That's what I keep hearing. "Just let it go."
It's not coming from friends or family, although they are saying similar things. It's not coming from great articles I've read online or blog posts that pop up on Facebook. I heard it yesterday during Sacrament Meeting.
I'm a very goal-oriented person trapped in a lazy body. Or am I really a lazy person trapped in a goal-oriented body? Whatever the case, I tend to make goals and spectacularly fail at keeping them. It's been going on for a long time now, pretty much my entire adult life.
In fact, I was just thinking the other day how I wanted to write. Still do, but the longer I live, the further the goal slips from my fingers. I attended workshops and book signings and critique groups and I wrote 3 novels (horrible ones, of course) and children's books and poetry and a bazillion blog posts and... Well, I don't anymore. I've tried to figure out why. I know so many writers who make the time for writing, despite young children and housework, and so I know that it can't be my answer. If I truly had the passion to write, I would do it. But I don't. I guess. Because I don't make the time. In fact, if I was going to be perfectly honest, I think I realized that I'm not supposed to right now. Write, I mean.
When I stopped teaching piano lessons, editing for Mormon Women, and doing online marketing/blogging/photography for Avenia Bridal several years ago, it was as if a burden was lifted from my shoulders. I know why (I was spreading myself too thin, ignoring my kids, holding my family to impossible standards, losing my temper more often, etc.), but sometimes I wonder why I couldn't be that woman. The one who does more than one thing. The SAHM who can write on the side or contribute to the world. There ARE those women, you know. Dear reader, you know who they are --you are probably one of them! But I realized, in the hindsight of "quitting the public sphere" that I was not one of them. I am a one trick pony. I am not an entrepeneur, I am not a career woman, I do not "work from home" (unless you count housework as work, which I'm sure we all do), and my service is very limited to visiting teaching (which I'm terrible at right now) and my callings in the ward (teaching and accompanying). When I'm asked to help, I try, though.
Anyway, I think you see what I'm trying to say --I'm a SAHM. I'm a mother. I'm a wife. Those roles are, of course, the most important (well, the mother/wife part --not necessarily the SAHM part, although I would argue that it's an incredible blessing that I can BE a SAHM, and I thank the Lord and my husband daily for giving me that chance), but at the same time, raising these six littlies means:
My heart is filled with these unfulfilled desires. Desires for gardens, novels, amazing laundry schedules. I also desire to exercise, eat healthy, lose 40 pounds (yes, it's gone up), and spend time taking care of my aging body (okay, I'm not that old, but still!). I want to travel, to bake bread daily, to spend more time serving others. I think about going back to school, but dismiss the thought immediately before it takes root.
I honestly only have time to take care of my children.
I've been trying to figure out why. Why am I so limited in my righteous desires? Why can't I do more than one thing right now? I'm not asking for fame and fortune (although some freedom from financial worries would be a most welcome respite and reduce my stress). I simply would like to carve out time for my desires. Why can't I have the self-control to eat better? Why don't I have time to exercise? Why can't we have quicker success in Brandon's business? Why did Depression come back to haunt me? Why do I feel so gross in my body right now when I know it's an amazing vehicle that was used to bring six amazing souls into this world? Why do I keep doing this!?
And that's when the Spirit whispered, "Let it go. Just let it go. You can't change your circumstances. You can't do everything right now. You need to let it go and just do what you can do. You can nurse your baby. You can clean your kitchen. You can create new chore charts if necessary. You can be kinder to your husband. You can start making healthier meals. You can turn off the TV more and care less about mud on the kids' clothes. There is time for everything, but for now, your everything is just getting those kids through each day as successfully as possible. This means caring less how you look and more how you love. It also means relying on God more and your own resolve less. Let it go and 'continue in patience.' Let it go and find some peace."
"Still, we mortals quite naturally want to know the why. Yet, in pressing too earnestly for the answer, we may forget that mortality was designed, in a manner of speaking, as the season of unanswered questions. Mortality has a different, more narrowly defined purpose: It is a proving ground, a probationary state, a time to walk by faith, a time to prepare to meet God. It is in nurturing humility and submissiveness that we may comprehend a fulness of the intended mortal experience and put ourselves in a frame of mind and heart to receive the promptings of the Spirit. Reduced to their essence, humility and submissiveness are an expression of complete willingness to let the “why” questions go unanswered for now, or perhaps even to ask, “Why not?” It is in enduring well to the end that we achieve this life’s purposes. I believe that mortality’s supreme test is to face the “why” and then let it go, trusting humbly in the Lord’s promise that “all things must come to pass in their time”.