Are You Living Your True Priorities? I Have Not Been.

Am I the only one who recently had their priorities questioned?  Two flight accidents (one with a great outcome; one with the worst outcome) has had me reflecting on what I say my priorities are versus how my actions say what my priorities are.

At the same time that USAir landed its Charlotte-bound plane in the Hudson River in New York, I was boarding a plane to head home. When the Continental flight crashed near Buffalo, I was in-flight. Upon hearing of each accident on their respective nights, I reflected on what would be going through my mind if I had time to know what was going to happen. I’m sure some of these thoughts might be similar to yours and those of other passengers who have flown after a recent accident: 

ü  Did I say ‘I love you’ to my husband before I finished our phone call?  Yes. That is something I always do.

ü  Did I have my mobile phone nearby in case our plane was in trouble and I would want to call home?  Yes, I always have it in my laptop bag underneath my seat. I need to remember, however, to keep it with me in times when I am in a bulkhead seat and do not have my bag with me. 

ü  Did my husband know which flight I was on? No. I typically (but not always) take the same flight each week and just never think to tell him the flight number. He knows what city I’m traveling from and the airline name, but nothing more. From now on, I will leave a copy of my itinerary with him with my flight and hotel information as well as alternative phone numbers beyond my cell phone to reach me at. Earlier in the week I was transferred to another airline through other cities, and for once I was smart enough to let him know of my change in flights and cities.  Imagine how our families would panic if they did not know which flight we were on during an air disaster. 

ü  Have I been a good wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend? Hmm… sometimes yes, often times no. My wonderful family and great friends are my #2 priority (after my health) and yet I do not treat them as one of my top priorities on a consistent basis. Speaking of that, I do not treat my health too well either.  

ü  Did I have all financial paperwork in order?  This is another No. I know better, and I’ve had this task on my to-do list for a long time. I have not made it important enough to get to the top of the list yet.  It would be horrific enough if a disaster occurred. I would then compound the disaster by leaving my family in a financial quandary with accounts they do not know how to access and important papers buried deep in folders in my jam-packed desk. 

These thoughts are not meant to be morose concerns thinking that I am going to be in an air disaster (I actually feel safer in the air than on the road). Rather, they are wise actions that I should ensure are in place each time I leave home, whether traveling thousands of miles or driving to the next town:

·         Say ‘I love you’ to my spouse and children daily.

·         Keep communication methods readily available.

·         Inform my family on my whereabouts.

·         Focus on being a good wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend on a consistent basis.

·         Have a financial inventory created and discussed with my family.

It is interesting that none of my thoughts included: Have I worked hard enough? Am I financially secure? Am I losing weight? Is my house clean? These are all of the thoughts that I typically focus on each day, not such important thoughts like “Have I loved enough?” I really need to revisit my priorities and make sure that they are aligned with what I know my last thoughts would be (which I hope will not be for a very long time).

How about you — are you living your priorities?


  1. I can relate to this, and thanks for bringing up the little things we really don’t think about, unless the bigger things happen. As someone who lived in New York during 9/11, and who saw the plane crash into the World Trade Center, and whose husband had just stopped working at One Liberty Plaza, just across the street, only a few weeks before it all happened, all it takes are a few catastrophes to make one think about life’s priorities. It makes you think twice about getting annoyed that you didn’t get all your errands done, or that the traffic light is taking too long, or that you forgot to buy stamps at the post office.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *