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Posts Tagged ‘priorities’

Across the room from me, there are 36 pink, heart-shaped post-its pressed against the wall, though some curl at the edges like crippling flowers. These little notes are my room’s version of a photo album. For some people, pictures are some of the most important memories because they are able freeze a moment onto a sheet so they can relive it in their minds later.

Scribbled onto these post-its on the wall are quotes my roommates and I have said to each other that we’ve found humorous. This kind of memory is able to capture a personality. Whether it’s an opinion about something or someone, a whitty remark, a miscommunication or ignorance about something that makes us laugh is a way for us to remember each other and smile.

Memory can sometimes feel like a curse, but to remember things like your adventures into new places, your failures that became lessons, your loved ones whose bodies now shrink in boxes underneath marble nametags is a gift.

Memories become pillows and chocolate on the days you wish life wasn’t such a pain in the ass. Those moments in those pictures will never be lived again, or at least not in the same way; just as those moments on our post-its will never be relived except in our minds.

So when opportunities arise, take the chance to make some memories that you’ll want to remember. I’m almost 22, and already I have done and seen so much that it excites me to no end to think that this is only the beginning. Fear and worry are your enemies. They will do nothing for you, so don’t welcome them. Try new things, go to new places before you tire out and don’t have the energy to go anymore. Already I feel more tired than I felt even a year ago.

As addicting as Facebook is, it’s not going to do much for you. Of all the things you post on Pinterest, how many are you actually going to do/make/look at again? Trust me, I have these problems too. But remember how precious time is. Take your lazy day when you need it, follow the rules so you don’t get fired, but there is so much life in the trees just outside your door, and we have a tendency to use that time to sprawl on the couch and watch a second movie we’ve already seen. Even in your priorities, there’s life and excitement that you haven’t noticed. Never lose your sense of adventure, of wonder, of a love for life, for people, and for God. Let your mind be as free as that of a child.

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Americans are making life into one big deadline:
-If you aren’t married by this certain age, you will probably be single forever.
-If you don’t have a kid by this certain age you are too old to be a parent
-If you don’t have a job or a college degree by this certain age you are going to scrubbing kitchen floors or shoveling horse dung off the state fair streets for the rest of your days.

It is exhausting finally being able to finish a project and then turn around to get a cup of coffee and be thrown three more. Americans are becoming so time-oriented, that the quality and value of things are definitely not what they could be.

I’d like to buy a shirt or sweatshirt that doesn’t have a hem threatening to rip on me a couple weeks after I buy it. I’d like to work on a short story and not have my professor poking me in my back asking if I’m done yet. I’d like to be able to sit out on a park bench today and read a new fiction book that I just bought and be able to put off my homework till tomorrow.

But I can’t. Time is precious, yes. But nerves can be as fragile as the tick of the clock. By trying to make so many deadlines all the time, we aren’t able to let ourselves enjoy the present, for we are always trying to make sure we are caught up with the future deadlines. No human is patient forever.

Time is important, but so is sleep. There are only so many days that I can stay up till 1am doing homework and wake up at 7 for a morning class. I have felt terrible lately because I’ve had friends that want to spend time with me, but my excuse has been homework.

Time is a luxury, but so is living. What is the point of living a long life if you’re rushing through it? We NEED give ourselves the time to reflect, to observe, to ENJOY.

Americans live by the “Quantity over Quality” standard. We live by the “Timing is everything” standard.

I think Americans need to sort out their priorities.

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I’ve always had people ask me who my favorite singer is, what my favorite song is. But I don’t pay attention to the singer. They don’t necessarily matter to me. I look at what they sing about, what story or message they are giving. I am not interested in someone singing about getting high up in the club and getting all the girls. I like the songs that sing about holding on, thanking God, and being grateful through the hard times. I like the songs that sing about real love, taking chances, taking time to live life and dancing because you can. I like songs that sing about the brave men and women fighting for our protection, knowing they could die any day and sacrificing time away from their family.

To sum it up, I love songs that sing about the things I value. I value God, family, friends, music, love, happiness, living off the land, animals, not letting money change me into something prideful and greedy. I am here to love people, to give them strength when others tear them down, to remind people of their own priorities and values.

What is it that you value? Are they material things that can be replaced? Are they similar to your priorities?

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I am going to write this now, in case I somehow receive a ton of money and become selfishly absorbed. As of this moment, I plan on making sure I don’t let myself make money or things a priority in my life. I don’t think we ever really intend to in the first place, but as we become absorbed with cell phones, we find that we want to spend money on the best and brightest. Ipods, laptops, sound systems, TVs, houses, cars, RVs, furniture,dogs, flowers, food, fridges, ovens, paintings, yada yada, yap yap. The list is endless with which you can be picky, spendy, greedy, stupid. There are shops full of stuff to buy that is pointless. You buy it because it’s funny, and then all of a sudden you have a box full of crap that you don’t even know what to do with. I’m afraid of becoming a hoarder, so if I buy less stuff, that is less likely to happen.

Now don’t get me wrong–things age and need to be replaced. I’m just saying buy what’s wise, not necessarily what’s hip and cool. One of my friends is a Coupon Queen, and that is a smart way to go if you give a little time and organization. 

But why I’m writing this, is because when I get older and have a family, I don’t know what my financial situation is going to be. I don’t know where I’ll be working, where I’ll be living, and I could either be just getting by or rolling in the big bucks. All I know, is that I don’t want to let it change me. Money is a material that can either be a tree in your mind or a dust bunny.

Think about it, we all have money trees. You go to work, make your money, give it back to the community when buying food for your family, donating to a cancer cause,  just to make it back to spend it again. A tree grows leaves, but can’t grow them back again until they are let go and given to the ground. 

But then some are hoarders of their money, dust bunnies. You may spend it, but it is things on yourself, and it keeps piling up either in your bank account or in your house. You may play in the stock market or casino, but what you win you bet again at the casino to get more.

It never gets better, because it blinds you into an obsession. Once you get more, you think you can get even more than that if you made it that far. It is just paper that can burn, plastic cards that can melt, yet these thin, material things swallow us whole. Once you’re in, it’s hard to pull yourself back out. 

If you feel the tug, take your Mom out and buy her lunch instead of letting her pay for you. Mow someone’s yard or babysit for free. When buying gas, surprise someone by buying theirs as well, or when in the drive-thru line, pay for the person behind you. These little acts of kindness not only bring a joy to your own heart, but they free you from the grip of money. You only need so much, the rest is just because you want it. Put some away in a savings account for college if you want, but don’t wrap yourself up in stuff. You don’t need to be at the casino every other day.

My parents never bought me video games because they didn’t want me spending all my time inside on them. I had Barbies and used my imagination and brought them to life. i ran around in fresh air and got muscle from helping my dad feed cows. I got my tan not from a tanning bed but from mowing the lawn and picking up hay bales from the field by hand. I learned patience from fishing with my dad and to work for what I want by getting a job instead of my parents paying for me.

Don’t let yourself or your kids get wrapped up in material things. There is a ton to do that doesn’t involve electronics. Teach yourself how to play the guitar because music is good for the soul. Pick up a pencil and try drawing a picture, even if you think you suck. No one has to see it but you. Go for a run in the fresh air or plant a vegetable garden so you don’t have to buy as much at the store. Get an old notebook and write a song or a poem. Turn off the TV and read a book. You use your imagination more when reading a book than watching what is shown to you on a screen. Go to a park and play fetch with your dog.

And remember this: If you don’t give now, what makes you think you’ll give later?

Live through life, not through money. 

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