pass the priorities

I wrote the following poem 14 years ago, after attending a very fun Cowboy Poetry event. It was a reflection of my own thoughts back then as I struggled to be a perfect mom, and still holds true in many ways. Enjoy!

Last night we came home from the cowboy affair
Recounting the fantastic time we’d had there.

The show was terrific: it left me inspired,
To write down some musings before I retired.

One thing in particular’s been on my mind:
Those frequently misplaced priorities I find.

I’m not unlike you – I have drawn out my list
Of things in my life I hold tight with my fist.

Like good looks and money; my “Supermom” role,
My primary goal to just maintain control.

I figure my happiness will be maintained
When life is in order, and faults are restrained.

But fighting between my shortcomings and talents
I constantly lose in the battle for balance.

Consider the trickle I term my “cash flow”
And the accurate records of where it will go.

When it’s all tallied up and the cheques have been sent,
And I’m left with 6 dollars and seventeen cents,

I often lean back, entertaining the thought,
“If my mortgage was paid, and my ‘treasures’ all bought,

“Would I find myself happy? Accomplished? Content?
Autographing my book, ‘All the Money She Spent’?

“Or discover I’d swallowed a faulty sales pitch
From society that’s bankrupt and a barber that’s rich?”

Of how about spending some time on my looks
With funky hair colours and new diet books?

My wardrobe could use a refreshing update
(Not now, though, I’m trying to work off some weight.)

I know I’d be happy — just give me the chance
To fit my old black size six wrinkle free pants!

Wait!

Get back down to earth! I’ve got children to rear!
And should not forget this most worthy career!

But the Supermom irony, in this occupation
Is the ruthless comparative evaluations.

Were my toilets all washed, and my kitchen were clean,
My flowers all blooming, my laundry unseen,

My closets in order, my mini-van washed,
My children all dressed in their Osh Kosh B’Gosh

My hubby’s shirts ironed, my floors freshly waxed,
And I spent the day reading, serene and relaxed,

You know what it’d show me? “I’m better than you!
I’ve completed my chores and have nothing to do!

I sometimes take pride in my orderly perfection
But when stretched to its limit, it’s compulsive obsession.

Now if a person maintained all those areas of life,
Don’t you think they’d be free of frustration and strife?

Or if we spend our time focused on things of this earth,
Do you think we’ll miss out on what life’s really worth?

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2 thoughts on “pass the priorities

  1. Its good to see that you have set your priorities straight
    All other things would just have to wait
    You set your number one priority as mother and wife
    And one day when you look back at your past and your life
    When you look back at the fruits of your labor and the job you have done
    You will find that amongst the trials, it really was much fun!
    When the kids are all grown and away have gone
    You will look back and realize they were truly priority number 1!

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