Priorities or a lack thereof

Thursday, February 26, 2009

After six short months since my foray into the working mom's world, I now find myself in the unemployment line. When I started my new job I found it brought out a side of me that hadn't been tapped into for, well, about 12 years. I loved the adult conversation, completing a task, closing a deal, meeting a new customer, launching a product line. And I was getting a paycheck. It was pretty gratifying but in the last month, the balancing act was proving to be more and more difficult. Yet, I knew there was a reason I needed to stick with it so I kept plugging away. Then the decision was made for me. Ouch.

I kept asking "what was that all about?" This opportunity came to me and seemed ideal. And now it's all over? As I've recounted the circumstances in my mind, I can see one of many lessons that needed to be learned. And far be it from me to learn them any way other than the hard way.

I sent an email to a dear friend whom I've known for close to 20 years. We catch up with one another 4 or 5 times a year. I was filling her in on the latest happenings and it dawned on me that I had answered my own question.

Me: "Working outside the home, put me in a position where I absolutely had to say 'no' to everything outside of my family-- which I now realize is something I've never done. I was everybody's 'go-to-girl' and for years it filled a huge sense of worth in me. All one had to do was start her request with a compliment or two such as, 'Your house is the only one he feels comfortable at...... You're such a good organizer...... You're the queen of rallying people together...... You're so much more creative than I am......' and I was putty in her hands. Saying 'no' wasn't an option. I was needed!!! I always gave lip service to the idea that my family came first but, in reality, my husband and kiddos were always getting the leftovers. I finally began asking myself why I had been giving my best to those I wasn't called to serve. Now having the responsibility and demands of a job resulted in my unhealthy behavior rearing its ugly head and staring me in the face. I served the ones I loved the most with annoyance, not joy. It makes me sad to think about how much I missed because I needed everyone else, who didn't matter, to be OK with me. I'm so thankful God has opened my eyes. I'm praying he will continue to show me what it looks like to really and truly make my family of five a priority."

Girlfriend: "That is so honest, Dana. I know I have been guilty of that too. I was kind of trained that way in that my mom gave more both of her time & finances to others most of my life. It seemed the more “righteous” thing to do, so I followed suit. But, like you, I know I (and my mom) were getting some “strokes” that way versus sacrificing more for our closest folks… I have a dear friend who told me about her sojourn to making her family a REAL priority. That spoke to me because as a “doer”, I was able to get a lot done …and frankly “outsiders” are more grateful!! But, God only gives us one mom, one dad, & one nuclear family. Why should my best go to others??? I was even praying more for others than my own family! Jeepers! May God help us both to be wise in HOW we sacrifice….as women we will for someone….but who will reap that reward the most?"


2 Responses to “Priorities or a lack thereof”

Sasha said...

Love the honesty... so true too. Thanks for the reminder.

The Mullens said...

I didn't know the latest, Dana, but appreciate your transparency here. In addition to your great insights, I love your writing. Keep it up! Love you! Nan