Christina and I took our kids to a local farm last week. It was a beautiful day spent on horse-back rides, feeding ducks, and checking out the darling baby bunnies. Baby D insisted that all large animals were "cows" and used all his energy trying to wriggle out of my arms to touch the giant Clydesdale horses, "moo"-ing all the way. My son and his best friend proved themselves to be expert escape artists. We found ourselves searching for one or both of the little explorers every 10 minutes. The older girls are at the perfect "friend" age. They held hands and whispered secrets. A constant giggle streamed from their direction. It was a relaxing, peaceful afternoon. Out in the sun. Away from all the little distractions and projects that seem to loom over me when I'm within 20 feet of my home office.
Christina and I can talk for hours upon hours. That's one reason why I love her so much! Everyone needs a friend like that. We usually make our way through the topics of family, church and our kids every time we are together. The best thing about talking to Christina? I am always inspired to be a little better.
Amidst to torrents of topics discussed, I mentioned what a lame blogger I've been since coming home from our Disneyland getaway. I haven't been motivated. Christina, with her signature wisdom, told me that a little space isn't a bad thing. That we sometimes need to give up doing good things for doing those things that are better. She also reminded me of a talk given by Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf called "Of Things That Matter Most."
I've listened to and read the talk a few times since then; it is wonderful. He begins by talking about trees and how they grow. During ideal seasons, trees can grow quickly and normally. But, when the conditions are tough, the tree will stop it's rapid growth and use all its energy to focus on the basics of survival. Elder Uchtdorf compares this to life. When we are struggling though a rather rough patch, we need to give up some of those extra, unnecessary things. We need to focus on what matters most.
My favorite quote from the talk spoke directly to my to-do-list-making heart. "It is said that any virtue when taken to an extreme can become a vice. Overscheduling our days would certainly qualify for this. There comes a point where milestones can become millstones and ambitions, albatrosses around our necks."
I am trying to take his advise to heart. Doing what I must do, giving up some of the unnecessary. I'm learning to post when I have time: when my kiddos don't need me and my home is in order. I'm learning to prioritize and to make more doable to-do lists. I'm learning to be satisfied with what I can accomplish and not focus on what I can't. It has been wonderful for my little family. We feel closer. There is a greater peace in our home and in my life.
Simplifying is not in my nature. I think I'll always struggle with cutting back. But, in the end, I don't want regrets. I want to look back on my life knowing I put the most important things first. In the end, my blog, career, and possessions won't matter. But my relationships and faith will.