I’ve been spending a lot of time lately reflecting about the various priorities that life brings. I don’t really have any epiphanies to report, but nonetheless I think it is wise to get my thoughts out onto digital paper so they stop rattling around in my head so much.
God and Family
For the first time in my entire adult life, I am putting God first. I have done more in the last 18 months to reintroduce myself to the Catholic faith than ever, and it feels GREAT. The catalyst for this change should be obvious to anyone that has looked at my Facebook feed in the last year: it was the birth of my daughter, Eve. I realized that if I was going to baptize and raise her as a Catholic, I should better know the proper things that I ought to be teaching her and be sure that I could answer questions from her as they arise (in the future, obviously). That led me to the That Man Is You! men’s fellowship, then to the Knights of Columbus, and then to my own personal studies in Catholic apologetics. I embarked upon all of the proceeding activities with three main goals: become a better man, be a better father for Eve, and be a better husband for Tasha.
Skeptical? Good, so was I… when I went into the That Man Is You! introductory classes, I decided to go in with an open mind and left any baggage (and there was a LOT) at the door and actually strive to learn what the Catholic Church actually teaches instead of what I heard translated through people wronged in some way by the Church, by media, or by hearsay. I was pleased to find that the more I dug, the more I felt uplifted and empowered. I could go on and on with details (and I may someday) but I think a single quote by Archbishop Fulton Sheen about sums it up: “There are not more than 100 people in the world who truly hate the Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they perceive to be the Catholic Church.” The more I read the actual teachings of Christ and the Magisterium, the more the false perception drops away.
That was a long windy paragraph, but I can continue on now… it won’t surprise you to know that necessarily my second main priority has been my family. I help put Eve to bed most every night, we have playtime together when I’m home from work, or at a minimum I help feed her dinner. Tasha and I are trying to get a little “no computer” time each night so we stay connected at a level that doesn’t involve picking up toys. She also participates in the Ladies Auxiliary, which operates alongside the Knights of Columbus (so we do Church activities together). We’re applying the above lessons from the Church directly to our family, and our family is getting better all the way to it’s core.
Work / Life Balance
This topic has often been used in a sarcastic tone in my immediate past, but the priorities toward God and family have put work in it’s rightful place. I still have to aggressively participate in my job when I’m at the office, but I take time in the morning to see Eve before I go, and so long as the sky isn’t falling I leave at a generally reasonable hour. It takes some effort, and occasionally things shift around so long nights are necessary but they are the exception now. There is some extracurricular work research that doesn’t get done now, but I’m finding ways to fit that in to my work day in creative ways. Another important addition is that I’m taking certain status meetings on the road, and I mean that literally: some of my coworkers and I discuss work status and actually take a walk along a running trail that goes around our office instead of sitting in the cube farm all day. It’s still important work, but it’s relaxing too.
The time I’m not spending on the above activities has been divided among my other interests. Karate isn’t getting the focus that it used to, and I am somewhat conflicted about that. I do my best to attend class (and I really need to Facebook/blog when I do make it) but it hasn’t been aligning with my schedule in the best ways right now. I need to work on that. I know some of my karate compatriots back home are reading this and worrying to themselves (and possibly others) that I’m quitting or dropping out, and that’s just not the case. I still attend class, and I enjoy it when I do. The burner’s still on, but it’s set to LOW for a bit while I work on some other things. Eventually, I’ll put some tape on it and get over it.
My other hobbies, such as reading and guitar playing/building do occupy some time, but it’s usually evenings or the spare weekend day. I am going to make some weekend time for getting started on my guitarbuilding hobby, so expect to see some entertaining posts in the Recreation category.
So what’s the point?
None, really. The reason I committed all this to the blog is to acknowledge efforts toward closing some deficiencies and to reflect on the positive changes this has made on my life. These changes have been working for me right now, and I intend to continue with them.