When Prioritizing Means Giving Up Something You Like

We all know the deal. Your choices limit your choices (and that’s a good thing). Figure out what needs to get cut so you can spend more time on the stuff you want to do.

But what if the thing that gets cut is also something you want to do?

It’s easy to give up the stuff you don’t really like. (The TV show that you’re only watching because it was good two seasons ago, for example.)

It’s harder to give up something you enjoy, either because you’ve found something else you enjoy more, because you want to put that time towards a long-term priority or goal, or because the thing is preventing you from achieving something you think is more important, such as “a good night’s sleep.”

In some cases, of course, certain life priorities become so important that you don’t have the time, energy, or space to make other choices—and at that point, even though you may regret having to let other aspects of your life go (and/or feel angry that your choices are currently limited), the prioritization is obvious.

But that’s not quite what I’m referring to here.

I’m specifically thinking about a social activity that I really enjoyed last summer but am electing not to do this summer because I’ve made both social and creative commitments that are more important to me long-term.

Yes, I know, what an enviable situation in which to find oneself.

And sure, I could just DO ALL THE THINGS—like, none of the events conflict—but that would limit my free time to the point where I’d probably feel a little overwhelmed.

I think it’s really that, after a year-and-a-half of living in Cedar Rapids, I’ve had the opportunity to try a bunch of stuff and figure out what I like and where I fit in.

Now I have to transition from the “try everything on” stage to the “decide what I want to keep in my life” stage, and that means letting some things go.

Which, again, means things are going well.

But that doesn’t make the choices any easier.

Well, that’s not quite true. The choice of which activity to say yes to and which activity to say no to was very easy.

Feeling bad about not sticking with something I enjoyed, simply because I wanted to spend my time in different ways—that was the hard part.

Curious if it’s the same for you. ❤️