In his blessing, he mentioned six things, and I've kept them close to my heart--along with my 2014 One Word (PEACE)--and they've become a touchstone of sorts when things have gotten really hard.
The next day--yesterday--was a 14 hour marathon which included 6 hours at work, Girl Scouts, Bria's orchestra concert, and opera rehearsal. I was home for a whopping 3 minutes during that time in which I got to use the bathroom, say hello to my dog, and grab a snack before dashing right back out.
Today was somewhat better, but I was so tired during rehearsal that I lacked any sort of energy, made all sorts of stupid mistakes that I don't usually make, and may or may not have fallen asleep during the director's notes at the end.
It's been a hard week. One of the hardest. And while I have been trying really hard to notice little blessings and happinesses throughout my days, I just felt super downtrodden this week. It's time to think more thoroughly about these six little words that were given to me in the blessing I received. Time to understand how they will really help me get through the next 34 days.
WisdomI suppose this one is really obvious, and is the principle that should guide my decisions in the other five areas, as well. I think I haven't been very wise in my food choices lately. I don't know why, but it is really difficult for me to eat right when I have a lot on my plate (heh). I feel like making wise food choices can be a full time job for me, and when I am otherwise occupied, I live on junk. Shamrock Shakes, anyone?
PrioritiesWhen you have so many things to choose from, there is simply no way to do them all. I often make a list of the things I need to do and then feel so completely overwhelmed that I'm almost paralyzed. I've been trying to be better about choosing my priorities wisely. Family is first. I have to go to work and fulfill other similar commitments. My health is important. Most of the things on my list--like the dishes--just have to wait. Let's just say I'll have a long list of stuff to keep me busy once the semester is over. And, no, I won't leave the dishes quite that long!
Other priorities? Prayer, scripture study, marriage. So many things are more important than the dishes--which do eventually get done.
DiscernmentTogether with Wisdom and Priorities, it reminds me a bit of the Serenity Prayer:
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
I guess just being able to wisely discern what is important in my life. Sometimes that means figuring out if I should get to work on my long list, or if I should just sit and talk to one of my daughters. Sometimes it means knowing that I need to take a nap before I attempt to do anything else. Sometimes it means not giving in to the temptation to go buy a Shamrock Shake.
PerspectiveThis semester is just a small part of my life. Yes, I bit off more than I could chew, but I am so blessed. As I was teaching today, I kept thinking about how lucky I am to have a job I love. I mean, it really doesn't get much better than getting paid to make music all day, does it? My job does bring me joy. My children bring me GREAT joy. My husband is amazing and is so understanding and helpful. And hello? I'm singing the lead in a Menotti opera. I adore Menotti, I adore opera, and I adore performing. I'm having a wonderful time. Yes, I have a lot going on, but I really do have an incredible life.
Also, the winter will end. Part of my gloominess of late is just the snow. And the more snow. And the cold. But winter always ends. Before I know it, I will have to actually shave my legs and I won't have to wear boots everywhere I go.
MercyI think this is one of the most difficult things for me. I am so very hard on myself. You didn't do the dishes? What a terrible homemaker. You didn't know about Bria's Science Fair? Terrible mother! You ate another Shamrock Shake? What is wrong with you? You're going to gain 100 pounds!
This is not okay. I would never think anyone else was a terrible person for not doing the dishes. I have a lot more mercy for others than I do for myself. I actually sat down the other day and calculated how many hours I am working, rehearsing, driving, sleeping, etc. I didn't really have many hours leftover to get much else done--and most of those hours were going to be at midnight anyway. Only SuperWoman could do all the things I want to do each day. And, alas, I have no superpowers.
Go easy on yourself--especially when life is overwhelming you.
SleepSome people actually don't need this advice. But I do. I'm exhausted right now, and instead of sleeping, I am typing. I am a night owl to the core and I have been in the terrible habit of staying up well past 2:00 am and then having to get up at 6:00.
I'm pleased to say that I started to do much better with my sleeping this semester. Until Daylight Savings time rolled around, that is. I was getting to bed around 11 or 12 each night, but now that's been pushed back. But I'm working on it. And I'm not letting myself feel guilty if I need to lie down and take a power nap after work some afternoons. How can I possibly expect to be the mother that my children need when I am completely drained? I can't. Sleeping is necessary!
Sleep! Mercy! Priorities! Discernment! Wisdom! Perspective!
This next week is the beginning of Tech rehearsals for the opera, and the week after that we open. I need to not be overwhelmed. I need to enjoy the wonderful gifts I have been given. Life is wonderful--hard, yes, but truly wonderful.
(And now I will really go to bed.)
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