Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least."
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
A priority is something that comes prior to other things. In my life I have so many options, interests, and pulls for my time. I cannot possible do everything I want to do. Says Anne Morrow Lindbergh, "My life cannot implement in action the demands of all the people [and I would add activities] to whom my heart responds." Sometimes I feel that I have such limited time and all must be done now but that's just not sustainable. It's a race that I can't possibly finish.
Miss J taught me about racing. She said that world class marathoners don't train at optimum - they train for endurance. If, say, I can easily run a (for the sake of the math) 10-minute mile, when I do a long run I'll run at my 10-minutes + 30%, so I'll run a slow, 13-minute mile. This increases endurance. I think life is not a sprint but an endurance race. We might have to actually slow down, more than is comfortable, in order to get through the long haul.
Since I can't keep up the pace I'd like and do all that I'd be thrilled to do, I have to close doors on some thing and make sure to keep others. It's an incredibly difficult decision and one I've been studying about the past few days. I haven't got it totally figured out but this talk and the following quote from Elder Dallin H Oaks have helped.
The ultimate Latter-day Saint priorities are twofold: First, we seek to understand our relationship to God the Eternal Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, and to secure that relationship by obtaining their saving ordinances and by keeping our personal covenants. Second, we seek to understand our relationship to our family members and to secure those relationships by the ordinances of the temple and by keeping the covenants we make in that holy place. These relationships, secured in the way I have explained, provide eternal blessings available in no other way. No combination of science, success, property, pride, prominence, or power can provide these eternal blessings!