As jobs go, mine is a pretty good one. Nice working environment, decent people, mostly reasonable expectations. I do sales and operations planning, which is something I do well. Pay is mediocre and benefits are below average, but they’re enough. We’ve had several rounds of layoffs due to the recession and (as far as I know, anyway) I’ve never been in any real danger.

But the last four months in general and the last six weeks in particular have been rather hectic. We’re in the middle of several transitions (facilities moves, new product introductions, new software implementations). And now business is starting to come back – much of it driven by the federal stimulus package. When you plan to be down 50% and you’re only down 30%, you start to run out of stuff. Sales people, who are paid mostly on commission, don’t care why – they just know you’re costing them money. And they aren’t shy about letting you know what an idiot they think you are (sales people are evil – a necessary evil, but evil nonetheless… but that’s another topic for another time…).

The point of all this is that I came back from the Druid retreat with some wonderful insights and some great ideas about expanding my spiritual practice – just at the time when I’m having to work more hours than I’ve worked in about ten years. It’s so easy to drag in from work, grab some food, crash in front of the TV or computer for an hour or so, then fall into bed – and forget all about meditation and prayer and study and all the “good stuff.”

You can’t do everything, but especially in stressful times, you have to make time for those things that keep you grounded, keep you sane, and help you focus on what will get you through the difficult times.

First priority has to be to do what I have to do. My job pays for everything else I do – until groves start paying Druids, this is how I make my living. If I have to work 10-12 hours a day, then I have to do it. If I thought things would be like this forever, I’d be looking for another job (been there, done that, about went nuts in the process). But this should be over by October… December at the latest. I can last that long.

Second priority has to be to do what I said I’d do. I’ve made some commitments to DUUF and to CUUPS and I have to keep them. Besides, I made those commitments because I wanted to – I’d be hurting myself more than the organizations if I let things slide.

Third priority has to be to take care of myself. Physically (get enough sleep – and enough exercise), mentally (keep things in perspective, especially when dealing with irate sales people), and spiritually (keep up the practice).

Anything else (entertainment, projects, additional requests from organizations… and blogging) has to come only if and when time is available.

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