Friday, December 7, 2012

Rethinking Urgent

After an emotional and scary week (my father had emergency surgery but all went well and he is in recovery) I came into the office to catch up.  Perhaps my head was elsewhere, still with my Dad in his hospital room where I will return soon, but I was focused enough to laugh loudly in the face of a red-bolded, exclamation-marked email labelled URGENT in the subject line.

I scrolled through the frenzy, then went through my files and sent the necessary information.  This urgently needed information.  After, I watched the silence and the long breath, a mad email chain officially over with no response, no thank you, just the taking and the running until the next inevitable whirling dervish spin.

This is something that's been on my mind for a while, but even more so after this week's life events: I've decided to rethink urgent.  The way I request urgency in others and how I respond to those who ask it of me.  

I think I need a new priority of urgent.  Attending a birthday party. That sounds pretty urgent. Seeing the baby. (As in: You gotta see the baby! Seinfeld, anyone?)  Catching the sunset before it drops from the sky.  A girl's weekend. Dinner, or a walk, or a phone-call with family and friends. 

So, rethinking urgent. Who's with me?


  1. 1. I am so glad your Dad is ok.

    2. As you know, I can be a little intense about 'urgent' but Id like to thing it's for positive things (IE - I MUST decide on side dishes for Thanksgiving, it's URGENT.) In the last three years, I find myself pouring more energy into the people who are important to me. Less focus on NEXT and more on where I am and who I'm with. Clearly, I'm not a grounded person by any definition of the word, but it allows the adrenaline to remain dormant until a real emergency (or kitchen disaster, same thing) pops up.

  2. I am with you. Sorry about your dad - and hope all is better. Today someone said to me, "Ah, 1st-world problem." And I completely stopped in my tracks. He lived in China for awhile, and a couple of a third world countries, and has seen a lot. So when I asked about not having any snow for his snowboard team yet, he shrugged. "Ah, 1st-world problem." Our urgent is sometimes...not? Good post. Have a great weekend.

  3. Great post, Melissa. After 24 years of marriage, 3 three kids, and 46 years of living, I have learned to rethink urgent. AND I don't allow other people to dictate urgent for me either; nor do I dictate it for them. (I hope.)

    Thanks for the reminder, and I'm glad your dad is doing better. :)

  4. I'm glad your dad is doing better. There's nothing like a health emergency to make you rethink priorities and redefine what really matters.

  5. I'm glad you're father is okay.
    I wish we didn't need things like this to remind us what "urgent" really means.

    And I officially detest people who apply that red urgent exclamation point to their emails. They never are.

  6. I'm with you, my friend. Medical emergencies can definitely change perspective, I know. Glad your dad is doing okay!

  7. I'M WITH YOU!! ....and I'm glad your dad is better!


  8. The book The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People calls people out on spending too much time doing what's Urgent/Not Important.

    You were doing something that was Urgent AND Important, and more people need to recognize the difference.

    Glad your Dad is on the mend.

  9. I'm so glad your Dad is recovering. I think as you get older the things you think are urgent changes. I think health issues are one of the few things that I would consider urgent.

  10. Sorry to just be reading this about your Dad. I'm so glad he's okay. Those moments definitely put things into perspective! And I love your idea of rethinking urgent.
    Catherine Denton