Lists and priorities | Mark’s Remarks

Everybody does it. You look toward a new year and start thinking about changes. You start making mental lists of what you would like to change and what you would like to do a better job at.  I do it all the time, even in the middle of the year.  Heck, I do it weekly.

Then, we look back at the previous year and go all the way back to the end of December last year and think “I didn’t change much.” We are disappointed. Will power or the “let’s do it” attitude didn’t work out.  Been there, done that.

Oh sure, there are things I’m currently working on. My friends and I have been meeting early in the morning to work out. We started last year about this time and we’ve kept it up.  No, I didn’t see huge changes after working out for a year, but I feel better, I lost a little weight, and my clothes fit a little better.  I didn’t put a lot of pressure on myself and I could definitely work a lot harder than I do. I could eat less. I could run a little faster. Anyway, there you go.  At least we stuck to it.  I will hopefully continue the pattern and make a little more progress in the coming year. But, no pressure.

There are people I’ve reconnected with. There are people I’ve decided not to worry about anymore. I plan to continue examining relationships in the coming year.  As I grow older, I find that my circle of people grows smaller and I have little time for those relationships that require game playing or too much drama. So, adios.

In some areas of my life, I am highly organized, yet in others, I’m a mess.  There are areas I’ve cleaned up and there are areas I have yet to pull out, sort through and purge. No pressure.  It’s on the list.

We can say we are going to read our Bibles and pray more.  We can say it and have good intentions, but let’s face it, our lives change on a day to day basis and we have to decide how we are going to deal with things and make time for what really matters. I can’t do any of it without God’s help. Reading my Bible every day and having my quiet time is something I have been working on for many years. Most of what I do in my daily life can only be done with His help.

We plan to relax more, spend more quality time with our kids and spouses and friends. We make big plans to get the house painted by September or master a new skill before next year at this time. There is a lot of time spent on how we plan to change.

Really, I think its OK to think about changing and think about what we plan to accomplish in the coming year. However, I think we need to get our priorities straight first.

What is really, really important? The family time? Yes. What really has to be done?  What is really worth worrying about? Not much, if anything.  How can I take care of things and also think about taking care of myself?  What is God’s role in all of this? Meditate. Inspect.  Pray. Make lists.

And if we accomplish one or two things by next year, that’s OK.  Who says this time of year has to be about big, ambitious lists with obstacles that could possibly be insurmountable?  Who said it?  Did you?

I’ll check back with you next year and see how it went.

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Mark Tullis

Mark is a 25-year veteran teacher teaching in Columbia. Originally from Fairfield, Mark is married with four children. He enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with his family, and has been involved in various aspects of professional and community theater for many years and enjoys appearing in local productions. Mark has also written a "slice of life" style column for the Republic-Times since 2007.
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