Did you ever hear the story about the girl who was certain she could do anything in the world she wanted to and she actually could for a really really long time but then she totally crashed and burned because she took on more than she could handle?
That girl is dumb. Of course, she is also me.
Let me explain with a true story about my life.
A few weeks ago I decided to take on a new hobby.
I wanted to start barefoot running.
Now, barefoot running can involve shoes, so calm down. I have these shoes for my running adventures:
I did some research, talked to some running friends and decided on a program that would work.
I went on my first run and it was awesome. Hard, but awesome. I felt like I could do anything.
So, I kept running. I ran for seven days straight in fact.
That is when I got into trouble.
You see, I did a lot of reading and talking and all that, but I didn't actually LISTEN to the advice I was given. Over and over again I was told not to run more than 3 days in a week, to take a day off between runs and to take this slow or I would get hurt.
Since I felt fine on day one through six, I just figured everyone else was silly and I was smart.
Then, day 7 hit.
I ran and I was fine until I got home and suddenly I wasn't feeling so fine. My ankles were really angry with me and I was having a hard time walking.
Again, I asked for advice and was told to stop running until the pain went away.
I did that... for a day. Then I ran again.
Mistake. I could barely walk for the rest of the week.
Not being wise enough to know when to stop, I tried running again the other night and I could not even take one running step without being in so much pain I wanted to cry.
Finally I'd had enough. It was time to stop running and just rest so I could try again.
But, of course, I wasn't done. I kept telling Sam I was frustrated and I didn't know why I couldn't do this and I would try again. Finally, probably out of frustration from listening to me rant and rave he said to me last night, "maybe your ankles are just not strong enough to do this. Why don't you try running in shoes and getting strong enough to run barefoot after you are able to safely instead of taking all this on now when you just aren't ready?"
Well, that made me kind of mad for a minute!
I can do anything I want to you know! Mind over matter!
But then, that silly little voice that talks to me when I need it the most and want it the least decided to pipe up and put me in my place.
It reminded me of a scripture that pretty literally spoke to me right then (and right now).
To set it up, this scripture is in a passage that discusses serving others, helping the needy, loving people without judgement and just doing good wherever we go. It goes on and on about how we MUST help others and do good... but then it says:
And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster
than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be
diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things
must be done in order.
(Mosiah Chapter 4 Verse 27, Book of Mormon)
Maybe I need to slow down, realize I can't climb this mountain until I learn how to walk up a hill correctly and do things right instead of RIGHT NOW.
I'm sure you are wondering why I think a scripture is talking to me about my new running hobby. Or maybe you already see where I am going.
This isn't actually about running. Running and getting injured and not knowing when I'd had enough is just what has gotten me here.
I'm a goal driven gal. I like to check things off on my list. Make a successful babywearing business and sell it, check. Homeschool my kids and everyone survive, yep. Mow the lawn better than Sam... well that was accomplished before I even revved the mower's motor. Anyhow, I like to accumulate accomplishments. I like to do good things. I like to change the world for the better. I like to know I'm helping people.
Not only that but I feel bad when I'm not helping others. If I haven't done a good deed for someone in a day I feel like I'm not very grateful to God for the blessings in my life and then I get all stressed out and have to double up on serving others so I don't feel bad about not doing nice things for people. (Don't get me started on what happens when I get all pms-y and snap at people then feel guilty about that. It isn't pretty.) In essence, I just want to do good. A lot of good.
But, when does too much good become bad?
I think I'm there.
I'm exhausted. I feel like I get up and do thing after thing after thing then I rinse and repeat. I love doing all the good, but I have reached a point where I feel almost compelled to volunteer to help with everything that needs help and I don't have enough hours in the day to do all these good things!
I'm running as hard as I can but I am entirely out of strength.
Any of you ever do this to yourself?
It isn't a fun feeling. I feel like a total wuss because I can't keep going at this pace, yet I'm starting to resent how hard I'm working when I see everyone around me enjoying these leisurely days at the park or afternoons of napping and visiting.
I realized the other night that in order to "wind down" at night I tend to be simultaneously watching a tv show, reading a book or playing a game on my precious and holding a conversation with someone until I finally just fall asleep, utterly wiped out.
Who considers multi-tasking winding down?
So, it is time.
I have said I would do it.
I have even tried to do it.
But, I always chicken out.
I won't this time.
I'm going to stop. Not everything! But some things.
I'm going to stop taking new things on if they don't directly benefit my little family.
I'm going to ease myself out of activities and groups that take more from my family than they ultimately give to my family.
I'm going to stop feeling bad for not doing everything for others.
I'm going to swallow my pride, rest my ankles a short while longer and learn to run... with shoes.
Until I'm strong enough to try barefoot running again.
This is not going to be easy for me.
I'm just now writing this and I'm already wrestling with my decisions.
But I'm going to do this.
I may need your moral support to stay on the wagon for this one. And please don't point and laugh to hard at me. I'm feeling pretty weak, physically and mentally. I thought I could do it all and it is a very humbling thing to realize not only that I CAN'T, but that I SHOULDN'T.
It is time to stop running faster than I have the strength to actually run.