take much more labor and time than unconscious, wasteful living. Here are some of the things I was lax about in an almost defiant – “I’m workin’ here!” kind of way:

  • I didn’t fix salads, cook food – just ate badly and skipped meals
  • I let food go off rather than take time to prepare a meal
  • I didn’t do laundry and the piles laid around
  • I started laundry load in wonder wash and let it sit too long and stink
  • I didn’t do dishes and surfaces all over my place filled up (saw my very first roach in 3 years)
  • I didn’t make my bed or clear clothes I’d pulled from closet to sort
  • I didn’t pick up after myself in any area
  • I didn’t check on wormery or start my own garden
  • I left water heater and power strips on most of month
  • I didn’t use carafe instead of leaving coffee maker on
  • I didn’t check my bank balance and had to pay $20 in overdraft fees
  • I succumbed to Laundromat, buying ‘green’ detergent, Borax and some Clorox and using dryer.

Yikes! A mindless disregard for health, money, energy, resources, serenity, cleanliess and challenge goals. But, damn the community garden and the community painting projects are just wonderful. A job truly well done.

This reminds me. Have you ever noticed that workaholics are praised and encouraged? Can the same be said for any other addiction? (Maybe acting and politics.) I used to be a serious workaholic (big surprise) and I found the validation and reinforcement made it really impossible for me to get off that kick. I had to leave to the corporate environment.

In order for me to work in a more balanced way (when I started my own business) I created an Excel spreadsheet with all the facets of my life that I value. Besides the business tasks I included friends, family, health, food, home projects, finances, maintenance, fashion/appearance, exercise/fitness, others/community and spirit. Each week for a year and a half I made notations in these various categories and subcategories. I was able to see in a glance and with a couple of words what my patterns looked like overall.

I retrained myself to take those 15 minutes each am and 15 minutes at night to do some routine things. I used that popular 15 minute approach to break down major purging, remodeling, landscaping and sewing projects. This was from the Flylady Website. I have said in past entries, I learned a lot at that site and highly recommend it despite the unctuous writing and sentimentalism.

But, the passion I felt while engaged in these recent community projects was exhilarating. I simply have to clear the decks, take some personal time and get back on track. Jump on the Buddhist Middle Way. I just need to get a little cheerleading for my home team. (That would be me, myself and I).

Sadly, I can't credit the images as I snagged them long before I was blogging. I will happily credit them if they can be identified. The first one totally cracks me up.

1 comment:

Chile said...

Every job opening out there lists multi-tasking as a requirement. I'm trying to eliminate multi-tasking from my life. It's not healthy!