Life

When life hands your family too many challenges, coordinated prioritization helps you stay sane

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It’s been five weeks now since I moved out of my former home and into my wife’s home. Since then we’ve found ourselves unexpectedly facing a surprising number of unexpected and unwanted serious life challenges. They consume us.

We’ve kept making time to talk through each day’s events and figure out our priorities. And that’s key, because we don’t always agree on those priorities at first. One of mine is to get our house in order. We are blending two complete households and have stuff piled everywhere while we sort it. I hate clutter! Living with it really makes me nuts.

If I could, I’d make sorting the house our first priority. But Margaret needs us to resolve other pressing matters first. So we worked it out. Getting the house in order is still on the priority list, but it is at the bottom while we push through these other challenges. We both are moving forward with the house when we can, as best we can. In these five weeks we’ve made respectable progress, all things considered. But we’re also pushing powerfully through the other challenges.

Blogging has cleared my personal priority bar, albeit at reduced capacity. You’ve noticed, I’m sure, that I’ve posted some reruns, and that new articles are pretty fluffy. But sitting down to write is a pleasure and a wonderful distraction. I’d be ill served to give it up entirely.

Photography, however, does not currently clear the bar. When I moved I had a half-shot roll of expired Konica Chrome Centuria 200 slide film in my Spotmatic. I did finally finish it and send it for processing. The scans are back, and they’re all badly underexposed, so now I’m looking for time to see if I can make them usable in Photoshop. And I’ve been playing with some manual-focus lenses on a DSLR when I have five or ten minutes to spare. So I’ll have images to share soon. But otherwise, I’m not really taking pictures right now.

We are pushing through our challenges. They will end. And then we will get our house in order, and I’m sure time and energy for photography and more serious blogging will return.

I can share the photos I took as I walked through my old house for the last time. Because Margaret and I had two completely furnished homes, we each got rid of some of our furniture. This was surprisingly easy. In the wake of our divorces we had both accepted unwanted furniture from family and friends. I like to joke that we both decorated our homes in “early post divorce.” Neither of us were attached to very much of the stuff. And then I got a giant break when the young woman who bought my house offered to buy any furniture I wanted to leave behind. For saving me the hassle of having to donate it all, I just gave it to her! So here are the photos of my final walkthrough, with everything I left behind still in place.

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17 thoughts on “When life hands your family too many challenges, coordinated prioritization helps you stay sane

  1. In other words, after an extended break-in period, marriage really begins. :) It is sad that so many never figure out how to give up or delay a little of their own agenda in order to build up their marriage. It is certainly not something that comes easily or naturally. But it makes dealing with the other challenges so much easier.

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  2. Pingback: When life hands your family too many challenges, coordinated prioritization helps you stay sane — Down the Road – Average Women not so average life

  3. Jon says:

    You are a good man Jim. I’m sure that young Woman appreciated that kindness. Good luck to you both with your pressing issues, and your unpacking.

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  4. analogphotobug says:

    We’ve just put the finishing touches on a remodel that started a year ago…….Still putting our house and our lives back together. Moving has its challenges, but wait until you start remodeling………

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    • My first wife and I added a room onto our house. It about did our marriage in!

      Might have saved me the world of heartache that came when the marriage did end about a decade later.

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  5. Steve Miller says:

    Something about the last shot of the garage is always kind of sad. Though it’s generally more pleasing than the “before” image…

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