Friday, January 25, 2013

Food for Thought: Rocks, Pebbles and Sand

I've been struggling with some priority issues this week, so I am pretty sure I have missed some important aspects of my life.  For example, snuggling and playing with the cats daily so instead they do it while I am sleeping which means I don't sleep well.  Plus, I've neglected Ben all week (horrible wife!), but yesterday, we made plans to make pizza and go sledding today if the snow continues to build up (we already bought the boogie board!).  Plus, I have spent a ridiculous amount of time watching TV (I rarely watch more than 2 hours a week), and I have been bitten by the Pinterest bug and would spend hours on the site just looking and pinning.  BAD BAD BAD!!!

{Indian Rocks Beach in Florida}

I wanted to share my favorite story regarding priorities.  I enjoy it so much that I am considering hanging it in my house with some rocks, pebbles, and sand (maybe a shadow box?).

Rocks, Pebbles, and Sand

by Anonymous

A philosophy professor stood before his class and had some items in front of him. When class began, wordlessly he picked up a large empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks about 2 inches in diameter. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles, of course, rolled into the open areas between the rocks. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The students laughed. The professor picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else.

“Now,” said the professor, “I want you to recognize that this is your life. The rocks are the important things—your family, your partner, your health, your children—anything that is so important to you that if it were lost, you would be nearly destroyed.”

“The pebbles,” he continued, “are the other things that matter like your job, your house, your car. The sand is everything else: the small stuff. If you put the sand into the jar first, there is no room for the pebbles or the rocks. The same goes for your life. If you spend all your energy and time on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you.”

“Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out dancing. There will always be time to go to work, clean the house, give a dinner party and fix the disposal. Take care of the rocks first – the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."

After Ben and I talked yesterday over dinner, I felt much better and rather ridiculous that I have been giving so much priority to plans in the way future (like in March--I am such a planner...) that I missed what was happening now.  I have a terrible habit of planning things and then wanting to get them done NOW although I could wait a good amount of time before getting them done.  I believe that I have come up with a solution like writing ideas down in a planner and visiting them when I have down time, shutting down the TV and limiting myself to a few hours on Pinterest a week. 

How do you prioritize?  Do you do it once a week, once a day, once a month?  How do you stay on track?  I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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