PPMT President’s Message-June, 2017
It’s All About Balance
By Donna M. Butler, PPMT President
It’s summertime! And you know what that means: backyard barbecues, swimming, sunning, surfing, biking, hiking, road trips and spending time with family and friends. Fun, fun, fun! It is a special time of year where we get to relax a bit more, get out in the sunshine and spend time with our families and friends. (If you’re looking for fun, free things to do in Nashville, check out Ms. Cheap’s 2017 Guide to Summer)
When I look back over my life I realize it’s the little things that meant the most and there is nothing more important than the loved ones in our lives. Every minute we get to spend with our family and friends is precious. We have to take time from our busy schedules to “stop and smell the roses”; to take care of ourselves and those we love; to carve out meaningful lives outside of the demands of the world. When we live frantic lives, we end up stressed out, moving from one thing to the next without pausing to enjoy the most important things in life. We hit the fast-forward button and do not stop until it’s too late. Which really isn’t much of a life at all. And, add to that, we live in really tough times. The world feels very unstable, our futures undermined, and everyone is feeling the impact of that instability. People today are incredibly politically charged and hypersensitive, with vastly differing opinions and voices; we’re exposed to “fake” news, violence and incredible turmoil. Happiness and peace seem elusive and unattainable in our world today. Much of this chaos is a waste of time and energy…burdensome and unnecessary. Who can possibly maintain any semblance of sanity in all this insanity or achieve any type of balance?
Despite these realities, we can create a satisfying and meaningful life. We can take the time to enjoy the journey and appreciate life and those we are blessed to enjoy life with. And, it’s all about balance.
Instead of just letting life happen, make deliberate choices about what is most important, what you want from life and how you want to spend your time. Write your goals and priorities down on a sticky note and place it where you can see it throughout the day. (Or make it your desktop wallpaper). Make a priority list and stick to it. Don’t just wait to see what time is left over in your day. Make your life and family a priority. If a task can wait, let it go. If you have 20 tasks on your list you need to do everyday, how effective do you think your ability to focus will be? Terrible, right? You can’t expect to do all those things effectively if you’re too scatterbrained to focus. You need to break it down to the essentials only. Focus on only doing 2-3 important tasks a day but no more than that if you value family time. While emergencies happen and situations come up, resist any temptation to get off track. Many people go through life and get caught up in situations and circumstances that end up controlling them and find themselves in a place they really don’t want to be. Learn to say NO when necessary and value your own time. Sometimes you have to turn down jobs, especially if they aren’t really profitable. You can’t do everything and you can’t please everyone. You must pick and choose. Perhaps you’re in a life-sucking job that you need to quit. Find a life-giving, time sparing, uplifting job or career you’re passionate about. Or perhaps you just need pare down the number of hours you are working. It’s ok to slow down! It’s ok to get out of the rat race. It’s ok to explore different avenues and opportunities that give you more time for your life and your family. You can also learn to live on less and cut the cable if need be. If your goal is peace, sanity and more time for your life and family, you must evaluate what you must do to achieve these goals. Acquiring more stuff and achieving more success is not the answer. Like the old adage says, “You can’t take it with you”. Here’s another good one, “I’ve never seen a hearse towing a u-haul”.
If you want to focus on the important things in life, turn off distractions! Make it a priority to spend quality, uninterrupted time doing things you enjoy. Be honest with yourself, do you ever just take time to be still and quiet? Do you seek out things that are fun and allow you to get away from the pressures of everyday life? Or, do you have some electronic device in your hands at all times? Do you allow people to text or email you at all hours of the night and respond immediately? How much tv do you watch every day? Do you work beyond a normal 8-9 hour day? When is the last time you took a family vacation? Do you attempt to multitask when, in reality, you’re just spinning your wheels? Did you know that 80% of smartphone users check their phones within 15 minutes of waking up and the average user checks their phone 150 times a day? This addiction must stop! Limit your time on electronic devices, social media and email and spend more time on what matters most. You’ll get more stuff done, too. Turn off the news! Get out from in front of the computer, turn off the tv and take a walk…with your family. Read a “real” book. Invite some friends over for dinner or a card game or go out for coffee. And, get some physical activity every day! Summer is a great time for fun activities. Even if you’re on a budget, you can have the time of your life this summer (check out Ms. Cheap’s 2017 Guide to Summer).
Summer always seems to pass by so quickly. So today, my friends, remember life is too short…live it to the full now! Lighten up, have some fun, laugh often, live big, love large and make as many memories as possible! Don’t end up in your golden years with regrets of not having lived an enriched life; instead having wasted it on meaningless, unimportant things that drained your energy and sucked the very life right out of you.
While, we cannot control the things that are out of our control, we can achieve balance in a chaotic world by prioritizing our time and tasks. And, with a strong support network, we can also thrive in difficult times. The key to everything in life is consistency and moderation. It’s all about balance. So, organize your time, make some fun summer plans with family and friends and seek out opportunities to simply enjoy experiences, make memories and savor life.
Thanks for your continued support and hard work. We rely heavily on volunteers to keep PPMT going and anything you can do to help the organization is good for everyone. You can fill out our volunteer form and let us know about which opportunities you are interested in. The Board of Directors is working hard on some great ideas and events for the rest of the year but even with all these great ideas, we REALLY need your help to make them come to life!
Our next opportunity to mingle and learn this month is our regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, July 11th with Genna Sellers (location to be determined). We will learn about food photography, including some of the tips and tricks that will take your imagery to the next level.
Speaking of fun…who doesn’t love a fun and friendly competition? It’s good for the soul and gets the creative juices flowing. We will have our Peers’ Choice Competition at our next regular monthly meeting in July, so get those images ready!***
If you would like to become a PPMT member, we’d love to have you join us. Our memberships are extremely affordable and the value far outweighs your membership dues. Visit our website and sign up here.
***Don’t forget to bring your 8×10 or 8×12 Print (up to 2) and the $3 entry fee per image for the Peer’s Choice Competition July 11th.