Tuesday, April 21, 2009

30's Priorities

I recently turned the big 3-0. My husband has me beat by a good stretch, so he doesn't think 30 is a "big" anything. But I know many of you understand. I am entering a new decade. A new phase of life.

I am no longer living in the decade defined by college and college-ish behaviors. The 20's mark a metamorphasis, a growth from carefree irresponsibility into a handful of responsibilities such as getting a real job, paying real rent or even buying one's own house. The 30's, on the other hand, may be many things, but two things they are not are carefree and irresponsible. For many, they include marriage, children, career advancement, home-buying, community responsibilities, and basically a lot of juggling of new adult responsibilities placed upon young shoulders.

I have turned that corner...

I am pleased to journey into a new season, but this new decade finds me reflective. I am asking,

What are my real priorities?

Beth Moore said recently, "This generation of women has bought the Lie. The lie is that 'You can have it all!'

She speaks to the belief that we women can--and should--be successful at all of these roles:

  • A loving and nurturing wife

  • A devoted and attentive mother

  • An executive, advancing her career

  • A good neighbor

  • A Bible Study leader

  • The Girl Scout Troup leader, the baseball Team Mom

  • A connected friend

  • An efficient home manager
She continued, "You can have a lot, but you CANNOT have it all."

This struck me during the week of my Birthday, and I have been considering its implications for my life. I believe she is right.

I cannot have it all.

I may have a lot--or even most--of these things.

But not all.

Over this next decade, I may be able to close that deal at work by working long hours, but I will not simultaneously be enjoying dinner with the family I love. I may be able to take a child to the ballfield several nights a week, but the house will not likely not be a Martha Stewart showroom. Because we are limited people with limited time, energy, and resources, we will end up trading some things for others. What will I choose? What will you choose?

We cannot have it all.

I am entering my 30's by looking in the mirror and giving myself a firm talking-to...and the permission to not do it all. I am looking in my heart and pondering what will be dropped.

Today, I began writing down my Life Priorities. They are a work in progress, but I will share.

My Life Priorities

1. Engaging Christ and His Kingdom {worshipping, going deeper with Him. supporting his work in the world through missions, our local church, and our community.}

2. Loving my Husband {this one is a favorite, but it will not always be easy. may I always give our marriage the priority it deserves.}

3. Creating our Home {making and keeping it beautiful, warm, smooth, and efficient}

4. Valuing Others {hosting, visiting, giving, celebrating & connecting with family and friends}

5. Choosing Health {providing healthy meals, staying active and fit, taking care of myself}

6. Expressing Creative Gifts {writing and other creative pursuits}

7. Managing Financial Goals {planning and saving for our family}

These top seven priorities may wax and wane within the list, but chances are, if it is not on the above list, it is not of great importance in my life.

Several of you have kindly asked why I have not posted on my blog lately. It is because while blogging and writing are important to me, they are #6 on the list. For the last few months, I have been concentrating on several other items, like #4, Valuing Others: we had several opportunities to host friends and family in our home this spring for meals, holidays, and weekends. I was also busy with #2, Loving my Husband. He also had a milestone birthday, and many of his family members from Florida surprised him to celebrate. These preparations were worthy of my attention for several weeks in April.

I am learning not to carry guilt for letting my blog stay quiet for some time or for dusty baseboards. I would rather have family around our table sharing a meal or on our couch sharing an evening.

I would rather celebrate the special occasions and loved ones in my life to the hilt!

I would rather spend time organizing and keeping our home than on a shopping spree in the city.

These are my priorities.

What are yours?

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