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?