Perspective, and not just of the eternal variety | Overstuffed Overstuffed

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Perspective, and not just of the eternal variety

Alas, I cannot come back and report to you that I have found chef. Not when it's snowing outside and starting to stick as I type this.

What I did find this week was some perspective.

People are always talking about eternal perspective, but I don't generally have a problem with that. What I'm missing is temporal perspective. Perspective for the here and now. It is so easy to get myself all bogged down in the trial du jour, that I forget the fact that the trials always end. There is always another spring after the long winter.

I also forget the fact that I have numerous blessings. So many, in fact, that I can easily call myself spoiled and undeserving.

I think a lot of people think I don't like living here because I don't like Cedar City itself. That is really not true. Cedar is a great place to live and I like it fine. Sure, it's a little on the small side, and there's not really anywhere to shop, and it snows a lot, but there is a lot of good in it, too. Besides, I'm not sure there exists a perfect place to live, there's always something. Anyway, the reason I have struggled with living in Cedar City is simply because I do not like the feeling of having to work in order for us to make ends meet.

I have never before felt like a working mom, nor have I ever had so many other extraneous demands on my time as I have this last 3 years. Basically, I feel like I have to give so much of myself to other areas, that I don't have much to give to the three little people who matter most. Sometimes I can find a balance, but most of the time I'm just treading water and trying not to drown in my overstuffed life.

Once, when I was in college, a professor had us all sit in a circle and share the most difficult things we were dealing with in life right then. As I listened to the trials my classmates were going through right then, I became more and more grateful for my own hardships, and was a little embarrassed to share them when it came my turn because they seemed silly in comparison. And yet, as it turns out, many people came up to me and told me that they couldn't do what I was doing.

I have had a similar experience this week, and as I look at the trials others around me are facing, I have been given some perspective on my own. So what if I have to work right now? At least I can. The hard part is figuring out how I can more fully enjoy my children and not get so bogged down in the fact that my life is more full than I'd like it to be. My kids are the most important thing right now, no matter what, and I could lose them at any time. I need and want to be able to find joy and fulfillment in motherhood like I used to be able to.

I still don't have the "how" nailed down, but the desire is there. And the perspective. And that's good.

35 comments :

  1. I'm coming over from Mormon Mommy Blogs, asking for your help. I am in the running for a round trip airfare paid ticket to Connecticut, to meet a friend I became acquainted with through blogging. She is a super fun person and is holding this contest. I entered a funny story titled "Grapejuice Floaties, Now Marry Me." The person whose story receives the most votes will win a trip to meet this generous lady, whom I'm hoping to meet. The voting ends tonight-midnight. I used to be ahead but there is a story coming up from behind out of nowhere, and it's a tight race now. I would so much appreciate your help. Her blog is www.becausemomsaidso.blogspot.com and the voting is on the sidebar on the right. "Grapejuice, Floaties" Just go there and cast a vote for me, please. Thanks so much-you're awesome! ♥♥
    YOUR VOTE REALLY WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

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  2. Love this post. I am really glad I visited, because I have been missing my own chef (I call it ganas) lately. Hopefully this post will inspire my ganas to get back here now!!!

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  3. I completely agree! I've been in sort of a funk this week, and I just need to bounce back and get myself out of it.

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  4. Seasons come and go. I'm sure you'll find you groove again, soon. Until then, (((hugs))).

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  5. I'm sorry that your chef is eluding you. I'm sure it will come to you soon. Especially since you have the desire.

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  6. Beautifully written post, Lara!

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  7. So true. There are times when I get all self-pitying but then when I look at others with the burdens they're facing, I realize that I'd prefer to pull my wagon than someone else's. I don't remember that often enough.

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  8. Lara you said it so well. I really felt it. I know that you are trying your best and are aware of it all. That means it will be answered as you strive for the How... You are such a great soul.

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  9. I think we just might be kindred spirits ;) As frustrated as I get with myself, my character flaws and struggles, I'm grateful that I have what I have and not someone else's trials. Thanks for the post. I really enjoyed it.

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  10. Today during RS a sister shared an interesting perspective with us. She said that in the scriptures it often says, "It came to pass. . ."

    In fact, that phrase occurs A LOT! However, it never says, "It came to stay."

    Just thought I'd pass that on. Good luck finding the balance!

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  11. I totally agree with you, Lara. Sometimes, it's easier to blame the things bogging us down than to see what's really going on and how it's really for our benefit and learning.

    Thank you for such a great reminder...

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  12. Lara, I totally understand about having so much to do that our little ones don't get as much of us as they should. Just tonight I could tell Dallin really wanted me to play with him (on his b-day) and it took all I had to just sit there and be with him and not get up to go get something done. It's like I'm programmed now to be always doing other things, but what about my kids? It's good to have desire, that's the starting point.

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  13. I know exactly what you're talking about here and I my heart just breaks for the loss. We are so spoiled to have so many of the blessings that are available to us in this day and our trials really are custom fitted to our areas of weakness. It still is hard, but isn't it wonderful to have family, friends and eternal perspective to keep us reminded of what is the most important.

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  14. And I hope you know that you can ask for help. I have a hard time with perspective myself, this trip to France being the perfect example. It's an opportunity, not a trial, so why was I feeling like it was a trial for a while?

    Anyway, I'm here. And my boys would love to play with your girls. Even if you need one hour to yourself one day or something.

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  15. This re-evaluating over and over is so good for us in the long run because we have cause to keep remembering what matters. And you seem to have it down!

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  16. There is no doubt in my mind that you are already doing a great job and that you will find a way to get your desire and find a way to spend more time with your little ones. You're a great person and a WONDERFUL mom.

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  17. I was feeling the same way last night, frustrated over having to work so much to help my husband's business and neglecting my home and, to some degree, my kids. I had to wallow for a while before I started counting my blessings, and then I felt much better! So I know exactly what you are saying! Hang in there, girl!

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  18. Hang in there. As I have looked back I can't believe some of the hard things that I have treaded through. This is all for a reason. I know you have heard this before but you know it is true. Keep smiling. Have a super week.

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  19. My computer doesn't know I've found a secret passageway to your blog, so I don't know how much time I have, but I just wanted to tell you that you're a gem.

    And my son was in Cedar this weekend with his singles' ward, and he texted me with, "It's freaking SNOWING here and I don't even have a sweatshirt!" Las Vegas kids - whatcha gonna do??

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  20. I hate working too.
    But now I sort of miss it.
    I dunno...
    You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have...
    I think the baby may be eating my brain. :)

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  21. I remember having a conversation with a dear friend of mine who had a baby recovering from leukemia and she was heading in for chemo for cancer herself.

    I was going through a rough spot in my life, but felt there was no way I could ever relate my little problems (that felt huge) to her. Well. She made me.

    And I will always remember her saying. I do not want your load-really I dont. And nor do you want mine. But, we all have our burdens no matter the size.

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  22. Last year there was an art piece in an issue of the Ensign. The painting itself was really intriguing but the caption was HEED THEM NOT and my hubby and I ended up purchasing a print. It hangs on the wall at the bottom of the stairs where I have to see it daily. It is totally something that reminded me of this blog today. (painting can be found here: http://www.heedthemnot.com/Site/Heed.html)

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  23. "The hard part is figuring out how I can more fully enjoy my children and not get so bogged down in the fact that my life is more full than I'd like it to be. My kids are the most important thing right now, no matter what, and I could lose them at any time. I need and want to be able to find joy and fulfillment in motherhood like I used to be able to."

    OMGoodness...sounds just like my feelings over the last few years. I hate having to work so we can barely pay our minimal bills, but I'm so grateful I am able to and I've found jobs that work out for our family. I don't have any solutions...just know I can totally relate! Hang in there...life is always temporary.

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  24. Well, lady, I'd say the desire is half the battle.

    Or MOST of it.

    Thanks for expressing so eloquently what we all feel.

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  25. I always find it comforting that the Lord knows the desires of my heart, even if my best efforts often fall short. I have issues with perspective in the form of prioritizing!

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  26. You're awesome Lara. (and reading over all the other comments, I can see that everyone else loves and appreciates you, as well.) I don't know if there will ever be a time in my life when I don't feel completely overwhelmed and that I am failing on some level at everything I am doing. It's good to know that I'm not the only wife and mother who feels that way. And it's even better to have beautiful and inspirational friends like you (who also hate the snow - argh!) :) P.S. Thanks so much for your awesome talk and awesomer song yesterday @ church, I didn't get a chance to tell you, but they were both beautiful!

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  27. even though our daily lives are very different, i really related to this post.

    and that crappy snow almost made me miss my flight this morning. ick.

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  28. Mmmm... great post, Lara. Perspective IS good, and I think that it's a great step to finding chef. I talked to a single friend of ours from BYU yesterday, who is really struggling, and it gave me great perspective. About how amazing it is to be a mother, and to have a fantastic, loving and devoted husband. My life may be chaotic and crazy and too full, but it's so good.

    By the way, are you coming up for Women's Conference to hear your Mom speak? For my birthday, I got a plane ticket to utah so I can attend WC (I'm so excited!) - I thought it would be fun to get together. Let me know.

    And - I have lost almost 40 lbs!!!! Thank you thank you thank you for introducing me to Becky Greer!!!

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  29. I know exactly what you mean! Sure, I don't like how my house feels small and we're upside down in it now, but we have a house, and it is a nice small house and we can afford it. Sure, I don't like the climate and how the officials have screwed over the feel of the town, but compared to so many (and after being on the base for 6 years and so many years of unemployment woes, etc), I don't have room to complain. So I know exactly what you mean!

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  30. Very great post. Our lives seem so similar, and yet quite different. But, your thoughts really hit me. Thanks!

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  31. Thanks for your posts, Lara! I love reading your blog. When Dave was in grad school I was in a similar situation of having to work to pay the bills: at one point I taught about 25 piano students out of my home. I really pushed myself almost to the breaking point. Looking back I am amazed that I could pull it off, but at the time all I could see was that I didn't have enough time for my kids, I was stressed all the time, etc., etc. Finding joy and fulfillment is a process and I don't think that it means that every single moment will be "joyful" and "fulfilled". But you can take satisfaction in knowing that you are giving it what you can. And I, at least, think you do an amazing job. And we all struggle with our own petty trials... that's just part of life. Thank you for being willing to share your struggles! It helps me in mine.

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  32. Thanks for posting that! I needed to read it.

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  33. So glad that I found your blog...so inspiring. I will be back soon.

    Stop by my blog for a visit. Though I am relativity new to blogging, I am loving all my new friends.

    I am giving away my first EVER BLOG PRIZE.
    I have a gift basket business and it is the most requested gift over the last 15 years.

    From the comments I have already received, appears to be something a little different and something anyone could use.

    I have been so touched by the comments that I have decided to give 2 boxes . They will be the $100 deluxe size.

    I really do want to bless people!!! I want my blog to encourage others.

    I have decided that giving is life at its BEST. The drawing will be Saturday!

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  34. Now that is a beautifully written post that touched me greatly. Thanks for your thoughts and wise words. You have given me much to think about in my own life.

    Hang in there. If you hadn't moved to Cedar City... I wouldn't have met you... Shellise wouldn't have had THE best Orchestra Teacher...and I wouldn't have had the opportunity to be blessed by your friendship. If nothing else... that is my reason for you being there and its a BIG one!

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