Most of the Midwest was buried this week by what will now become known as the Monster Blizzard of 2011. It’s officially one of the worst storms ever to be dumped on us- soon to be followed by an icy encore of double digit below zero temperatures. That’s okay, Midwesterners are a tough bunch. We simply shouted out SNOW DAY and all our priorities changed in a split second.
The kids stayed home from school and so did Mom and Dad.. Not like we had much of a choice- in many areas the roads were closed. Besides, there wasn’t anything open to drive to. It was time to make the comfort food recipes and pull out the movies and popcorn. Snuggling and cuddling became the rule of the day. Kids played in the snow while neighbors who haven’t taken time for a single hello all year banded together to pitch in and unbury cars and driveways buried under mountains of snow.
The rituals of our daily habits gave way to our more important priorities of safety, community, family comfort, health and finding ways to have fun in a challenging situation. We laughed. We banded together. We looked out for our neighbors. We rose to the situation. By mid-afternoon Wednesday, we were shoveled out of our homes and driveways, the roads for the most part had been cleared and the majority of the areas were on our way back to normal.
So we could get back to our regularly scheduled daily habits. But is that such a great thing?
“There can be no happiness if the things we believe in are different from the things we do” ~ Freya Stark.
One of the things that is good about a SNOW DAY situation, is it reminds you about the important priorities in life. Family, community, teamwork, fun, laughter, curling up with loved ones, good comfort food, slowing down to enjoy time spent together….
Rushing is gone, Shoulds are gone, Have to’s are gone, nagging TO DO lists are suspended. It becomes glaringly obvious that when Mother Nature calls, these aren’t really priorities at all. They are only habits. We just ACT like they are priorities. But, when nature pushes our hand, our true priorities show up. So, if these are our TRUE priorities, why don’t we act like they are every day?
A Radical Mind Shift
What if….instead of fitting our priorities around our daily habits and schedules, we created our daily habits and schedules around our true priorities? What would our daily lives look like? Instead of squeezing in family time, time for our communities and friends, and time for our health and nutrition, what if our lives were centered around these things first and secondary items second, or even third?
What if we looked at our calendars and daily planners and FIRST, scheduled in time to take care of our bodies, our minds, our homes and our quality of life?
Stephen Covey says it very well, “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”
Yet, for many of us, on many days, our lives and calendars are so busy that none of our priorities even make it on the daily schedule. Our Daily Habits trump our Priorities.
It shouldn’t take a Snow Day or another act of Mother Nature, to remind us what is important.
Here in the Midwest we will all be getting back to “Normal” in another day or two. But we don’t have to. We have an opportunity to create a NEW normal. And so do you.
We can create a life scheduled around our priorities instead of our daily habits.
What would that look like for you?