Run faster! Or not.

Mosiah 4:27:And see that all these things are done in wisdom and aorder; for it is not requisite that a man should run bfaster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order.


Of course this scripture doesn’t apply to me, and probably not to you.  We have too much to do. Clearly this scripture was written before the 24-hour stresses of daily modern life evolved and now literally demand that we run, process and accomplish tasks as fast as our computers can—the robots set the pace. What I’m sure the scripture meant was, Do not run faster than the strength:

  1. you wish you had
  2. you once had, ten, twenty or thirty years ago.
  3. you think you should have if only you would try harder
  4. you imagine everyone else has
  5. you would have if you had less stress and enough money
  6. you had in that one instant where you were your strongest ever
  7. your kids have
  8. your delusional supermom fantasies lead you to believe you have
  9. all those inspirational famous people appear to have
  10. the robots.
This past week, during a little informal dieting support group I attend, I was told by others that I needed to slow down, take an occasional break, and maybe let up on some of the pressures I put on myself.  It was even suggested that I stop stressing about diet stuff altogether for a little while. My knee-jerk response to this was to wave it off.  I’ve done lots of things at once, I’m a veteran multi-tasker. After the past ten years of almost constant chaos, upheaval and stress, I can now look death in the face and laugh. Hah!

Plus, if I slowed down, it’s possible that any burdens I took off myself would simply be replaced by the guilt of doing so. So, why bother?

But after more thought, I realized that, although trials do make us stronger, I’m at a weak point right now. I get tired, emotionally and physically, more often at this moment in my life, for whatever reason. Perhaps I did need to readjust my expectations. I don’t think my schedule is that busy right now, honestly it feels like most of the pressure is actually coming from inside my own head (be better, faster, stronger!), but let’s take a look.

My list probably looks a lot like most people’s in my stage of life.  If I do everything I’m supposed to do in a day, it looks like this:
  • Feed people (3x)
  • Dishes
  • Laundry
  • Daily job (M-Kitchen, T-Bathrooms, W-Living Areas, H-Bedrooms, F-Van/yard)
  • Scriptures (usually done by audio while multitasking)
  • Check Bills/finances
  • Prayer (2x+) (usually in the shower–multitasking again)
  • Track/plan food
  • Kid shuffling: Homework, chores, piano practice, Activity Days, scouts, piano, tae kwon do
  • Music Practice: voice (U admission auditions 2/27), learn UCA music, piano proficiency exam prep, children’s choir prep
  • Exercise
  • Kid love: Cuddle and talk with kids, not about homework, chores or piano 
  • Husband time 
  • Service (VT, temple, trying to listen to the Spirit about who/what needs me, etc.)
  • Try to make some money 
  • Journal/Write
  • Quiet meditation (Hah. This generally doubles as “sleep.”)
No surprise, I don’t often get to the things toward the bottom of the daily list, the things that make me and my family more happy, sane and less stressed financially.  When I focus on the business of home and family and getting the absolute necessities taken care of, when I finally get to my own shower and am ready to at last get to work on the rest, it’s about 11:30 p.m. and I crash. 

Also, if my mind just revolts, and I sit down to rest or think in a quiet place for a minute, which is happening involuntarily more and more these days, there is always something that theoretically should be filling that time. No vacancies in the schedule allowed.
  
I know this is almost a universal problem with women in my place in life. I know we are supposed to simplify, yet my family and home need almost constant attention, I’ve felt direction from the Lord on the path I’m taking  with music even though that takes time. I just can’t see quite where I’m supposed to cut.

Then again, what’s not on my list, but takes a ton of my time and mental energy, is fruitless, tail-chasing anxiety, wall-staring panic, and Tetris-playing despair. Somehow, I never book enough time in the day to allow for these time hogs.

President Uchdorf said on this great talk on the subject

Let’s be honest; it’s rather easy to be busy. We all can think up a list of tasks that will overwhelm our schedules. Some might even think that their self-worth depends on the length of their to-do list. They flood the open spaces in their time with lists of meetings and minutia—even during times of stress and fatigue. Because they unnecessarily complicate their lives, they often feel increased frustration, diminished joy, and too little sense of meaning in their lives. 

It is said that any virtue when taken to an extreme can become a vice. Overscheduling our days would certainly qualify for this. There comes a point where milestones can become millstones and ambitions, albatrosses around our necks…

…My dear brothers and sisters, we would do well to slow down a little, proceed at the optimum speed for our circumstances, focus on the significant, lift up our eyes, and truly see the things that matter most. Let us be mindful of the foundational precepts our Heavenly Father has given to His children that will establish the basis of a rich and fruitful mortal life with promises of eternal happiness.

In that same talk, President Uchdorf said that our relationships with God, our family, our fellowman, and ourselves, are the top priorities. The first task of the first priority, our relationship with God, was, in fact, quiet meditation, the neglected item at the bottom of my list:

Quietly focusing on daily personal prayer and scripture study…these will be some wise investments of our time and efforts to draw closer to our Heavenly Father. Let us heed the invitation in Psalms: “Be still, and know that I am God.” 

So, as I approach these last two husbandless weeks of bar prep and stress, I am going to make a commitment to myself to a sort of mental/spiritual/physical refocus, not with a longer to-do list, but by making the last first, beginning each day with quiet prayer and study to get inspiration for the day. Maybe that would help me minimize the unscheduled time-hogs (anxiety, panic, despair) by replacing all that paralyzing fear with some faith.  And I think I’ll put some kid love time before the kid shuffling time each day.

The Creator of the universe manages everything in order and love, so it only makes sense that as I face my own to-do list each morning, that I consult with Him first. 

Run faster! Or not.

Mosiah 4:27:And see that all these things are done in wisdom and aorder; for it is not requisite that a man should run bfaster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order.


Of course this scripture doesn’t apply to me, and probably not to you.  We have too much to do. Clearly this scripture was written before the 24-hour stresses of daily modern life evolved and now literally demand that we run, process and accomplish tasks as fast as our computers can—the robots set the pace. What I’m sure the scripture meant was, Do not run faster than the strength:

  1. you wish you had
  2. you once had, ten, twenty or thirty years ago.
  3. you think you should have if only you would try harder
  4. you imagine everyone else has
  5. you would have if you had less stress and enough money
  6. you had in that one instant where you were your strongest ever
  7. your kids have
  8. your delusional supermom fantasies lead you to believe you have
  9. all those inspirational famous people appear to have
  10. the robots.
This past week, during a little informal dieting support group I attend, I was told by others that I needed to slow down, take an occasional break, and maybe let up on some of the pressures I put on myself.  It was even suggested that I stop stressing about diet stuff altogether for a little while. My knee-jerk response to this was to wave it off.  I’ve done lots of things at once, I’m a veteran multi-tasker. After the past ten years of almost constant chaos, upheaval and stress, I can now look death in the face and laugh. Hah!

Plus, if I slowed down, it’s possible that any burdens I took off myself would simply be replaced by the guilt of doing so. So, why bother?

But after more thought, I realized that, although trials do make us stronger, I’m at a weak point right now. I get tired, emotionally and physically, more often at this moment in my life, for whatever reason. Perhaps I did need to readjust my expectations. I don’t think my schedule is that busy right now, honestly it feels like most of the pressure is actually coming from inside my own head (be better, faster, stronger!), but let’s take a look.

My list probably looks a lot like most people’s in my stage of life.  If I do everything I’m supposed to do in a day, it looks like this:
  • Feed people (3x)
  • Dishes
  • Laundry
  • Daily job (M-Kitchen, T-Bathrooms, W-Living Areas, H-Bedrooms, F-Van/yard)
  • Scriptures (usually done by audio while multitasking)
  • Check Bills/finances
  • Prayer (2x+) (usually in the shower–multitasking again)
  • Track/plan food
  • Kid shuffling: Homework, chores, piano practice, Activity Days, scouts, piano, tae kwon do
  • Music Practice: voice (U admission auditions 2/27), learn UCA music, piano proficiency exam prep, children’s choir prep
  • Exercise
  • Kid love: Cuddle and talk with kids, not about homework, chores or piano 
  • Husband time 
  • Service (VT, temple, trying to listen to the Spirit about who/what needs me, etc.)
  • Try to make some money 
  • Journal/Write
  • Quiet meditation (Hah. This generally doubles as “sleep.”)
No surprise, I don’t often get to the things toward the bottom of the daily list, the things that make me and my family more happy, sane and less stressed financially.  When I focus on the business of home and family and getting the absolute necessities taken care of, when I finally get to my own shower and am ready to at last get to work on the rest, it’s about 11:30 p.m. and I crash. 

Also, if my mind just revolts, and I sit down to rest or think in a quiet place for a minute, which is happening involuntarily more and more these days, there is always something that theoretically should be filling that time. No vacancies in the schedule allowed.
  
I know this is almost a universal problem with women in my place in life. I know we are supposed to simplify, yet my family and home need almost constant attention, I’ve felt direction from the Lord on the path I’m taking  with music even though that takes time. I just can’t see quite where I’m supposed to cut.

Then again, what’s not on my list, but takes a ton of my time and mental energy, is fruitless, tail-chasing anxiety, wall-staring panic, and Tetris-playing despair. Somehow, I never book enough time in the day to allow for these time hogs.

President Uchdorf said on this great talk on the subject

Let’s be honest; it’s rather easy to be busy. We all can think up a list of tasks that will overwhelm our schedules. Some might even think that their self-worth depends on the length of their to-do list. They flood the open spaces in their time with lists of meetings and minutia—even during times of stress and fatigue. Because they unnecessarily complicate their lives, they often feel increased frustration, diminished joy, and too little sense of meaning in their lives. 

It is said that any virtue when taken to an extreme can become a vice. Overscheduling our days would certainly qualify for this. There comes a point where milestones can become millstones and ambitions, albatrosses around our necks…

…My dear brothers and sisters, we would do well to slow down a little, proceed at the optimum speed for our circumstances, focus on the significant, lift up our eyes, and truly see the things that matter most. Let us be mindful of the foundational precepts our Heavenly Father has given to His children that will establish the basis of a rich and fruitful mortal life with promises of eternal happiness.

In that same talk, President Uchdorf said that our relationships with God, our family, our fellowman, and ourselves, are the top priorities. The first task of the first priority, our relationship with God, was, in fact, quiet meditation, the neglected item at the bottom of my list:

Quietly focusing on daily personal prayer and scripture study…these will be some wise investments of our time and efforts to draw closer to our Heavenly Father. Let us heed the invitation in Psalms: “Be still, and know that I am God.” 

So, as I approach these last two husbandless weeks of bar prep and stress, I am going to make a commitment to myself to a sort of mental/spiritual/physical refocus, not with a longer to-do list, but by making the last first, beginning each day with quiet prayer and study to get inspiration for the day. Maybe that would help me minimize the unscheduled time-hogs (anxiety, panic, despair) by replacing all that paralyzing fear with some faith.  And I think I’ll put some kid love time before the kid shuffling time each day.

The Creator of the universe manages everything in order and love, so it only makes sense that as I face my own to-do list each morning, that I consult with Him first. 

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *