Saturday, August 7, 2010

Making choices about priorities

I don't want to test myself to destruction now that I've finally got real income, but I also don't want to shrivel up into one of those people who just works and then wastes what free time they have relaxing and recovering (even though I surely do need to).  I would love to be able to maintain a crazy schedule like I could before I got hurt--or even before I shrunk due to sleep-deprivation--but I can't.  Realistically, I think I could maybe handle one thing on top of my two jobs this semester.  Here are my choices.  (I talked about them a little bit earlier in the week.) 
  • Monday: I could try to join a classical vocal music group that practices on a Monday. PROS: I love making music.  It's a way I can create art and beauty that doesn't require (much) use of my hands. CONS: Concerts and stress and a lot of work to catch up with the real singers.  Time off work to prepare.
  • Tuesday: I could continue doing publishing research on this night.  PROS: Maybe some day I'll care about getting published, and all that research will come in handy.  Also, this is a time where I really just read literature for an hour, and since I want to keep writing, I should really make time to pour some good content in. CONS: I don't care about publishing, especially now that I have a foot in the door in teaching, which is what I really want to do.  Should I be spending this time on something I don't care about or need just because it's kind of a good thing?
  • Wednesday (and Sunday mornings): I could keep leading a small group and a Sunday school for church.  PROS: I kind of like being in my small group, which is made up of fun, eclectic people driven to be more sensitive to the Holy Spirit and to do what we can to make our local church a better body of believers. CONS: Being honest when dealing with single men is problematic because they start to like me, which leads to crap I really don't want/need/have energy to deal with.  I would prefer a role with invisibility where I can lead from the shadows or (actually more) just follow and support a good leader in a way that doesn't suck my energy away.  NOTE: This commitment could be shifted to Thursday night due to scheduling conflicts with other group members. The thing is, we're the only small group that meets Wednesday nights, and I wanted to keep that as an option for people who want to be in a small group and don't have any other nights free.  If I stuck with Wednesdays, I would likely be freed from leading the Sunday school since our group goes over the material at the small group meeting the week before.  It might be possible that nobody would need Wednesdays this semester, and thus the choice would be taken from me.  If not, I could end up with a group that I have to work really hard at, and it could fail, and that would be unpleasant. It's possible that since everyone else needs to switch nights, this is a way God is telling me it's okay if I bow out right now. Or not.
  • Thursday: I could attend anime club. PROS: No one demands or expects anything of me, and I enjoy the format and content and generally find it entertaining and thought-provoking. CONS: It costs money to park and is far away.  It goes kind of late for my regular schedule.  This is a semester-long commitment because if you miss episodes, you miss a lot.
So, if you had to choose, what would you do?  Try to just pick one (if so, which one)?  Sign up for 'em all and trust that the ones I'm not supposed to do will fall through (what if they don't)?  What advice can you share that isn't just, "Pick the church one because you obviously should!"? :)


  1. I vote for choir or anime club. Spending time doing publishing research probably isn't the best way to refresh yourself after a long day of work, and given that it's outside your range of interests should probably be a lower priority. As for the Bible study, it may be good for you to at least take a break from it, while you get used to a 9-5 job and figuring out how your schedule will work. I think choir or anime club would be more refreshing and more of a change of pace during the week.

  2. I agree with Karin (and based on the scheduling thing and how happily you write about your choir activities, I'd vote for the choir).

    The job plus teaching is going to be a lot of work, and will only increase the need for R&R. You can probably afford to back-burner your publishing concerns for a semester or so. Don't know about the Bible study- it seems to provide you a lot of food for thought- but perhaps the Sunday morning timeslot could replace it for you?

  3. Thanks to both of you for your thoughts. I appreciate the advice.