I think I need to simmer down just a bit.
I have been doing a lot of research on healthy living, and while that's a positive thing, I've noticed that I haven't been taking care of the other important parts of my life. Obsessing over using white sugar vs. honey or organic vs. regular produce is stressing me out. It feels like it's a never ending can of worms; once I feel like I've made progress towards a more healthy, traditional lifestyle with our food, something else pops up.
The result of all my time researching healthier lifestyle changes is that I feel inadequate.
While I think it's important to work on improving ourselves throughout our lives, I've felt like someone's expecting me to be able to bench press 200 pounds. I am just not capable of making that amount of change all at once- at least not yet.
So, I've thought deep and hard about why I do things. Why do I feel the need to improve our lifestyle? Why on earth do I cloth diaper (and even enjoy it)? Why do I shop at three different stores for groceries? Why do I stay at home instead of getting a job? Why do I want to have more children? Why do I cook food from scratch? Why do I do all these things when sometimes they are just plain difficult?
The answers, for me, are two fold. First, I enjoy it. I love seeing improvement. I love to make things more beautiful. I love cooking something that tastes fantastic. I love knowing that I saved a bunch of money because of the work that I've done. I love watching every moment of my children growing up.
Second, and I think this really is the clincher, I am trying to nurture an eternal family with strong, enduring bonds. A few weeks ago I was struck with the what this means to me: I am in charge of giving my children the best possible circumstances to grow up as strong, successful people with motives governed by a perspective for the long term. I am trying to help ourselves become the best we can.
Typing that out made me feel a little stressed out. Deep breaths, Alicia. Deep breaths.
I think understanding the why- my motives and desires- will help me determine my priorities for my family. I don't need to stress out about the fact that I am (as yet) unwilling to give up white sugar or lysol.
It's okay for me to rearrange my priorities for what will work best for my family. And that realization has helped me get to a place where the perspective is a bit clearer.
On that note, I want to share with you a goal I've made for myself over the next year: I am going to read the standard works all the way through. So that means I'll be reading the Old Testament, New Testament, the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price. Originally my plan was just to read the Old Testament because, I'll be honest, I've never read it all the way through. I've studied certain books of it, but never the whole thing. So I planned it all out and I made a schedule!
There are 1,581 chapters total, so that averages 4.3 chapters a day over the course of a year. I assigned myself 4 chapters a day with 5 chapters every 3 days, but when I wrote it all out I had 5 days left over (next year has a leap day)- perfect for days when I'm too sick/tired/busy/crazy to read. We'll see how it all works out.
I just have felt so much relief and peace with my little epiphany. Not that this is an occasion to slack off- far from it- but I finally feel like it's okay if my priorities are different than everyone else's, and that is a great thing.