I was on the phone with a friend today. She asked how Christmas preparations were coming, and I shared with her that my body had basically hit bottom. I spent essentially all day horizontal. Many of the things I have wanted to do, including for family, have either been put on the back burner (our family members living out of state won't receive their gifts until after the holiday) or will just fall off the plate.
My friend kindly offered her help, and then reminded me that when I look back, the stuff that didn't get done won't matter anyway.
As I lay on the couch, playing games with my daughter, basking in that sweet time together, I wondered: "If most of the trappings and the extras really don't matter, why do we do them all?" And I wonder how much of that might apply to my day-to-day life. Am I so consumed with stuff that really won't matter that I am sometimes (often?) missing what does?
But then again, how does one decide what 'doesn't matter'? I suppose each of our plates can carry different amounts at different times, and I think each day will probably be a little different. But this week when I have felt so rotten, and throughout the course of my struggle with chronic illness, I have struggled to figure out how to balance. Where is that line between diligently striving to be "anxiously engaged" in "many things" (Doctrine and Covenants 58:27) and running faster than I have strength?
I know there is no pat answer to it, and that we need the guidance of the Holy Ghost to help us. But as my husband and I have had to work to just keep the bare minimum going, we have realized how often we really don't seek the Spirit and instead just sort of let life live us. It's so easy to let the good things keep us from the most important things.
Although my obvious wish is to have more strength to do more of what I want and feel I need to do. However, I can't help but wonder how much of that stuff along the way is really that important. I feel I am learning a lot, especially the past while (and with the help of several talks at this last General Conference), about the importance of proactively seeking to have my priorities in place, every day.
Truth be told, I felt more joy today lying on the couch playing with my daughter than I would have felt doing almost anything else on my "list" even with how much I love Christmas. Might this be a lesson the Lord wants me to learn through all of this?