It's been a journey for me to deal with my schedule without flipping out. In college, every finals week I got sick and/or had a nervous breakdown. Without fail. On my mission I had a few episodes where I was so stressed out I felt like I just couldn't go out that day. And, if you talked to Joel, I have no doubt he'd confirm that there is a crazy woman that comes to live with him every once in a while (or more often than that) when things start getting out of hand. Hopefully he'd also tell you I've come a long way since he first met me in dealing with these things.
I've become more organized. That helps a lot. But the thing I have yet to figure out is balancing my life so that the important stuff always gets done even when there are fourteen thousand important things to do in a day. That's why my favorite talk in the October conference was Elder Ballard's talk called "O Be Wise." It's mostly about how to have balance in our Church callings, but he said one thing that hit me like a ton of bricks:
"As mortals, we simply cannot do everything at once. Therefore we must do all things "in wisdom and order." Often that will mean temporarily postponing attention to one priority in order to take care of another. Sometimes family demands will require your full attention. Other times professional responsibilities will come first. And there will be times when Church callings will come first. Good balance comes in doing things in a timely way and in not procrastinating our preparation or waiting to fulfill our responsibilities until the last minute. "
So you mean I don't have to do everything? You mean to say I actually can't? I have always carried around a tremendous load of guilt because I was a stellar mother one day, but only mediocre the next because that day I was too busy being an amazing voice teacher or excelling at whatever Church calling I currently held
I'm trying to let go of that guilt. To realize that sometimes I have to focus on one thing and let the other stuff go for just a minute. And yet, the other part of what Elder Ballard said, you know, the not procrastinating part, is really difficult for me. I've got procrastination down to a science. I am a master of putting things off until the very last nanosecond possible.
And so, in the spirit of caring more, I am going to stop that. I'm going to be more prepared. I am now going to make sure that I have prepared Mia Maid lessons, voice lessons and anything else that needs preparation (like possibly dinner) instead of surfing the internet in boredom.
Because, busy woman that I am, I still have plenty of minutes, and sometimes even hours, that I fill with mindless, unimportant stuff. Stuff I can do without. Stuff that very definitely adds to my stress level. Just a bunch of overwhelming, overstuffed stuff.