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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, nor is Lindsay their official spokesperson.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Woman Who Has It All

Dear Readers,

This message was originally intended for Friend M back in February.  However, due to my slowness, Friend M, might not even find it relevant anymore.  Sorry!  I have adapted it to a broad audience as I got "that feeling" that I should post about this due to things that I have been reading around the blog-o-sphere recently.

As this is a supercharged topic with much to say, I will stop trying to cover it in one post.  Call it "feeling adequate/ inadequate", or "finding balance in one's life", or "how to do it all", but join me as I write the next few days about being a woman who has demands that come from others, but also dreams to be nourished from within.

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Early in my marriage (and up until earlier this year), I was always confused and frustrated.  I knew that there were many things that I wanted to do (i.e. take dance classes), but there were also so many things that I should do (i.e. laundry).  I didn’t always want to do the things I should do, making it impossible to do everything between both of those categories.  A woman has to pick and choose what type of woman she wants to be.  I was searching and searching being overwhelmed by the “decisions” that I was going to have to make that would seem to control my destiny.  It seemed that there were many decisions that would have long term consequences, and it only added to my stress to choose wisely, NOW.  I knew I wasn’t trying to do “everything under the sun”, but it was still too much for my current situation, and I was borderline heartbroken about some of the things that I felt I was going to have to give up.

Back in February I was really struggling with specific things that had been put on hold due to being a young mother with a young daughter.  I didn’t like how that was the only definition of me that I felt like I was allowed to have.  I felt that it was choking the rest of me, because I was Lindsay before I was a wife and then mother.  There was more to me than just being Daughter’s mom.  Waiting 20 years to fulfill certain dreams and passions was just unbearable.  Call me selfish if you want, but it was really crushing me at the time.

Then I came across a quote from President Faust that gave me new perspective.  This is from a talk entitled "How Near to the Angels".  He says:

Women today are encouraged by some to have it all: money, travel, marriage, motherhood, and separate careers in the world. For women, the important ingredients for happiness are to forge an identity, serve the Lord, get an education, develop your talents, serve your family, and if possible to have a family of your own. 
However, you cannot do all these things well at the same time. You cannot eat all of the pastries in the baking shop at once. You will get a tummyache. You cannot be a 100-percent wife, a 100-percent mother, a 100-percent Church worker, a 100-percent career person, and a 100-percent public-service person at the same time. How can all of these roles be coordinated? I suggest that you can have it sequentially.

Aha!  He wasn’t telling me that I had to choose.  He wasn’t saying that I had to give anything up.  “I suggest that you can have it sequentially.”  That totally changed my view.  He then even explains that “Sequentially is a big word meaning to do things one at a time at different times.”   The book of Ecclesiastes says (3:1): “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under … heaven.”  Now when most people think of seasons in life, they think of living each one once.  Springtime is representative of when you are young, and winter is during your final time before you die.  I am sure you’ve heard this analogy before.

I decided after reading President Faust's quote that I would live my life like the seasons, meaning, ever changing.  Who said that you only got to have each experience once?  I decided that meant I would live Spring many times.  I would experience the thrill of learning something new and being infantile in many situations.  I would experience a glorious Autumn that was rich with experience and the joy of having become an expert at something over and over again.  It also meant that I would experience the coldness of winter, and the hardships that come from that, but I decided that it was worth it to me.  I decided if that I took his advice to only do one thing at a time then all would be well.  Nowhere did he say that you had to live the stereotypes that others place on upon your age or other statuses. I didn't have to be confined.  A lot of anxiousness went away when I realized that everything wasn't pinned on one chance at everything.

This then set in motion for me, a few principles that I came to embrace and live.  These will be my next few posts to hopefully help someone else.

Helpfully,
Lindsay

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