Saturday, September 1, 2012

If I lose, I want to lose happily

Is your life a race?

I find something so relieving about reading or listening to Conference talks that seem to be telling me to slow down.  When I read council saying-- take it slow-  my body, mind, and soul sigh.  I literally feel my spirit taking a hopeful breath and my tired brain thinks,

"Would that be okay, 'cause I'm exhausted."

Every once in a while I like to stop and think--- what are my priorities?

This talk by President Thomas S Monson is the latest of many talks I have read about slowing down and thinking about what matters.  I liked these parts.

"In this fast-paced life, do we ever pause for moments of meditation—even thoughts of timeless truths?

"...when times of crisis arise, when loved ones are hurt or injured, when sickness enters the house of good health, when life’s candle dims and darkness threatens. Our thoughts become focused, and we are easily able to determine what is really important and what is merely trivial."

I really need these reminders.  I'm so grateful for the drink of water Conference is.  I can let other voices tell me what I need or should be doing much too often.  And most often, it is my own inner demon voice tormenting me day by day.

It says,

Utter Girl, your house is messy.

Utter Girl, your grass ought to be cut more often.

Utter Girl, you do not cook enough.

Utter Girl, you did not spend enough time at the gym.

Utter Girl, you did not spend enough time on your hair and make up.  I mean, how many days in a row has your hair looked like that??

It says other things.  Harsher things.  Cruel things.  I am my own worst critic and it seems sometimes that the only answer to the many calls of my inner voice is to just move faster.

When I became sick a year and a half ago and then remained sick thereafter (to varying degrees), I began to notice that the first thing to go was the house.  It became messier.  Then, my grass rarely was cut.  I certainly didn't get to the gym, and my hair was often ugly, while makeup became non-existent.

But what really really bugged me in the back of my SOUL were thoughts of my family. 

Are the boys happy enough? Have we walked together in nature enough? Do they see their friends enough?  Am I spending enough time chatting with them?  Does my husband feel supported enough?  Am I serving my friends enough?  Am I spending enough time on my calling?  Do those I love feel loved???

I had questions and nagging thoughts still, but the questions changed.  I also found that I could live with the first set of things going, but I absolutely hated letting the second set of things be neglected.  The first set of things were things that made me look as if I had it together, but the second set of things were what truly needed to be held together.

Does that make sense?

This past six months has brought on an improvement in my health, and with it, more capability to keep up with the lists.  But I'm tired sometimes.  And I hope I will remember the next time I am tired that the best thing for my soul and for my eternal happiness is to slow down.  Then, after I slow down, to think and ponder about lessons I've learned about what matters.  I hope that I let go of the things that make me appear like I have it together, and I focus on the things that really keep me together.  Because if I go to sleep at night having gone to the gym, done my hair, cleaned my home and with a manicured lawn-- yet I didn't spend time with my children, didn't serve my amazing friends, my husband felt neglected because I was much too tired to spend time with him after hurriedly putting the kids to bed--- those are the things that will keep me up at night.  Those are the things my soul will cry out over.  Weeping over lost time with chubby cheeks, tiny voices, and loving arms around me.  These are the things I can't live happily without.  So if I am tired enough that I need to choose, I want to just teach myself to slow down and pick the better part.  I know my soul will give that wonderful sigh if I do.  That wonderful sigh of true content.