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Big rocks are often lost under mountains of frogs. Being obscured, but always paramount in importance, it is easy to think we are devoting more time and attention to them than we actually are.

When my son was in high school he was required to make a ‘Time Pie’ by taking all the parts of his day (sleeping, eating, school, sports, home, hobbies, etc.) and allocating the proportion of time he thought he was giving each.

Although the pie was a single piece, the hours he allocated to each part did not add up to 24 hours or 100%. We looked at it together and I saw why. The things most important to him were allocated large chunks of the pie but in reality, they represented smaller pieces of his real time. He was disgusted to find that he spent far less time on homework and chores than he thought he did, and considerably more in sports and sleeping than he thought possible.

Hmmm… I did my own. First I thought about the parts of life most important to me, then I went through a typical day to see how it matched up with how I spent my days.

Ouch.

I have spent far less time cleaning and dusting my house since that moment. When my daughter gifted me with 3 months of voice lessons, I made time for them as long as I could. That thoughtful gift was a joy and a delight I plan to do again someday. I say ‘thank you’ to the cook(s). I pass on overheard compliments to the person they applied to.

Because I can be dense, thoughtless, clueless, and generally oblivious to time, I have set up with regular calendar reminders  to mail cards for no reason, and to call and check in on someone I haven’t heard from in a while, even when I know it means over an hour of time and a sore ear after. Knitting hearts and flowers for unwell, far away family and friends gives me pleasure, as well. Sharing tangible tokens of appreciation and affection means a lot when I get them, so I figure others will like them, too.

These things are my Big Rocks; the parts of my life that give it meaning.  I work at putting those Big Rocks in first because once you fill up your time with a zillion little things (each has value, yes, but how much value?), you cannot fit in any of the important things, the Big Rocks.

Some frogs can be Big Rocks, but mostly they’re not. Big Rocks outscore frogs.

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