(The cones are a family tradition that my son's children look forward to. It's a German tradition when a child starts kindergarten to be given a "Schultute"--school cone. My daughter-in-law fills the cones with treats like ring pops and fun school and/or art supplies).
I'm in a new season myself, just having retired from teaching music part time at school for the last 15 years. What do I do with my two extra free days now? Oooooo, I can think of a millions things to do. But what are the things that matter most?
I listened again to a wonderful talk by Dieter F. Uchtdorf who talks about "things that matter most".
He listed four key relationships we need to develop: with our God, with our families, with our fellowman, and with ourselves.
Sometimes I get so bogged down with my "to do" list, that I lose sight of what should be at the top of my "to do" list and what really only needs to be on my "to do" list. [Funny side note. The first week of my retirement I started enthusiastically, and somewhat frantically, making a list of all the things I wanted to do now. After writing down 19 things, I felt such relief in knowing that now, I could be focused on how to use my time. I texted my daughter and said how good that felt to write out my list. She replied saying that she must be my daughter, because that's exactly what she does all the time too--make lists!]
But, as Elder Uchtdorf says, "Let’s be honest; it’s rather easy to be busy. We all can think up a list of tasks that will overwhelm our schedules. Some might even think that their self-worth depends on the length of their to-do list."
Ouch! So back to my list to re-evaluate what falls under the four relationships mentioned above and what is just busy work, taking me away from what matters most.
Perhaps you could evaluate this new season in your life. Do you still have preschoolers at home? Are all your children in school now? Are you home schooling your children? Are you babysitting to make a little more money?
Regardless of your situation, you can still focus on the four above mentioned areas of your life to see if you are working on your important relationships. Relationship with your God: maybe that only means 10 minutes of scripture/meditation a day, but 10 minutes times 365 days is 3,650 minutes which is more than 60 hours which is 2 1/2 days. Just think of the love, wisdom and advice you could get from your Father who loves you, if He talked to just you for 2 1/2 days straight.
Relationship with your family. Well, that's vital to your family's health and well being. Plan your together time with family wisely. Use driving in the car time to listen to your children. Look into your child's eyes when he is telling you about his day (uummm.... not while driving though). Problem solve meal times so they are more pleasant. Let your child read to you.
Relationship with your fellowman. Volunteer at school, only if it's to send cookies for a party. Be dependable in your service at Church. Smile at the cashier and wave to your neighbor. These seemingly small things do count--especially if your season of life limits any big projects of service.
Relationship with yourself. Elder Uchtdorf said, "Some people can’t get along with themselves. They criticize and belittle themselves all day long until they begin to hate themselves. May I suggest that you reduce the rush and take a little extra time to get to know yourself better. Walk in nature, watch a sunrise, enjoy God’s creations, ponder the truths of the restored gospel, and find out what they mean for you personally. Learn to see yourself as Heavenly Father sees you—as His precious daughter or son with divine potential."
It's a new season. Find out what matters most in your life, then DO IT!
Thanks for reading,