It was a little over two years ago, March 31, 2008 to be exact, that I wrote down a list of my top priorities. My husband had recently passed away at the time, I had turned 50, and I was starting out on a new phase of my life.
It was a good exercise that had helped me focus during a very difficult period. And so, on March 31, 2010, this year, I decided to pull out my list again and take an inventory of my life’s priorities. It was time to check in and see what I had accomplished these past 24 months. It was time to see what priorities had changed and what priorities had stayed the same.
Priority #1 – Healing and Grieving. (I’d give myself an A in this area. I went through the shock, anger, emptiness, loss, and acceptance of losing a spouse. I didn’t miss a beat on the entire bereavement scale. I will always remember what the HOPE counselor S said, “The hole in your heart never heals, but it does get smaller with time.” and it has. I also highly recommend the book “Widow to Widow” for anyone who has lost a spouse, I read it cover to cover.)
Priority #2 – My Health. (This includes my mind, body and spirit. Check, check, check. I’m doing pretty good. I did take a class in “Mindfulness Meditation” and it did help settle my mind. I really do have to get back to my mindfulness practice. I did start doing yoga. Oh, how I love my yoga. Om,om,om. It’s been good for my body and my mind and spirit. I’ve been practicing good nutrition. I eat Kashi Heart to Heart cereal every morning. Sometimes I alternate with Eggo waffles and peanut butter. I know I should be eating the Nutrigrain waffles, but I really like the Homestyle variety. I take good care of my hair – getting it colored and cut every six weeks is definitely a top priority. Uh oh, I have been falling down on my monthly facials. Check minus. But, I have been keeping up with my yearly pap test and mammograms.Check plus.)
Priority #3 – My Kids. (The well-being and happiness of my two children will always continue to be one of my top priorities. However, they have both come a long way during the past two years since leaving the nest. My daughter A is successful in her new life in New York City and my son D is doing well as a college kid in the big city too. Okay, he needs to continue to manage his money better, but he has come a long way on the road to adulthood. Yes, both little birdies are growing up, but they will always be a part of my nest and continue to share from my nest egg.)
Priority #4 – My Job. (As I’ve always said, this priority continues to have about 50 priorities in one…but I’ve been doing a better job of focusing my priorities at work to create more balance in my life.)
Priority #5 – My House. (Maintaining my home has been a big job. In fact, tomorrow I have the electrician at 8 am, the plumber at 10 am, the realtor at 11:30 am, the contractors to re-repair the basement work at 3:00 pm. Let’s see did I leave anyone out? It is likely the landscaper will show up as well. Can you guess how many of these people will actually arrive on time? I should offer a prize to the person who guesses correctly. And yes, I did say the realtor is coming. I am thinking of putting my house on the market – the big next step in my 50+ life. Am I ready to down-size? Am I? Am I? Yes. No. Yes. No. Yes. Yes. Yes)
Priority #6 – My Blog. (Wow, who would have thought that my blogging would be a priority? I have continued to maintain my blog posts each week. You, my readers, have been my inspiration. It’s so wonderful to connect with my fellow baby boomer females and know that my stories have made a difference in your life and you in mine. I will always be grateful for those who have encouraged me as I travel on this journey.
I was allowed five priorities at the time and I had six. And then I added a few more. I figured once I had six I could round up to 10.
Priority #7 – My Mom (She will be 89 this year and is also another big inspiration in my life. I said I wanted to see her more often and I really want to make this a higher priority. I think this priority is going to move up on the list the next two years as my house moves down on the list.)
Priority #8 – My Finances (I did consult with a financial advisor after my husband passed away. Check check. And now I am dating a financial advisor. Am I mixing up my priorities? Uh oh! Finances and friends go together, especially boyfriends. Right?.)
Priority #9 – My Friends and Extended Family (I have wonderful friends and family members. I need to make this a higher priority. Once I move my house down on the list, then I will have more time to see my friends instead of the electrician, plumber, basement contractors, and landscaper. Plus, now I have a new friend…a boyfriend L to add to the list of friends.)
Priority #10 – Relaxation (What did I list under this priority? Doesn’t look like I’ve been doing too good a job in this area if I can’t even remember what I wrote. Hmm, hmm, hmm. Oh yes, read more books, watch television, go to the movies, read the newspaper and read my magazines.
I am watching LOST on DVD. Hopefully, I will finish the six seasons of this show within the next two years.
I have seen quite a few movies and Sex and the City 2 is coming out soon. It has been two years since the last Sex and the City movie. And you know how that movie ended? The four friends celebrated Samantha’s 50th birthday. Will have to make sure I make this movie a top priority and I’ll invite my girlfriends and my daughter to go to see it with me, so that will cover two of my priorities. I am so good at prioritizing…yes I am.
I also have kept up my daily morning New York Times “time for me time”. I read the newspaper while I eat my nutritious breakfast. Once again, I cover two priorities at once.
As for those magazines, I’m still addicted to my monthly fix of InStyle, Vogue, More, and yes, I added a new one, Oprah’s O magazine.Did I tell you I am going to the 10th Anniversary celebration of Oprah’s O Magazine in NYC in May and I’m taking my daughter…again, covering two priorities at once…actually three priorities because I’m sure I’ll blog all about it.)
There was a wish list too, but I’m not even going there. The inventory is too full already. I think during the next two years I need to do more shifting and shaking out of my priority list. I better get to sleep soon.
Ooh, ooh, ooh, can I count sleep as a double priority – health and relaxation?