Over the last couple of years, with everything going on with me, I kept getting the feeling that somehow I needed to SIMPLIFY my life. That meant doing less extra "things" and spending more time just being with my family, doing the most important things (honestly, it was a good lesson to learn). Simplifying meant cutting out some activities, having less "friend" or "me" time, and having more "family" time. I'd like to think I succeeded (at least, partly) in those things.
You see, ever since I read the church talk, "Good, Better, Best" by Elder Dallin H. Oaks, I have always had the resounding thought in my head that I need to re-prioritize the things in my life. Let's be honest though--this isn't anything new to me. Fortunately, (or unfortantely), I am one of those persons who likes to do everything, be everywhere, and say "yes" to everyone. Why? I am not really sure, that is just the way I roll. All I know is that I am a busy person, and I like to be doing lots of things. I am also a people pleaser and I enjoy helping others. And, I also don't like missing out on things (which was a hard lesson for me to learn going through cancer. I missed out on a LOT of things).
It's this constant battle in my head of on one side, trying to maintain balance in my life so that I am happy and satisfied with myself, my family, and my accomplishments. On the other side, this need to "do everything" racks me with guilt though because I know that I can't do everything that I want to do and be everything that I want to be. I know that I CAN'T BE PERFECT (nor am I expected to be or even want to be).
When I look at everything going on in my life, and trust me, I have LISTS of these things, the first thought that enters my head is, "Well, Christina, you have a lot of GOOD things going on, so what can I cut out?" This is the part that I still struggle with they are ALL good things! Is it bad that I want to do everything and be good at it? Going back to the talk, "Good, Better, Best". Not too long ago, when I felt like my life was getting too crazy, I decided it would help me de-clutter my brain if I made a list (here goes that list again). I put three columns on a sheet of paper and labled them, GOOD, BETTER, BEST.
I then proceeded to fill in each of the columns to get an idea of how my life is filled with a lot of great and worthy things, but to break it down into what is most important. I figure that when the things in the BEST and BETTER columns aren't getting done, than I need to take things OFF of the GOOD column. It sounds much easier said than done, but it is not for me. I have a really hard time with this actually. I feel like the BETTER column I do pretty well on because those are things that are fundamental and necessary in our life, but often I spend time doing the GOOD things when I should be doing more BEST things.
I'm sure I am just hard on myself. Actually, I know I am. And don't get me wrong, I know I am never going to be perfect and that is more than OK. I just want to do better at keeping my priorities in check. I want to feel like I can check off most of these BEST things off my list, not because I should do them, but because I WANT TO. I want to know, at the end of the day, that I'm doing the best that I can and that Heavenly Father is pleased with my efforts.
Do I think I am doing my very best? I'm not so sure. The past few months or so have been crazy and hectic. I have been working a little on the side, I have been heavily engaged in our support group, the Idaho SOL Survivors and in trying to get our foundation up and running. Those have been some big time suckers. But it's hard for me to cut these things out when I KNOW that I am supposed to be doing this. I KNOW that this path has been laid out for me and that it is the right thing to do.
But how do I do these things and still manage to be the best mom, wife, daughter/sister, friend and person that I can be? I cannot. What I do know and have found great comfort in is knowing that our Savior, Jesus Christ makes up the HUGE difference that we lack. I know that I have the beautiful gift of the Atonement to lean on--for my weaknesses and short-comings. I know that I will always struggle with balance my ENTIRE life. And if anyone feels they are good at this, pleae by all means, impart your great wisdowm and advice on how I can juggle all of these things and not feel guilty!! For now though, I will continue trying to do my best, knowing very well that I will fall down, and waiting for the Savior to pick me back up.