3 minute read

Editor’s Note

Thoughts from the Editor

“Win where it counts.” These words jammed up the gears of my day.

After Lori said them, I drove away in silence from my short lunch at home feeling irritated, saddened, and challenged all at once.

I had just spent the previous 20 minutes pacing around my kitchen, shoveling in a quick bite, and grumbling in front of my wife and kids about all the messes around me: 103 degree temperatures, pool algae, a broken air conditioner with backordered parts, and not enough time—complaints poured from me like contaminated run-off, poisoning a peaceful lunch.

Ashamed and frustrated, I hopped in my car to carry on with my busy day. It was then that my wife leaned in for a quick kiss goodbye and the gracious parting words “win where it counts.” I was stopped in my tracks.

But everything counts—how am I supposed to win everything?!, I thought defensively on my drive back to work. Plenty of frustrations, very little perspective. It was a pitiful conversation; the only thing I was winning at was acting like a victim.

I knew what she meant. Some things matter more than others. My wife’s kind, wise words that day were an invitation to reconsider and reorder my days to reflect what matters most.

Winning where it counts demands that I make some hard decisions to say no. It demands that I choose to do the right things first. Trying to “win” at everything is a sure way to lose what I hold most dear. Defining a priority is always a process of cutting things out. A priority demands giving greater importance to one thing over others.

“The word priority came into the English language in the 1400s. It was singular. It meant the very first or prior thing. It stayed singular for the next five hundred years. Only in the 1900s did we pluralize the term and start talking about priorities. Illogically, we reasoned that by changing the word we could bend reality.”

- Greg McKeown, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

We live in a culture and time that champions having it all, doing it all, hustling 24/7 in order to have “the good life.” We reason, “If I get more, I’ll have value and be someone.” So, we race off in search of more: More money, more time, more possessions, more followers, more likes. More of anything and everything is our roadmap to a good life. More equals winning, or so we’ve been taught.

The truth is, we all have competing demands for our time, resources, and attention. For me, winning where it counts is slowly getting a little clearer. It means that I show up for the people I love with more than just the scraps at the end of a busy day. It means my family gets my best. They are where it counts, and they deserve to be my priority.


Eric Riley

Executive Editor Lifestyle Magazine

President / Owner Topograph