The Tyranny of the Urgent

How did the day get away from me?

Going for a walk.

Only slightly taming the laundry beast.

Email.

Dishes.

Finally putting those Christmas boxes away. (Yes, I know it’s January 21.)

Encouraging a couple of friends and talking to my Dad.

Half-watching the Presidential Inaugural festivities, which basically ended up as noise in the background of my day.

Taking Emma to show choir rehearsal.

And yet, here I sit: schoolwork unfinished, co-op prep undone, dinner plans unmade, many home chores yet undone.

Another day. Much like any other.

A constant battle.

The tyranny of the urgent.

It takes you over sometimes.

This is how I have felt lately.

Overrun by one thing after another and feeling absolutely ZERO sense of accomplishment.

Always behind.

Always running to catch up.

Putting out fires.

Rushing from one thing to the next.

Just getting in under the wire.

Head spinning.

I look up and see the next wave rolling in.

Each day I pray that God will direct me to what is important and help me to fix my eyes on Him.

That the tyranny of the urgent will not overshadow the peace and rest and joy of the eternal.

Some days I do better than others.

How was your day?

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10 Comments

Filed under Day to Day, Lessons, Poetry

10 responses to “The Tyranny of the Urgent

  1. That is a tyrant that I am well acquainted with also. He has reared his ugly head here this week. Good for you for taking the walk – I used the excuse that it was too cold. Tomorrow, tomorrow, …it’s only a day away (and I ‘WILL’ do better)

  2. “the tyranny of the urgent” Exactly! That is exactly what life is after the schoolbell rings in the afternoon, if not the moment I wake up in the morning. Some days I simply think, “Can I have 5 minutes in which something new doesn’t come up so I can do one thing I actually planned to do!??!?!?”
    I will be praying with you to be directed to what is actually important.

  3. And PS – you should see my laundry right now (but don’t SMELL my laundry) – loads in the drier, on the drier, in baskets folded, on my floor folded in my room, just out of boxes in my room, dirty ones strewn about form the kids up and down the stairs and “near” the hamper and on the floor of bedrooms – and that’s JUST the laundry. Don’t get me started on the other things in the house. But I DID manage to memorize several more tunes for my pipe band this week and just got back form a 2 1/2 practice not feeling like quite so much of a dunce finally. No one in the band saw my lousy laundry skills – they just got to hear my mad piping skills haha 🙂 What was my point……..hmmmm….oh yes, that my house is a wreck and I make getting a bit of time in on the pipes happen before I finish the laundry. Am I a bad parent because of that….? One day I guess I’ll know 🙂

  4. Ahhh…you said it so well 🙂 Glad to see that you made time for some things for yourself, though (the walk) because you know what? That other stuff will always be there, day after day, but TODAY was the only day for walking on this day and for encouraging the person you encouraged and for talking to your dad and stuff. THe other stuff comes and goes in waves, but the people are different (yourself included) every day as they grow and change. I had a mother’s helper back before Christine – for John’s first deployment – and she was learning to play the violin at the ripe old age of 20 or 21. Had never played an instrument before. While she lived with me I always encouraged her to practice, and we set up a day when she and a fellow violinist from the church would hang out, play the violin, and just fellowship. Sort of her “day off” from my house. But then I went away for ten days to Singapore, and she and another girl watched the (at the time) four children. I asked if she had played at all while I was gone, and of course the answer was no – because there had always been too much to do! So I said – what did you learn from this? I don’t remember her answer, but the one I was looking for was that you never “find” time for the things you love and want to do – you “make” time. If you wait til there “is” time to practice your instrument as an adult and watcher of many children, it will never exist. You have to carve it out. SO yes, the tyranny of the urgent takes over my day sometimes, but I have learned in the last few years to really begin making myself a priority again – to carve out a space of time for my music or my running, because I will have no end of the other stuff all the time. It will always “make” the time for itself to happen eventually (amazing how much faster “it” all seems to happen when guests are coming and I suddenly need things clean NOW!) This comment is all just to say that I think you had a good day, and you made room for some important things that may have just not made it to your “to do” list today but needing doing all the same. And that ordinary stuff – it’ll happen soon enough. 🙂

  5. Too well am I acquainted with this tyrant. My day was better but I had to battle as well. Tomorrow is a new day. See you then!

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