Monday, December 05, 2005

First Things First

As I think about this slogan I am reminded of many things. First I remember how easy life was when I was a child. Mom and Dad always made up our to-do list for the day and we didn't have to think about what needed to be done... only to do it! To not complete the tasks meant that we would be spanked at the end of the day. So, we did each one, in order, and did them as quickly as we could! If we went somewhere (to Grandma's house, etc.), there were lists of to do and not do's for there as well. Everything was in black and white, no problems. Life was simple, you either did it or faced the consequences.

Somewhere between childhood and adulthood the simplicity of life left. Life got complicated. We were told to treat others as we wanted to be treated, so I began my people pleasing. I started doing thing for others that they should have been doing themself. This was the beginning of my mess making! Other people's feelings and concerns were more important to me than my own. I had no feelings. If it didn't matter to someone else, it wasn't important enough for me to concern myself.

My first attempt at figuring out what was important to me came by list making. First, I would write down what I wanted to do that day. Then I would write down what other's wanted. Looking back, it is amazing that what others wanted was always more important than my own needs or wants. I was always last on the list.

Today life is different. I have learned through the 12-steps that I am important and a valued person. What I think IS important. It is not only important to me, but also to my Higher Power. He wants me to see that my needs are as important as the next guy's. I have value! I am worth millions to Him! When I make my list today, it begins with what is important to me... that is MY RECOVERY! Without recovery, I am no good to anyone. So, I must focus on my healing and recovery. Today I do that by taking time to journal my thoughts, read OA literature and study it, and share with other OA'ers in meetings online and face to face. When I stop taking time for recovery... I am in the danger zone! After that comes my work and family. I try not to over do in either department.

The one thing I have learned in life is that we do what we want to do. We can always find time to do the things that are important to us. For instance, when faced with the decision to buy a tool for my hubby or a camera for me, I don't have the money to by that new tool my hubby wants... but I get the camera somehow! I always seem to find time and money to get what I feel is MOST important. I think that is why I get frustrated so easily with others when they say they don't have time to work the program. Do they really not have time, or is it just another excuse to avoid working a step? Oh how I pray that they would find time... it is important for their recovery!

But... for today. First things first. I come first at my house!

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