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June 14, 2011

Time sensitive material

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"Right" priorities balance on some razor thin, probably imaginary edge. It always feels like I'm sliding one way or another.

I'm typically at my physical therapy office from 8 to 7:30 on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Those are the days when I rush home at about noon for a quick lunch before the afternoon shift.

I pull into my driveway, usually happy and hungry. I see needs. Needs everywhere. There's so much that I could be doing with the fifteen or forty minutes I'm granted to be home.

The kids want to show me the mornings labor. A written story, a drawn picture, a new frog or "bike jump." They are scurrying around land mines the dogs have left lying in the grass. Removing them before disaster strikes a shoe and spreads through the house is a priority.

I notice plants calling for a drink. I walk through our disorganized, sometimes disastrous garage, down wall smudged hallway, make my lunch amongst stacks of folded laundry and dishes piled high. I see my dear wife, patiently waiting to catch up with me. My cell phone rings.

Some parts of me enjoy this pace and others do not. In some ways, I've most certainly asked for it, this family. And work? I could be trying to manage my own business. Sheeyah. I could be at my current office doing paperwork, "marketing," or getting caught up on "developments" in the field.

But I've made choices and have been blessed with the opportunity to work in the community where I live. I've traveled 2.4 miles to my home to receive hugs, instruction, and a bit of spaghetti-Os and bicycle grime on my work clothes. 

The garage can be purged and organized, every wall painted, every twig, leaf, and blade in the yard uprooted and replanted, some day. I can research and hustle and pour myself into reinventing my presence in the workplace. All that can be accomplished in a few weeks or months. If need be. That's not so with spouses and children, with mental and physical health. NOT SO. There are important, time sensitive developments and opportunities happening with Amy, with the kids, and within me, that demand regular attention.

It may not happen during a lunch break on long work days. Seasons come and go with shifting priorities, but nobody can afford to regularly neglect the health of their family and their body.

I take my work seriously, honestly, and usually enjoy it. Yet sometimes I can't see the line between being a responsible provider and being caught up in the rat race. Where there are decisions to be made in the face of uncertainty, events and consequences that push one way or another, you know which way I'll be leaning.

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