Joy, week 13
We just finished one of our favorite weekends of the year: General Conference weekend. It’s the most time we spend in front of the TV every six months and I work hard to prepare food the family loves throughout the weekend. There are always warm cinnamon rolls on Sunday mornings and lots of blankets to curl up in while we sit together and listen to living prophets speak. It is a joy to let the world go it’s way while we bask in the spirit of the conference.
In a strange twist of the heart, tonight I feel like hiding instead of marching out into the week filled with energy based on all I heard. Instead I dread meeting the world in the morning, wishing instead that I could linger in this safe feeling a little longer. I don’t feel ready to pick everything back up. I also find that when we have special things going on it’s harder to be focused on what’s coming Monday morning because the weekend is so full that I don’t do my usual preparations and thus end up feeling unprepared for the life that will hit bright and early tomorrow.
While I feel inspired and uplifted by all that I heard, I also feel a little overwhelmed, needing more time to sift and sort in the quiet of my mind and heart before I make a plan of action. This is another reason for dreading the new week. I know that I’m in such a busy time of year with sports and school for the children that there won’t be a slow moment anytime soon for me to do the sifting and sorting to my satisfaction. I worry that daily life will rush through like the wind and sweep me away, leaving me unchanged.
I know it doesn’t have to happen this way. It’s just that it will take a great deal of effort to make sure it doesn’t. I hope I can do it, because the particular stage our family is in already requires a great deal of effort to feed them daily, and do the laundry, and monitor the homework, and drive and plan and even to play. I know it will be hard and that hard things are worth doing but I also know that too many hard things going on at one time doesn’t usually work out like I hope/think it will. But I’ll give it my best! The first step will be to get out of bed in the morning and wake them all up and put a smile on my face even though I’ll want to hide under the covers.
The week was a good one. A little less eventful than most of the weeks I’ve had this month, I tried to improve in fundamental areas like meal preparation, cleaning, reading, and so forth. It was still busy, but there were two nights this week when we had the children in bed by 9:30 p.m. A huge victory. We also had two nights this week when we went as a family to events, and that felt good too. Tuesday night was a fundraiser at the church for a youth conference later in the summer. We enjoyed supporting our teenagers and visiting with friends. Wednesday night we all went together to our son’s lacrosse game and loved watching him play. He had a great game, coming up with the ball in all kinds of surprising ways and running hard in spite of his knee pain. It was a lot of fun to be there together in the gently falling rain and support him. I much prefer it over the “divide and conquer” strategy we have to implement on other nights when there are so many things going on.
As for my goals, some areas are strong and others are weak. My daily planning has been too much reduced to simply listing where everyone has to be and when, and making sure I’m not forgetting something important. I know these things need to be done, but I need to do a better job of handling spring sports while also keeping my eye on the big picture and finding every opportunity to infuse even these insanely busy months with things that are important to me in the long run. The weekly planning has followed that same course and as I tried tonight to focus on the big picture for April, I found I couldn’t really wrap my mind around a method for doing it. It was kind of disconcerting, but a good signal to me that I need to be more creative in working to use these busy months to my advantage instead of feeling owned by them. That said, I do feel that I’ve developed a healthy habit of asking myself in the moment, “What is most essential for me to do right now?” and putting my energies in that direction.
In the areas where I’ve committed to spend just 15 minutes a day, I’ve done little or nothing. I want to fix that. I can find 15 minutes for personal goals.
I sat down yesterday and reviewed some things for the month of March, looking at my goals and my plans and the shape my days have taken on lately. I have concluded that it was a great month even if I didn’t cross many items off my list. It was a hard month, but good things happened. I had more opportunities to be of service in March. I enjoyed interaction with many friends, a goal that I thought would be hard for me to reach. The General Young Women’s choir was such a highlight! I enjoyed many great moments with my children and feel like I’m inching my way toward being a better mother. It was also a month when I spent much more time than usual out of the home and away from my children. More appointments, more commitments, more of everything, it seemed. I have been reminded that I pay a price, indeed, we all pay a price when Mom is gone, and at this particular stage that price is painfully obvious.
I should mention that my neck pain is decreasing after the car accident last week, a blessing I am very thankful for. I appreciate the Lord’s mercy and goodness manifest in so many little things in my life which could be much more difficult than they are.
And so a new month begins and a new week awaits. Happy April!