Tuesday, May 4, 2010

It Is Good

On my way home from dropping off birthday cupcakes at the elementary school, I drove past a friend's house. She'd been on my mind lately, and when I saw her sitting outside enjoying the spring weather I thought I should stop and talk to her.

I slowed down and waved out my car window. She smiled and waved back. But then I put my foot to the gas pedal and drove on. My son's birthday party was in a few hours, and I still had to finish cleaning, decorate a cake, and get things ready for the party games.

As I pulled into my driveway a heavy sadness fell over me. Why hadn't I stopped? Am I so busy, so self-absorbed, that I can't take a few minutes to stop and chat with a friend? Had I failed some kind of test? I dragged myself into the house and started cleaning, but all my energy was gone. Were my priorities messed up? I had to get ready for this birthday party! I wanted my son to have a really fun time. But if I'd cleaned and prepared yesterday, I wouldn't have felt so busy today. Tears pricked my eyes, sorrow weighed me down until I collapsed on the floor in the middle of all the toys and crumpled papers. In confusion and utter misery, I prayed, what do you want me to do?

God said:

Stopping to talk to your friend is good. Coming home to get ready for your son's birthday party is good. 

THIS is not good.

I knew that "THIS" meant me having a fit of depression over it. I had made a choice between two good things, and I was making myself miserable because I was afraid I hadn't made the best choice. Laughing at myself, I got up again and got to work. My son and his friends were going to have a great time at the birthday party, and I could always call my friend later, or stop by another day.

So how does this apply to writing? Writing is good. Spending time with my husband and children is good. I should do both. But it is NOT GOOD to fling myself into depression because I'm afraid I spend too much time writing and neglect the beautiful family God has given me, or not enough time writing and neglect the wonderful gift God has given me. I need to seek balance joyfully.

Amen and hallelujah!


  1. I feel guilty pretty much any time I choose writing over family, even for a moment. I suppose that's a common emotion among all us mormon mommy writers. Thanks for posting your experience! You're right. We need to joyfully find a balance and stop beating ourselves up. :)

  2. I love this post! You are so full of wonderful insight!

    It is so easy to live in Regretsville. That's where I reside far too much of the time.

  3. Jessie, I found that getting rid of the guilt gave me a big boost in being able to do my best work as a writer. For so many years I let it hold me back.

    No regrets, Lisa! If you find you need to adjust your balance, just do it and go forward to better times!

    Thanks so much for your comments!

  4. I know what you mean. But over the years I too have learned to kick the habit of berating myself over not doing this or that. It wasn't helping. What does help is forgiving yourself and then moving on. I learned to reverse the situation, for example, if I was the friend that I didn't visit I would tell myself that I completely understand how busy I am and certainly wouldn't hold it against me. When I put myself in the situation of the person or people I wish I'd have done more for, I usually find their pretty understanding of my situation. At least I would be if it was someone else. We need to be as nice to ourselves as we would be to others. Does this make sense in any way at all??? LOL!

  5. You're right Nikki! Thanks for pointing that out. Guilt is REAL. You can't ignore it, dismiss it, or just take it out with the trash. It takes a change, a change of heart or a change of habit. Making the change to be kinder to ourselves is a great way to go!

  6. I know what you mean. Guilt is a great pusher in my life, which drives me nuts! My mother did it to me. She was a pro. AND now my children are doing it to me. So I'm going to make the change and be kinder...to myself...and others so the guilt can't find me.
    Great post!

  7. I love this post. I think there is something to be said about trusting our choices and moving forward. This life is not only full of choices between good and evil, but also good and good. And feeling guilty about our choices doesn't make our choice any better.



Related Posts with Thumbnails