Setting Priorities in Life

A significant defining moment in my life was to grow up without my parents around.  Both of them were busy earning a living and working.  My siblings and I was under the custody of my mom’s sisters, our two Aunts.  I remember when I was still in grade school, I only get to see my mom twice a week, and that’s every weekend. On the other hand, I only get to see my dad once a year, since he works abroad (out of the country).

Growing up, I was privileged to buy and have whatever I want, like nice toys and clothes.  I also went to exclusive private schools.  My parents were great providers (and spoilers).  They worked so hard to give us whatever we want and send us to good schools.  However, the exchange was their time and presence.

It was really hard to grow up without my parents around.  Living without them around looking after us created a great deal of impact in our family situation.

Our family situation was we never lived and stayed together in one home.  There were always people who interfere with our family, such as my aunts, since they were the one who’s taking care of us.  We only get to be whole during holidays when our parents will take us out to the mall, and that will be considered as our “family time”.

Since we weren’t living as one whole independent family, we had to cope with living in an extended family, which was very difficult.  My parents (and us children) couldn’t decide without hearing negative comments and complains from my aunts.  The difference in belief and mindset was a huge reason of the problem.   Another huge reason is because the family set-up wasn’t right.  Family is supposed to be composing of the husband, wife and the children, that’s it.  If you place someone else, expect it to be disturbing and chaotic.  And that’s what happened to our family which is why it never been whole.

Such circumstance is brought about by my parent’s decision to prioritize earning a living instead of building a strong independent family.  Their decision has resulted for us to never experience being a whole and happy family.

I had the privilege to talk to my mom just recently.  I’ve asked her if she was happy with how our family has turned out.  That if she could bring back time, how will she handle things with our family.  Will she still allow the same thing to happen?  What she answered made me teary-eyed.  She said that her only dream was to have a whole, independent and happy family.

Unfortunately, my mom wasn’t able to fulfill her only dream since from the beginning, our family was never whole.  The reason may be because she was a victim of circumstances or probably, she wasn’t able to set and keep her priorities straight.  Maybe she wasn’t aware of the importance of setting priorities in life.

I don’t know for sure what caused my mom’s inability to fulfill her dreams and priorities.  However, as for me, now that I’m about to build my own family, I have set my priorities and that’s my family first. Everything else is just secondary.  I’ll make it a point that I am there to look after my children, especially when they are growing up, and that no one else will interfere.   And whenever I find myself getting too busy and attached with other things in life, such as career or business, I’ll remind myself of this priority.

Have You Set Your Priorities in Life?

“Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.” ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

How about you, have you set your priorities in life?  What (or who) is your priority?  Is it your work, business, goals, dreams, school, friends, husband, children, parents?  How do you live the days, weeks, months, years or decades of your life?  Are you able to give time to your priorities?  Are you able to give priority to the real reason why you want to work hard?

If you’re not aware of the importance of setting priorities in life, don’t feel bad or guilty.  You can’t correct the past but you can always create your future by starting over now.  Today, start setting your priorities and keep them by constantly reminding yourself of it.


Setting and keeping your priorities will save you from future regret and guilt, of not being able to fulfill your goals and purpose in life.


I hope you were able to pick up valuable lesson in this post.  Feel free to share your own thoughts and experience in setting and keeping priorities in below comment box.


For a final note, reflect on this quote:

“A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove…but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child.” ~ Forest E. Witcraft


  1. I so totally agree that we need to figure out what our priorities are and then work toward them. So many people get wrapped up in making money, money, and more money that they forget the simple pleasures of seeing the sparkle in their children’s eyes when they play ball with them.

    My husband and I made the decision to quit our jobs in order to spend time with our children. We spent a total of four years together as a family traveling the Americas on our bikes. It was a wonderful experience for all four of us being together 24/7 exploring this grand world of ours on bicycles. We’ll never forget it.

    Do we have less money than before? You bet. Do we have memories that will take us through life? Absolutely.

  2. Thanks Nancy for sharing your story. Your family adventure is very unique. 🙂

  3. I too set my priorities like you have. Only I went overboard not thinking about myself in the future. I raised my kids myself, home schooled, was the perfect wife and mother. Yes, I produced three wonderful kids. An engineer, a computer analyst, and the last one pursuing her PhD at age 22 in research while being totally self supporting. But, now I find myself lonely, no career, a low paying unfulfilled job. My husband too busy with his career to spend time with me.
    I didn’t plan for this day. yes, I can take classes, I have hobbies, but they don’t fill the loneliness I feel. It’s a nice accomplishment, but I feel my life is over and I am just biding my time till I die. Keep up your career so you will have something when it’s all over.

  4. Thanks for sharing Pam. I understand what you meant with feeling lonely and unaccomplished. That’s why Balancing work and family is also crucial.

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