I have started a new weight loss program that is teaching me how to eat correctly (I DON'T eat salad, most vegetables, or fruit so I have a rough time getting the necessary vitamins and nutrients my body needs), and focus on myself. That, surprisingly, has been A LOT harder than I thought it would be. There are motivational talks included with the weight loss program and one of them struck me pretty hard. It gave the example of when you are on an airplane the stewardess explains that in case of an emergency oxygen masks will be released from the overhead compartment and that you are to put the mask on yourself FIRST, and then help others around you. We have all heard that, even if you haven't flown on an airplane. It goes on to say that if we try to put the oxygen mask on our children or neighbor before putting it on ourselves we might pass out due to altitude, or other circumstances, before having the chance to help anyone else. Now turn that example around and apply it to your life. If you always go around saying you are "OKAY" and continue to serve others and be busy-busy-busy (yes, I created my own word there), everyone else around you will be "okay" and you will just end up being burnt out.
I always wanted to be a mother. When I was a young girl, I didn't want to waste my time in college because all I wanted to do was be a Mom. Now here I am, 30 years old...childless and unable to have children, working at a dead end job that does nothing but make me feel useless and does not allow me to use my full potential. You would think that since I don't have any children I would have TONS of time for ME....not so much. Working full time, family, visiting teaching, friends, cleaning, cooking, serving, crafting, church, YW Camp, QUEST, and so on... its all quite exhausting!
I love doing service for others, and no matter what I have going on, I push it all aside to help. I feel selfish if I am not doing something for others which puts me in a predicament concerning the last few sentences of the first paragraph. Take time out for me and feel selfish or end up being burnt out. Maybe some of my readers have some words of wisdom they can share as to how the make it all work. Either that or unknowingly I am going to start a "selfish" movement that helps women take better care of themselves (all while still allowing them to serve others, of course).
After explaining my situation to a concerned family member, I was asked if I should ask someone to take my responsibilities of QUEST because I should take time out for myself. (For those of you who don't know, QUEST is a youth "camp" where youth from our area and surrounding cities/towns will get together for a week of spiritual fulfillment and will be re-enacting the stories in the Book of Mormon. It is a quest for the youth to become more like Jesus Christ. Learn more about the Book of Mormon here.) I immediately told her no because the church and my service in the church is keeping me grounded. I am so excited for QUEST and being able to see the youth participate, and participate myself in this type of spiritual activity is what I want and need.
I love the gospel of Jesus Christ and my faith in Jesus Christ has given me the strength to hang on during this bumpy ride of life.
So all you wise friends who are reading this, how do you do it? How do you have lives, children, jobs, errands, chores, provide service, do activities and still keep yourself sane, mentally and physically grounded?