Priorities and Time

I don’t really think of myself as an ambitious person. Wanting to be president or working to find a cure for cancer or becoming a box office smash, those are ambitions. I just have a wish list.

Admittedly, it’s a very long wish list.

And I suppose not everything on the list is actually a wish. I never find myself saying, “Gee, I wish I could clean the bathroom right now.” But I do often wish I kept house better.

I’m a huge list maker. I have to-do lists on paper, on the computer, in my head. And I’m a very responsible person (at least, I think I am). Chores and other obligations (work, bills, community communication, housework, dinner, whatever) must be completed before going out to play. Or in my case, going upstairs to play with fabric or downstairs to play with sugar.

But, the thing is, I’m happier when I get some “play” in regularly.

And I don’t think I’ve got all the play and the obligations properly categorized. If I’m happier, and therefore a nicer person to be around, when I play, is it really something optional or something to put off? Should some of the things I think of as “play” actually be “obligation”?

A few days ago, Caitlyn decided she wanted to paint, and, more specifically, she wanted to paint with me. I hesitated, since painting would fall into the category of “play” and there were still “obligations” to address, despite the fact that “play with Caitlyn” is simultaneously both play and obligation (the exact percentage of each component varies).

painting by Caitlyn

painting by Caitlyn

sunflower with strange butterfly

Time well spent.


  1. Mom

    In a month no one will give a rat's ass about whether or not you cleaned the bathroom, but the rewards of painting with Caitlyn will continue.

    And do you remember that upperclassman who gave a talk to all you freshmen and parents on your first day at college? He said "Study hard. Play hard. Just don't try to do both at the same time." I always thought that was good advise. Work hard, but don't let work interfere with playtime. (and I remember that he was oh so very handsome_alas)

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