by Katy White
This month has presented an interesting lesson in balance for me. At the beginning of the month, I set a goal of writing 70,000 words, I committed to teaching a week of seminary, and now another later in the month, and I've received a new calling in my ward's YW Presidency. And, of course, I fully expected that all of my regular duties as a wife and mother and sister and friend wouldn't take a hit. I planned to put on the Whole Armor daily, like I always try to do, and I was sure I'd still get my visiting teaching done.
So, yeah, about that...
Some things have gone really well. I've written 54,000 words to this point, which means NaNo's in the bag! Squee! Happy dance! The first week teaching seminary was wonderful, and I'm optimist that the next one will be, as well. My scripture study has actually been stronger than usual; I'm actually studying rather than simply reading a page or a chapter each day.
Other things have not gone so well. The state of my house, while not truly horrific, is causing me some stress. Laundry gets done, then sits, clean and wrinkly, in the laundry basket. Which is now about the height of my husband. The floor around my daughter's high chair is getting wiped up daily, and I'm just pretending that the quick wipe of these two square feet counts as mopping. My husband has been writing love notes to me in the dust on our surfaces. Literally. He thinks it's cute, I think it's an indictment on my housekeeping. We agree to disagree.
I've realized that TV is a luxury I don't need but I'm not completely willing to give up (and I thank Brooklyn Nine Nine and The Mindy Project for that little epiphany). I have cut out a couple of my weekly shows, though. I've virtually turned off Facebook, I've Instagrammed maybe a tenth of what I normally do, and I've talked to my sisters about half as often as normal (considering we talk once to twice a day, this isn't the tragedy I'm making it out to be). I drink a can of Diet Pepsi almost daily.
I'm still saying my prayers, though I've fallen asleep praying almost every night because I'm staying up too late. I've also remembered more than once to say my morning prayers while on my morning walk rather than when I first wake up. Frown.
According to Elder Dallin H. Oaks, "Our priorities are most visible in how we use our time. Someone has said, 'Three things never come back—the spent arrow, the spoken word, and the lost opportunity.' We cannot recycle or save the time allotted to us each day. With time, we have only one opportunity for choice, and then it is gone forever."
Our time is precious. I haven't reached the balance I want, but I'm closer from this experience than I would be otherwise. I've learned that writing daily is possible and necessary for my happiness, while Facebook daily isn't. I can't "have it all." Heck, I don't even want it all. I just need to know what my priorities are and shoot for those. If my house is a little dusty (okay, a lot dusty), my day will be just fine. If I miss my prayers, not so much.
While I work out my priorities, I'd love to know how you ladies do it. What sacrifices have you found are worth it and what aren't? Any balance successes or failures (like my dusty love notes) to share?