I wish I had written this post last week, when everything happened. I wasn't ready to write then, but now I've forgotten a lot of the thoughts and feelings I had that I wanted to remember.
Lets refresh. I'm in my last semester of studying dietetics (nutrition). It's really hard. I have a full, tight schedule of challenging classes and research. I work nights and weekends (basically whenever I'm not in class). I have a leadership role in my church over women that takes quite a bit of time. Clint is just as busy as I am with work and school so the majority of the cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, etc, falls to me because he doesn't have the time either. I was also supposed to start volunteering for experience in my field as well as working on internship applications and things like that. I'm pregnant which includes lots of doctors visits, childbirth classes, being pretty sick, and about a billion preparation "to-dos". I can't put into words
I've been going nuts. At the end of the day I just want to cry because I'm so tired, and some times...I do. And homework? Forget that. I'm already falling asleep at 7pm there's no way I'm going to stay up all night and write a research paper. I've treated my calling in church as a burden rather than a blessing. I was having to skip doctor's appointments because I couldn't fit them into my schedule, and when I was making it to the doctor I was having to miss class. I missed friend's birthdays (sorry!) and ignored promptings to help others because I just didn't have enough time.
Clint has been supportive of me quitting my job for awhile now. Frankly, he's surprised I've made it this far given how difficult this pregnancy has been and how much I've got on my plate. So we've looked at our budget several times trying to figure out if we can make it if I were to quit. It was inconclusive. We have lots of expenses coming that we don't really know how much they'll cost. Plus, we don't know how long I'd go without working. There are a lot of variables we don't know how to plan for. We've been praying to know what the best thing to do was.
Then General Conference came. There were several talks that really touched me. One was by President Uchtdorf.
"Isn’t it true that we often get so busy? And, sad to say, we even wear our busyness as a badge of honor, as though being busy, by itself, was an accomplishment or sign of a superior life.
I think of our Lord and Exemplar, Jesus Christ, and His short life among the people of Galilee and Jerusalem. I have tried to imagine Him bustling between meetings or multitasking to get a list of urgent things accomplished.
I can’t see it.
Instead I see the compassionate and caring Son of God purposefully living each day. When He interacted with those around Him, they felt important and loved. He knew the infinite value of the people He met. He blessed them, ministered to them. He lifted them up, healed them. He gave them the precious gift of His time...
Sometimes in life we become so focused on the finish line that we fail to find joy in the journey. "
(The full talk really is fabulous and everyone should read it. You can find it here: Of Regrets and Resolutions)
I realized my priorities were way out of whack. As far as my schedule goes, I was in complete survival mode. I was going around like a robot trying to frantically check everything off my list. That wasn't going so well.
I know that we're not just here to check things off our to do list, but also to enjoy life, to find the things that make us happy, and to help others and share our joy with them.
Another talk that really helped me was from our prophet, President Thomas S. Monson.
"...the Lord’s purposes are often accomplished as we pay heed to the guidance of the Spirit. I believe that the more we act upon the inspiration and impressions which come to us, the more the Lord will entrust to us His errands. I have learned, as I have mentioned in previous messages, never to postpone a prompting."
I recognized that I was not doing this. Not at all. I didn't have time to listen to what God was telling me, and this is not a good way to live. It's actually kind of miserable. I know these messages were an answer to my prayers and I was able to see clearly what to do.
It still wasn't easy though. It's hard for me to feel like I can't do it all. I was guilty of what President Uchtdorf described, wearing my busyness as a badge of honor. I'm proud of how I spend my time, the problem is there wasn't enough time for it all. Being busy isn't important at all if it's at the cost of the things that really matter. I realized working was the least important thing I was doing in my life and so, as I'm sure you could have guessed by now, I quit my job. I finish the month up and then I'm done til further notice. It feels good. Even though I'm doing just as much as I was doing before, my stress level is so much lower because I know there's an end coming (soon!). Plus, I know I'm doing the right thing, even if there's still part of me that's sad I couldn't fit in everything. You should know that I'm definitely not telling everyone to go out and quit their jobs, but for me in my situation, I know it's the best thing to do at this point. This hasn't coming out as eloquently as I had planned, but I'm hoping you get the idea. I'm not happy that I had to quit but I'm happy that I followed what I knew was the right thing to do. Being busy can be a good thing, but isn't, by itself, admirable.
What do you think? Do you feel society values being busy way too much? Are you too busy?