Priorities change over time, and I've finally realized that's ok. As a matter of fact, I now believe that part of growing up is trying on different priorities for size, seeing what fits, and discarding it if it doesn't work. When I graduated from law school, lo' those many years ago (during the previous century, thank you very much - back when people wrote out their essay answers by hand, not via computer), I sort of went along with the conventional wisdom of my classmates that we were all supposed to get a job that paid us the highest-possible salary, work our butts off, bill more hours than any other associate, and....well....like it.
Truth be told, I never really threw myself into that life. I only gave it a half-hearted effort because it wasn't me. I knew it deep down but wondered if I could just force myself to start liking it if I kept at it. Nope. No way was that happening.
Then I had a baby. Well, that clearly taught me a whole new lesson about priorities.
During the course of the last few decades, I've "experimented" with putting different priorities first. I've tried work, I've tried career (two different things, in my opinion), I've tried parenthood, I've tried exercise/dieting (don't get me started on that one), I've tried my marriage (sort of - still working on getting that one right), and I've even dabbled with letting spirituality take a higher rung on my ladder-o-priorities. It dawns on me that, perhaps, I need to have a few top priorities that just take turns at the top. Kind of like a dance, I take turns spending time with each priority as it needs my attention. Imagine a square dance...or, in my case a mosh pit might be a more accurate comparison. The dancing happens - things are accomplished - but not necessarily in a coherent manner.
So, really, it's all cool. As long as I don't ignore the priorities in second and third place at any given moment AND as long as I don't put some totally screwed up priority at the top of my list (like, I don't know, deciding I'm going to throw myself at Alan Rickman's feet until he falls madly in love with me) - I should be ok.
The truth is, some days (like today) my top priority should just be "breathing." But right now I plan to go up and exercise to my Bollywood Booty DVD because exercise has been creeping back up to the top rung lately. Tomorrow's priority? Who knows....stay tuned because it might surprise both of us.