Side Trips and Back Roads


Well I missed a day. Except I didn’t really miss it. I didn’t prioritize it; I took a side trip instead. Simple as that. Instead of writing yesterday, I futzed around with different art apps on my iPad and then watched an episode of The Man in the High Castle. Because Priorities. Well sort of. Also because shiny. And I got a bee up my bonnet, so I wasn’t going to be happy until I figured out how to make my iPad do what I wanted it to do. Which was this:

image

And then by the time I finally figured out the right combination of free apps, it was 9:15. Oh sure, I could have written anyway. I even thought about it. Seriously, I did. And then I decided that I was going to just relax and immerse myself in Jules and Joe and Tagomi instead. And that’s when I made it a decision about priorities. I could have chosen to prioritize my writing. It is on my list. But Better Relationships and Good Things come before it. And I was comfy and warm and snug in my bed, which was definitely a Good Thing. And hubby was coming to bed with his Kindle to watch his show. So I snuggled up against him, turned my volume down, and we both watched our shows together, cuddled up in bed. Also a Good Thing. Such a Good Thing that I didn’t even get up to write my list of Good Things.

This is what Priorities is about. Decide what your priorities are, rank them, and then use them as a your lodestone. I still need to work on being more mindful of my priorities. I mean, yes, getting the right art apps on my iPad did fulfill my need for Mo Creativity. But doing my 500 words a day is also a priority. It’s encompassed in Creativity but it’s also a specific goal I have. And truly? Finding the right apps on my iPad was kind of a side trip. Not a priority. I can rationalize it all I like, and some of those rationalizations are even true, but it’s also true that it wasn’t really my number one priority, by any account.

But that’s another part of accountability. I made the decision, even if indirectly, to go down that back road. I own it — and I accept it. I’m not going to beat myself up over it. In the My 500 Words community, Jeff Goins even says not to try to get caught up if you miss a day. Just pick up right where you left off. So I took my little side trip, I enjoyed the sights. And now I’m back on track.

Yes, side trips take you away from your intended destination. But you can still enjoy them. Being easily distracted is part of my nature. I’m not going to fight it. That’s why I’ve made the decision to be flexible with my priorities. For me, too much rigidity is nothing more than an invitation to rebellion. So why fight it? If you find yourself easily distracted, use that to your advantage. As long as your distractions still fall within your overall priorities, go with it. You may find some wonderful things down those back roads.