This post will include philosophical rambling. You have been warned!
I'm a project oriented person and have been for a very long time. I was a stellar student in high school, undergrad, and graduate school. I could study for tests, finish projects, and meet deadlines with the best of them, though admittedly with tons of anxiety and stress in the mix.
The nice thing about projects and classes and tests is that they have a firm end date. For better or for worse, at some point its all over but the grade.
People are more complicated.
Until death parts us, the people in our lives will be around, sometimes in our homes, sometimes over phone lines, sometimes attached almost exclusively by email.
(I hate phones most of the time. I'm surrounded by noise and people crawling up my legs so when I'm on the phone, I prefer people who can understand the occasional side comments to small children who suddenly, ardently, need my attention. One of my least favorite jobs in life is trying to work through a billing problem on the phone with phone trees and stupid computer voices and kids screaming in the background...)
Ok, digression over.
But from the perspective of eternity, what is more important, people or projects?
Of course people win, hands down.
And yet, and yet, the projects are fairly important as well because they affect the people. If we never mowed the lawn, we'd be surrounded by 5 foot tall grass fields and the kids wouldn't be able to play as easily, and they'd always come in covered with ticks and chiggers. If we didn't keep working on the pool, it would be a swamp.
So it's a balance; on one hand, we need to get a lot of things done in life, but on the other hand, we need to interact with our loved ones consistently. Quality time is good, but quantity time is necessary as well. Our loved ones won't do well with a stray 15 minutes a day.
Dealing with my wonderful children, especially the youngest 3, is quite exhausting. They are 7, 6, and 4 now. I love them. They are fantastic and cute and amazing. But they are also immature, because they are small. They fight, repeatedly. They do things they shouldn't. And Rose, in particular, is like a comet who often is quite content to be away from her sun (me) but sometimes wants to be circling very close to me. When she decides she wants Mommy, it is hard for me to go outside or even change floors in our house without her screaming in dismay.
You get the picture.
Since it is summer and we're not officially doing school, I've been tackling lots of projects around the house. I am decluttering closets and organizing them. I'm organizing our clothing. You get the picture.
These things have value, without a doubt. But I have to remind myself, when knee deep in a project, that if the kids need me, I need to break away. And not 'need me' in the sense of 'child will get injured without me' but in the sense of 'child is feeling lonely or scared or crabby and I need to spend time with said child.'
Not easy. Because when the project is in mid stream, it is hard for me to swim out of it. I just want to get it done!
But I'm maturing and growing as a Christian and a wife and a mother. The project will be still be there when I get back, but the people need me now.