Two things that I have enjoyed most of my life: staying up late and sleeping in. I enjoy sleeping. I am definitely a second shifter by nature, that is my natural rhythm of life. I also really enjoy running, lifting weights, and spending time with my family. So sleep, running, lifting, and family time (Cue the sound of music, These are a few of my favorite things.) About a year ago, my routine after work would be that I would immediately run or lift before I sat down for supper with the family. We would have an hour or so before the kids went to bed. So I was spending about an hour a day with my kids and that really bothered me. I was wasting precious time with them. I had to make a change. Now, as soon as I got home I play with the kids and did what they wanted all the way until bedtime. After bedtime, I would then workout or run until time to go to bed.
Many of you much wiser folks know where I was messing up already before I tell you. (It’s not the fact that I like to run, either!”) About 2 weeks ago, I became convicted about the change I made for my children, but didn’t consider my wife. As I was running and thinking, Amy was in the other room sewing (Ty calls it the “Black Room”, no clue why since its not black.) She had spend all day with 2 very active children, providing for their every need and putting her plans on hold constantly. She had barely had an adult conversation in days (Let’s just assume for a second that talking to me is like talking to an adult, ;).) It hit me that I was neglecting her. We could be talking or doing something together, but instead we were in opposite rooms. Kinda sad!
That’s when I realized something. I thought back to my days as a farmer. On days that I had something pressing to do or something I enjoyed doing, I could wake up early no problem. There were many days where I would haul a load of cattle for a neighbor long before the sun came up and many times be home in time for breakfast. I thought to myself, I enjoy running and lifting, but my wife needs to be a priority. So how about getting up earlier so that I can run and lift and reserve my time after the kids go to bed for her. (I can be real slow sometimes, because we have been married for over 9 years and I just now got it. Don’t judge me!)
So for the past 2 weeks, I have gone to bed at a much earlier time and gotten up around 6:45 am to run, lift, or just watch cartoons with my son. It hasn’t been easy though to change my natural rhythm. I had to take melatonin to help me get to sleep earlier. I also noticed that I was a little crankier than normal in the evening, but that is to be expected when you change a major life habit after 34 years. I ran three miles this morning. I am not too old to change, I just needed the right motivation. Giving my wife her own time and moving my desires out of the way was just the ticket to change. I call it killing an idol in my life.
Change can be a difficult thing in life, but necessary at times. Most often, you must lay aside what you have for something that you want more. We get stuck in our patterns and routines even if it cost us something better. You are never too old to evaluate your priorities and make the necessary changes to invest in the most important commodities that God has given you. Mine is my faith and my family, so everything else is moved around to make sure those have my utmost attention.
What are your priorities? To what do you give the most time? What do you need to change to give more focus to your priorities? Change is hard, but it is worth the effort. Don’t give up because you fail or it gets difficult, you have to push through if you want to see the fruit of your change. Trust me, it is worth it!
Grace and Peace to you as you learn new tricks!!