she said, if you've always wanted to do something, now's the time to do it!
have you ever wanted to learn to sew? do it!
have you ever wanted to take that trip? do it!
have you ever wanted to be more outgoing? do it!
my ears had perked up. permission to be awesome, is what i heard.
and then carpe diem! is what she said.
hearing her encouragement kind of freed me, in some ways. so i made a new year's resolutions list. well, sort of.
i know we're often told to just focus on a few goals at a time, so that we don't get overwhelmed, but i've always felt limited by that, so my perfectionistic tendencies would generally put off "resolutions" because my indecisiveness kicked in and i couldn't decide on what to resolve. strange phenomenon, i know.
so, i didn't try to put limits on my list this time. i decided to go with that old phrase along the lines of, if you shoot for the moon and miss, at least you'll hit the stars. and the stars are a pretty great place to be, right? --as long as i don't let myself get overwhelmed by this or disappointed when i can't fulfill everything or complacent after i've hit only a few stars. granted, this list could be about a billion pages longer, which is why i didn't think too terribly hard; i just wrote down things i've been thinking about lately.
the week after the "carpe diem" lesson, i taught a lesson based off of elder george albert smith's personal creed. this wonderful man made a creed at age 35 to follow for his whole life.
i asked the relief society gals, "if we find it so difficult to follow through with our new years resolutions, which are generally only for a year, then how do you think he did these for his whole life, without getting overwhelmed?" there were lots of good answers. but i think the bottom line is, he just decided to make that list who he wanted to be, not just what he wanted to accomplish.
aaaand that's why i've been thinking a lot about this talk lately. as elder robbins puts it, "to be and to do are inseparable."
elder robbins also says,
i really liked that. so on my list, i made a "to do" section, a "to be" section, a "to avoid" section and a "remember..." section. so:Many of us create to do lists to remind us of things we want to accomplish. But people rarely have to be lists. Why? To do’s are activities or events that can be checked off the list when done. To be, however, is never done. You can’t earn checkmarks with to be’s.
-to do's are obvious, but take work.
-to be's are harder, but help the "to do's" get done and add to overall character.
-to avoid's are essential, but i don't want to focus on what i don't want to become; i want to focus on what i DO want to become. so i kept those at a minimum.
-and the to remember section is how i will get to where i want to be (and thus, fulfill what i want to do).
-then i left white space...for when i think of others or when things change. changing my goals is okay too, even necessary, i've decided. and i feel the whole list is a little too self-centered; i'm planning on using that white space for goals to be more others-centric. i just want to observe myself in various surroundings these next few days to figure out in what ways i serve most genuinely. i want to use that extra bit of space in the best possible way. :)
so i'll see what jives with me this year and try hard to do/become/avoid these in manageable bites. i'm going to be happy with my success and i'm also going to be okay when i fail. and i have the rest of my life to work on everything else.
clear as mud? then my list probably is, too. but there it is, and it makes perfect sense to me.
there. now i'm accountable.
step one: check.