I like to use the Motherpeace Tarot cards for reflection.  No, I don’t think they are spooky or satanic,*** just a different way to enter my own sense of wisdom. I dug up this spread called the Sacred Days of Yule in the end of December.  I drew a card daily for 12 days, forming a wheel, and each day comes with a different reflection. Day three focused on the things that hold me back and as often happens, I was blown away by my card, one I don’t think I’ve ever chosen before: 7 of Cups.  As the book, Motherpeace – A Way to the Goddess through Myth Art and Tarot describes it,

The cups signify choices, an abundance of them.  They seem almost equal in their appeal – how shall the personality decide?…The waters of the ocean behind the figure threaten to swallow her up completely, if she doesn’t ground herself in some kind of reality…There is a seductive sweetness to the Seven of Cups, a feeling of wanting everything at once, and a belief that one may have it.


My reaction was like Charlie Brown when he screams THAT’S IT at Lucy.


I am often paralyzed by choice. Let’s start with home improvement projects. I want a deck/porch, new carpet, a new shower, new paint color in two rooms, granite counter tops, a new entryway light fixture, new closet doors, new doorknobs, improved acoustics, better basement furniture, and and and. And I want these things now.

I don’t know where to begin and nothing short of everything seems like enough.

Sound familiar?

Over a year in this house and I’ve done exactly nothing.  After drawing this card, I thought about my home and came up with a framework. How long will we live here, what will our possible selling price be?  I use those two nebulous, subject-to-change numbers to set our overall budget and priorities. My plan isn’t perfect, but what plan is?  If you don’t start, you’ll never know.

I’m often overwhelmed by the wide-open field of choices, and also by what’s right in front of my face. I might plan to write a poem today, for example, but suddenly it’s dinnertime and I’ve spent the entire day arguing my opinion of Edward Snowden with strangers on the internet. And there is a time and a place and a value to that, I suppose, if only to help me clarify my own point of view and sharpen my debate skills.  But then what?  Years go by and Edward Snowden is still in hiding and that poem isn’t written.

Setting priorities is an important goal this year.  Not as a draconian punishment or a new way to beat myself up, but to help guide my course, to recognize that there really are choices to be made. A pause between breaths. A wise woman once told me, “I can do anything, but I can’t do everything.”

Not all at the same time, at least.


*** Anyone scared off by Tarot cards for religious reasons should consider this — we celebrated the Epiphany yesterday — three dudes found divinity by following a star and messages they received in dreams. Maybe we should all tune in thusly.

4 thoughts on “Prioritize”

  1. V worthy goal. I tell my students that if they can demonstrate skill at prioritizing, then their value on mkt for talent goes up – low supply/high demand.

    But as you observe, prioritizing is more than a valuable work skill. It is essential for effective life. Prioritizing helps us cope w conditions of scarcity – particularly wrt time and attention.

    Remember that there are two parts to prioritizing: 1) Identifying the most important things, 2) sticking to those most important things.

    2) often more elusive.

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