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Make Yourself a Priority!

Jul 17, 2008
In my early twenties, much to my chagrin, I found myself divorced. On a day-to-day basis, I had the awesome responsibility of raising my precious young daughter and I did my best to balance full-time employment, household chores, preparing meals and spending quality time with my child. Although her father saw her every other weekend, and diligently paid child support, I found myself feeling the need to over-compensate for having only one parent in the household.

My precious princess was soon enrolled in dance, Girl Scouts, school activities and softball. It wasn't enough to merely support her in those activities, I then took on the duties of Girl Scout leader, chairman of the annual cookie sales and co-chaired two large camping events for the association. Dance lessons expanded to tap, ballet, jazz and toe and I became a regular chaperone on the class trips at school.

These activities are all worthwhile and I highly recommend them. However, as a single parent trying to work, maintain a household, support my daughter's activities and also spend individual quality time with her, I found myself exhausted and failing. It was then that my mother gave me a sage piece of wisdom and said, "You can't make anyone else happy if you are not happy...

I found it necessary to scale back some activities and make some time for myself. I couldn't make my daughter happy if I was tired and exhausted all the time. My little one could remain in her activities, but I did not need to chair the annual cookie sales nor did I need to lead the camping trips for the association. I did need to make some time to do some of the adult activities that I found rewarding, like attending a play or attending a social event with friends. (In hindsight, a wiser choice would have been to get involved in a regular exercise program.)

Those words have always remained true, although I sometimes need to be reminded of them.

This past week, a kind friend posted an entry on DailyStrength that very eloquently reminds us that we need to make ourselves a priority! Both stories are concise, to the point and give us pause to reflect on their meaning. With her permission, and her request to remain anonymous, we gratefully share her words with you.

Heard of the Golden Goose? Imagine you have a golden goose that lays golden eggs.What's more important? Is it the golden eggs or the golden goose? If you don't look after the goose, what happens to the eggs?You don't get any!

You can use today's tool to help determine which of your Life Priorities are golden eggs, and which priorities nurture the goose so it can keep giving you golden eggs.

Ideally, you need to order your priorities so the goose (that's you!) is higher than the golden eggs (what you produce).

For example, what's your most valuable financial asset? You might think it's your house, but it's not.Your Most Valuable Financial Asset, let's say your house (a golden egg) is worth $300,000 and that you (the golden goose) earn $40,000 per year.Looks like the house is worth more, huh?

But after 20 years, your house might be worth $400,000, but over that time you have earned $800,000.So, your ability to earn is twice as valuable as your house.
Or the "golden goose" (you) is worth twice as much as your most valuable "golden egg."

In light of this, how high should "Health" be as a priority?On an Airplane with your Child in Danger Imagine if you're on a plane with your son or daughter, and the flight attendant is doing the pre-take off routine, what do they tell you to do if there is a loss of cabin pressure?

Do they tell you to put your child's oxygen mask on first, or do they tell you to put your mask on and then help your child?They tell you to put yours on first because, if you aren't in a conscious state, you can't help anyone.

This is an example when it is loving and compassionate to make you the number one priority and put yourself first.Do you feel better now about making "Yourself" a priority in other areas of life, so you have something to give to the people and work you love?

Closing thoughts -We'd like to encourage each of you to examine the "health" aspect of your lives and reach out and make the time to exercise and eat healthy, nutritional food. Take the time to consider your health and ask yourself, "What will you be able to do without it?"
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