Lim: Priorities

A FRIEND told me recently, “I thought your priorities were trips, books, gym and the others, merely optional?” Hmm…that got me thinking…what are my priorities? It’s hard to say because I’m the kind of girl who wants to do everything.

Ideally, my priorities should be my health, first, my family, second and my work, third and all the rest will just have to compete for my attention. Sadly, in reality, my priorities are work, first, my family, second and my health, third.

My idea of a perfect day would be to wake up to see the sun rise, go to the gym, read as many articles on the Internet that interest me, go to work, be nice to everyone, watch the sun set, read a book, watch a film and the day would end with me planning my next travel adventure.

But there are no perfect days in my life.

I never see the sun rise. I go to the gym sleepy because the night before, I was busy working so I had five and a half hours of sleep interrupted by nightmares of unmet deadlines and things going awry. Nevertheless, I enjoy my time at the gym though while huffing and puffing, I feel old and face the fact that I cannot ever have the energy or the body of a 25-year old again.

I go home and have brunch, start work and then, that’s when the sea of stress emerges from out of nowhere. There is always some crisis that needs to be resolved, some problem that needs to settled, some idiotic thing that happens that just drives me up the wall.

No time for books and films. In between solving problems, I run errands all around the city and find respite only in popping into the net to read an article or two. I am grateful if I end the day having resolved all the problems that arrived that day.

And of course, I never see the sun set though I realized just recently that the sun actually sets right in front of my eyes every day. Fifteen years, I’ve been sitting on this desk facing west. Was I always too busy to look up and look beyond the blinds?

I’ve been living with blinders in my eyes for too long.

I am physically exhausted by the end of the day but it’s not the physical aspect of work that truly drains me—it’s the stress of not meeting goals, not getting things done as scheduled, no longer being ahead at work or on top of things that gives me agony and anxiety. I am very competitive—with myself. I feel I must do better not worse each day. But I don’t always feel like that every day.

I’m the kind of girl who wants to do everything. I want to sleep more, go to the gym more, travel more, take better care of myself but at the same time, not be remiss in my duties and responsibilities at work and to my family.

Here’s the reality. I don’t want to work less. I don’t want to do less. I love the adrenaline flowing in my body. I want to live more. But how do I do it all without losing my sanity?
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