Monday, December 29, 2008

New Year's Resolutions

I like the idea of New Year's resolutions. I love the opportunity of raising the bar and challenging myself to be a better person, always improving. I love the feeling of acheivement. In recent years, life seems to have taken over - shuffling my resolutions to the bottom of my priority list, getting buried in the back of my mind - only to induce guilt later for not having accomplished my goals. I'm starting to understand why so many people hate making resolutions. But it's tradition! - and, in my opinion, a very valuable one. So as 2009 looms before me only three days away, I find myself pondering on this last year. What a roller coaster it has been! I am drained in every possible way. I often feel like an emotional wreck, on the verge of a mental breakdown, and spiritually empty. At times, these feelings overwhelm me so that I feel like I am literally suffocating.

To become whole again, I feel like I need to give time to myself. I want desperately to feast in and study the scriptures, instead of the mundane flip it open and read a verse, or the occasional conference/ensign article. What would it be like to exercise without two small bodies literally hanging onto my legs? Or to shower every day; to have my legs shaved regularly; and hair, makeup, nails always in place? All I'm asking is for 3 hours a day to myself! Is that too much to ask for in a 24-hour day?! I used to think the solutions were easy: get up an hour or two earlier, utilize your infant/toddler's naps by having it at the same time every day, incorporate "quiet time" as they outgrow the napping phase, put them to bed at 7, develop your talents and hobbies ... all it takes is organization and self-discipline, right? If only it were that easy! Laci is an early-bird who wakes as soon as she hears the first noise of the day - whether it's at 4 or 6 am; Jacob is a night owl. Laci naps in the afternoon, Jacob naps sporadically, most often in the morning. He follows me like a shadow, wherever it may be around the house. He literally cries, not just when I leave to go somewhere, but the entire time I am away! The solutions are not simple, and I literally have no time to myself!

As I move forward into 2009, what goals do I set? - with two young children to raise, a husband to support, callings to magnify, people to meet, friends to make, family relationships to nurture, current friendships to maintain, a house to keep clean, meals to prepare, grocery shopping to do, date night to retain, one-on-one time with each child to set aside? ... the list is never-ending, even when I take myself out of the picture! There are never enough hours in the day, and I want three to myself?! um, yeah right!

So, all these thoughts were swimming in my mind this morning as I opened up Elder Perry's talk, Let Him Do It with Simplicity, from this last general conference. The following quote seemed to lift right off the page:

When our lives turn in an unanticipated and undesirable direction, sometimes we experience stress and anxiety. One of the challenges of this mortal experience is to not allow the stresses and strains of life to get the better of us—to endure the varied seasons of life while remaining positive, even optimistic. Perhaps when difficulties and challenges strike, we should have these hopeful words of Robert Browning etched in our minds: “The best is yet to be” (“Rabbi Ben Ezra,” in Charles W. Eliot, ed., The Harvard Classics, 50 vols. [1909–10], 42:1103). We can’t predict all the struggles and storms in life, not even the ones just around the next corner, but as persons of faith and hope, we know beyond the shadow of any doubt that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true and the best is yet to come.

So, I still don't know what my New Year's resolutions are for 2009, and I don't know how I am going to ever accomplish everything I want to. But I have the peace of mind knowing that I am a person of faith and hope, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true ... so, why shouldn't I believe that the best is yet to come? - whether my legs are shaved or not!


Lara said...

These are great thoughts...and I loved that talk!

I have really come to understand that these years with small children are the hardest. My life has gotten easier as my kids get older....and I'm sure the best really is yet to come!

Lara said...

I shouldn't say easier...but as far as getting time to myself it is, that's what I meant. :)

Lacey said...

You poor thing! I have been blessed with 2 girls who crave consistency and schedules. Up at 7am, naps at 2pm, bed at 7pm. After reading your post, I have realized how often I have taken my quiet time for granted!

I have come to realized that everything has it's season. Right now it's babies and home. In 5 years it will be something else. Give yourself a break and enjoy those babies! They grow up way too fast! And don't put so much pressure on yourself! Just do the best with what you have and leave the rest behind!

Love you!

Jackie said...

What a great blog. I can totally relate to what you are saying. I was just thinking this morning...Wouldn't it be nice to make waffles w/o the help of 2 kids. Wouldn't it be nice to blog w/o 1 kid hanging on the chair. Wouldn't it be nice to brush my teeth w/o someone hanging on my legs.

I'm sure it gets better but just so you know, you are not alone!


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