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Monday, July 9, 2018

Setting Priorities

Three and a half weeks after returning from Nepal, where I had been without my family for 3 weeks to run the Everest Marathon, I was scheduled to leave for Chamonix, France to run the Mont Blanc Marathon. The trip would have been only for 3 nights/ 4 days, but I cancelled it, because I felt that my family needed me at home.

Thankfully I could still cancel my hotel booking, but I had already paid for the race as well as the flight there, and those were non-refundable.

I receive harsh criticism from some people about luxurious travel to foreign destinations to pursue a selfish hobby. Everyone has the right to their own opinion, I respect that, but I believe everyone should be able to choose their own hobbies and do what they want with their own free time without being judged by others just because it is a different path than the norm. 

My husband and I both devoted many years to self-funded higher education in order to create a solid basis for our future and that of our children. We both work hard for the money we earn, as does most everyone. 

I may dedicate two to three hours in the morning, my ‘free time’, to sport, but then find myself doing laundry or writing, or editing work until 10 or 11 at night in order to get everything done. I have a wonderful life, it is busy and fulfilling, but it is not without sacrifice and focused hard work.

Enjoying life through hobbies, which are individually and freely chosen, is one of the greatest gifts we have. They allow us to express our inner selves and experience fulfillment. Without them, if we are not balanced and happy, then we have little or no chance of being the person that we need to be for the people around us who depend on us.

I believe that family should always be the number one priority, but taking care of oneself is a God-given responsibility that should not be underestimated or take a back seat.

Turns out, on the weekend when I had planned to be on Mont Blanc, I was instead in Berlin with my family, visiting my husband’s parents. His mother is undergoing difficult treatment for cancer and she needed us. My husband needed me. We needed the kids. The kids needed us. Everything in balance.

That decision was a no-brainer.

There will be other races.

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