I will prelude this post with some news.
The Rock Tossing Competition for the Brady P. Project is canceled for this year. Not necessarily canceled forever, but it's not going to happen this fall. I don't see myself throwing it all together in a timely fashion.
Now, I really, really, really wanted to do this because I said I would and I think it's a great and wonderful cause that Brady P. and I are committed to: saving the world one heart at a time.
Every time I thought about bringing this event to fruition, I got overwhelmed. I didn't know how to do it. I couldn't make any decisions. I didn't think I had enough time. I felt like I was grasping at straws.
Then, last week, I finally made a decision.
To postpone it for the year.
It is not a priority for me right now.
Now, quite frankly, I "have the time" to do this if it was forefront on my list of things to manifest. But it's not. I have other deadlines, daily maintenance and desires that seem to keep trumping it.
So I realized that it is not a priority.
Please notice how I worded that: If I know I can make the time, but I have decided not to, it is not a priority.
You can tell what your priorities are because you make them happen. You keep them in the forefront of your mind each and every day of your life. You are so passionate about them that they cannot possibly slip through the cracks.
That's how I wrote Digging for Light. I was still a full-time mom raising Brady P. when he was almost three. I still had a house to take care of, food to cook, appointments to make, people to see, etcetera.
But I brought out my computer during almost every single nap time to draft, edit and revise. I wrote after I put him to bed at night and I got up before he woke up to keep pushing that book forward because, well, it was that important. My heart and soul would not have it any other way.
I started Copper Harbor Vitality, LLC at the same time, so I could sell all my books online. I started The Brady P. Project at the same time, so I could have a way for people to chip in, so we can help save the world, learn how to accept people for who they are and respect and appreciate Mother Nature. All while finishing that memoir. With all that, I designed two websites, set up an online store and troubleshooted my way through my own shipping system, so I can ship directly from home. And I started this blog.
Most of those tasks were new to me, but I could not be stopped. I had to prevail because it meant that much to me.
I didn't sleep much. My body was not tired. Four hours a night was plenty because my brain constantly whirred with ideas and plans. My fingers constantly tapped the keys on my keyboard and marked my manuscript with red ink.
That, my friend, that is how you know what your priorities are. Your priorities are what you are doing. Right now. Each and every day until you can check it off your list.
Once it's checked off (some things may never be), you can take a break or find a new one.
I want to give you this example of how they have changed for me, so you can relate it to your own life.
Last fall, when I was working myself to the bone to accomplish my goals, I didn't let anything slow me down. I didn't hang out with my friends because I was too busy. I didn't enjoy much time outside because I was too busy. I didn't spend any time with my then husband because I was too busy (but so was he).
I gave just enough time to help Brady P. live and flourish. When he slept, it was my time. And I used it all on my goals.
Well, check, check and check. (Except for the Rock Tossing Competition... but this is a different summer.)
And I am a different person.
I have three, mind you, three books to work on right now. Touring the Tip needs to be revised, I got prospected to write one about Michigan bike trails, breweries and historic sites and I want to write one about how to listen to and follow your heart.
If this was last year, they would all be done. But none of them are started.
Do you want to know why?
My priorities are different.
At first, I felt guilty. I felt lazy. I thought something was wrong with me this summer. But nothing is wrong. I am in a different place.
This is the most beautiful summer weather-wise that I have ever experienced in the Keweenaw. I mean, it's actually summer!
I have been tending my garden wholeheartedly. I have been riding my mountain bike each week (more than I have in years) because I am now teaching others how to do it effectively and it's important for me to stay in shape, up on my skills and improving myself. I am socializing with my friends in a very meaningful way because -- how can I reach other people if I don't give them my time? And I am, of course, enjoying the sunshine with my little love dove.
We throw rocks, eat berries, run down the road, wave to all the people, practice headstands, dance in the bubbles, eat ice cream and so on.
I figure, in another month or two, most of the above two paragraphs will be impossible, so we will get it while we can. And as the nights begin to cool off, I can already feel a little twinge of prodding to get back on the book writing train.
When that happens, my priorities will be different.
And that will be perfect.