A Sobering Conclusion

So I had an epiphany yesterday. I’m not sure why it’s taken me 27 years to realize this but here it is: There are very few things in life that are ever “done.” And most of the things that you can check off the list, happen relatively early in life. I work hard everyday to “finish” things that are on my list only to put them back on my list the next day or week. It’s not a bad thing really, I find comfort in routines, but it’s hard for me to stop and take a break when things aren’t “done.” So you can see the dilemma I face- along with the rest of you who have already learned this quintessential truth. This is why my book club book-which I need to read by Thursday, is not even half-finished. I kept waiting for a time when I could sit down and read with ease because I’d gotten everything else done. Well, yesterday I realized that that time was not going to come so I plunked myself down in the middle of piles of laundry and a sink full of dishes and read (until I fell asleep…another dilemma I run into when trying to get through a book club book).
Elder Ballard gave one of my favorite talks ever in October 2006 called “O Be Wise” where he addressed this very issue (it’s a bit ironic that it’s taken roughly 18 months for those concepts to sink in for me). His counsel is sound and I’m learning to do my best with the time and resources I have. My problem is this: For me, I think there’s a very fine line between procrastination and the ability to take a break amidst essential work. I’ve been working hard over the past few years to rid myself of the former vice and get the essential things done before the non-essential ones. But now I’m left with this stark reality…Life is a matter of mixing essential and non-essential, combining crucial ingredients in an ever-changing recipe.
I feel like I’ve learned some good life lessons in this quest to be rid of procrastination but now how do I re-introduce a few non-essential things into my day without falling back into my old habits? How do I include fun and rejuvenating activities while maintaining some semblance of order and priority? And, how do I motivate myself to do this knowing that I’ll spend a lifetime working on that balance?


7 thoughts on “A Sobering Conclusion

  1. it’s funny that you posted this today because i was JUST thinking about it, both yesterday and today. for me it came about because i was having a really hard time with losing weight yesterday, really just wanting to give up (and i did go out and buy cookies and those strawberry strudel things and ate them, going way over my calories for the day, but i didn’t care). anyway, it’s not as important as what you’ve written about, but one of the thigns that’s crossed my mind is “ashley, do you quit just because something is hard? how many things can you say you’ve really finished in your life?” and i realized it was one thing (though not terribly important) that i wanted to finish. so today i’ve been doing wonderfully with it. i think it was just my bump in the road.but that made me think about how many things i’ve said i’ve wanted to do and i’ve really done them, like finished them. i think you should give yourself a lot of credit because you’ve finished school, you’ve done so many things with your health and fitness, and you’ve finished a lot of other things. i think it’s interesting that some thigns just aren’t ever made to be “finished” and that’s what i’ve been trying to wrap my head around. things like living the gospel, or staying healthy, or being a good person. there are so many things in this life that will never be finished, it’s almost overwhelming when you think about it too much.so anyway, thanks for that post, it helped me think about things better! =)

  2. I like this blog. It’s easy to get lost in the monotony of the day when nothing ever really gets done, no matter how hard you try. Some days, I get really discouraged by this. What I had to give up, when I realized this sobering truth, was having a clean house all the time, and having my laundry put away all the time. It just doesn’t happen anymore. Do I like those things? Oh yes, you know I love CLEAN. But, for me, that was what had to give. I am forced to examine my priorities on a daily basis. Usually, each morning, I try to make a goal of only one thing that I will get “done” that day. I can still feel productive for getting it done, but still have time to do the things I really want to do, and really should do. I’m still happy and love my life, even if the floor has yet to be vacuumed and there’s a pile of unfolded laundry sitting in the corner of my bedroom when I go to bed at night. Those things aren’t what matter most-and I just have to keep reminding myself of that.

  3. that was a good post. it seems like everyone is on the same page. it sounds like just one giant revolving door, doesnt it? I dont even like to think about what I have to get done, sometimes. I think if we all got “finished” with everything, I dont think anyone would live very long. What would we be doing?

  4. Hahaha, I like that cathy, everyone is so insightful. That’s true, there are a lot of things that are never finished. I have a lot of different ideas about what “perfection” is what it means to be perfect…and I think the biggest thing perfection is is just finally completely understanding yourself and being able to know self-control…and one of the biggest things in life with anything is learning balance, that’s a big thing. Anyways, so I think it’s at eternal principle…something we probably won’t ever learn perfectly here on earth because we can’t ever be perfect. I’m sure you’ve come to these conclusion yourself, but it feels good to know as long as we’re trying it’s alright and that’s all we need, because we’re not meant to get it completely right here! Along with that, I was getting depressed in my D&C class because my teacher was showing us quotes on how being a “Celestial” person means spending your time the right ways and I was like…dang…who knows where I’ll end up…but I think it goes along with what I said above. Hopefully some piece of this made sense. Love you!

  5. Look at you and your cute new blog header! I’m so proud of you. I can help you take out that white box in the background if you want. I went into the html settings and messed around with it until I figured it out.Check out this link about square foot gardening. http://kellymccaleb.typepad.com/my_happy_little_life/I think it’s the same thing you were telling me about. I’m all jazzed to get started. I think I’m going to go raid the construction trash piles in my neighborhood for scrap wood tomorrow.

  6. What did your book club read? It seems there is always a conflict on the days my bookclub meet.Thanks for the post. It really was insightful and it helps to know that not getting things finished is sometimes a part of life. 🙂 I’m glad to know I share it with all of you.

  7. I was just thinking about this principle the other day! Satisfaction for a job well done is hard to come by if the job is not ever done! You will be much ahead of the race because you had the wisdom to figure this out before the kidlets come along! I’m just now allowing myself the realization! You’re awesome Linsday, I miss you!

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