In Which Wren Talks About Priorities and Choices

Original photo by Tony Unruh

There comes a time in everyone’s life when you realize you need to make priorities. This often comes with a certain amount if humiliation, because you generally have to admit that your priorities are all screwed up. At least that was true for me.

I’ve mentioned the Year of No Habits and the Year of Shame before. I don’t think I’m quite ready to really talk about them in depth yet, but we’ll get there. We always do.

I am at a point in my life where I know what I want. How to get there is still kind of wishy-washy, but it’s not nearly as obscure as we tell ourselves.

I am a writer. This much I know is true. And I want to be a writer. For a long time, it just wasn’t happening. But now it (maybe?) is. Well, it’s more happening that it was.

I’ve reprioritized. I’ve looked at my priorities, and I’ve realigned them. I would be lying if I said that it didn’t hurt.

Beyond just writing and working to educate children, I’m also an avid knitter. The dollar amount my yarn stash is worth is actually pretty embarassing. I put down an almost finished sweater three weeks ago and haven’t touched it since. The knitter in me wants to punch me in the face. But to her, I have to say “I’m sorry, being you isn’t as important to me as being someone else.”

I’ve always been a rabid consumer of movies. I’d regularly watch anywhere from four to ten movies in a week. In 2012, I watched 382 movies. That’s over 700 hours. Yikes. I’ve cut back. A lot. I’m down to about two movies a week now, if that.

I’ve cut back on going out. On dicking around on the internet (okay, this one really hurts, but it needed to happen anyway). I stopped reading my quality magazine subscriptions. So much so I barely have time for a single Utne blurb.

What I am doing is spending more time writing. I’m spending more time reading and more time with books in general. I’m slowly getting back into cooking and eating more healthy. I’m cuddling with the cats. I sleep more.

It’s been hard, really hard. Especially for my inner rebel (who is also, coincidentally, an outer rebel). But every time I catch myself slipping into old habits, I say to myself “Wren, you have a choice.”

“Wren, you have a choice. You can keep looking at cat pictures on the internet and feel bad in an hour for wasting so much time, or you can pet your cat for five minutes and then move on when she claws out your eyes.”

“Wren, you have a choice. You can not write today and feel like a total slag tomorrow (and thus also not write), or you can feel accomplished today by just doing it.”

“Wren, you have a choice. You can continue undermining yourself and work hard to fail, or you can be who you want to be.”

It’s real easy to be successful when you really understand just how in control of your own person you are. How every moment of every day is a choice. If I have learned nothing else from working in Special Education, I’ll still be coming out ahead from this lesson.

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