Whether we are single, married or in any vocation, there are few of us who could say our lives are not complicated. Most of the time the complication comes from ourselves. Often it stems from having more on our minds – things to do – and minds that tell us we have to do everything at the same time. That’s complication!
Married couples have a particular inclination and ability to complicate their lives. Each person in the marriage usually believes his or her way of thinking is the only way of thinking. Each has his or her own dreams, ideas of what needs to be accomplished, goals to achieve and the respective ways of getting all of it done.
Of course, this results in ongoing complication.
Have I painted a sufficient picture for you? You’re probably asking: “When are you getting to the answer?”
There are two answers: Simplify and prioritize.
Each of our lives becomes cluttered with activities, responsibilities and demands. Daily we find ourselves driven by others in our lives. Often we feel we have lost control and are simply the pawns of the “world.”
Our answers lie in simplifying our lives. Take time to analyze each and every activity within your day, all the while asking if the activity is important to your goals.
Yes, I may have forgotten to mention settings goals is extremely important in this endeavor. Is every activity in your day pertinent to achieving your goals? If it isn’t, then drop the activity.
For couples, goal-setting as a couple is extremely important. Writing those goals down is No. 1. The couple has to be unified in its goals. This includes goals in finances, possessions, how many children to have and how to raise them. Each of the goals will require letting go of individual goals. Complications arise when one attempts to achieve individual and couple goals at the same time.
Once the goals are established, it’s time to prioritize the goals as well as the steps to the goals. Again, unity is vital. Keep the steps simple as you move through the steps. Review the goals and the steps to the goals at least weekly. This enables the goals to be fresh in your mind. Make the determination weekly if the priorities are to remain or be changed. Don’t be afraid to change the priorities. Remember, nothing is written in stone.
There is one element important in this endeavor to minimize complications in one’s life: Place God in charge of it all.
If you are a part of a couple, it is even more important that you go to God together. Making him No. 1 in your lives and learning to pray together create the strongest bond between you and will prepare you for the ups and downs of married life. Remaining connected to God will enable any person to travel this life with purpose and direction.
Deacon Dave Farinelli is clinical supervisor and therapist for the Catholic Counseling Service. He can be reached at 861-6245 or 606-4342.