Monday, May 3, 2010

How Much is Enough?

This question has been the central question of my life lately. How much time is enough to spend at work? How much water is enough to store? How much food is enough to have stored? How many pans are enough to have kept? How much time is enough to spend with my parents? How many hours spent researching are enough to decide I can't go any further in my family tree (will post on this later)? How much time is enough for myself?

I've been really worried lately about shoulds, supposed tos, have tos, and not at all worried about want tos, cans, and wills. I've been living my life for other people (my bosses, my dad, my dead ancestors and future children, the omnibus "they").

Do people ever do what they want when they want to? If guilt doesn't drive one's life, what does? What should? I would imagine this answer to be God, but how does one get past a guilt-driven life to make it a God-driven life?


  1. I've had similar feelings lately. How clean is clean enough? How much time can I spend by myself and how much should I be spending with my kids?

    I think one thing that would help me right now is setting goals. For example, with food storage, I'm trying to collect stuff for a few meals that we eat regularly, for three months. We have spaghetti every Sunday, so I took the four recipes we like best and am collecting the ingredients to make them for three months. After that, I'll move on to something else. This has really helped with my guilt over wondering if I have enough. One small step at a time is most likely to get me there.

    Right now I'm working on house cleaning. I have a tendency to let it get really bad and then try to clean everything all at once. That never works so well, though. How much nicer would it be to know that today is the day I do bedrooms, and not feel guilty about the kitchen being dirty because I know that will come tomorrow? I think a little organization will go a long way toward helping me feel more peaceful.

    I don't think life is all about doing what we want to when we want to. As a child, I was often compelled to do things I didn't want to. As an adult, I so often can just do what I want. I don't think that's necessarily a good thing. While freedom is essential, I find myself getting weak spiritually when I go to long just doing whatever I feel like. Structure and self-discipline especially are essential to my personal happiness. I don't like it when I look in the mirror and see a weak, wishy-washy girl who has no self-control.

    God definitely helps. He helps me know what is most important for me to be doing at the moment, because I can't do it all. If you want to be closer to God, I think just small steps are the way to go. Reading scriptures, praying regularly. And then the most important part (and the hardest sometimes), listening, and acting on the impressions you feel.

    Thanks for writing this post. Evidently these things have been on my mind more than I thought, from the amount that I just wrote (sorry).

  2. I think that a person who thinks about their priorities and how they spend their time as much as you do is likely doing just fine. It is true though. I have enjoyed this talk about what drives our life

    search "Why Do We Serve Dallin H. Oaks"

    It comes to the conclusion that you have. That we must let Christ like Love drive our purpose.

    Great post.

  3. Mrs. Mordecai - no worries, I love long comments! The problem I have is that I can't do ANYTHING without feeling really guilty. If we go out to eat, I feel bad that I'm not saving for the wedding. As for housecleaning, have you ever done the 15 minute timer? Whatever gets done in 15 minutes is finished and everything else gets done tomorrow. That's roughly what we've been doing to keep the house up. But then again, I don't have wee ones.

    GWAP - I will definitely look that one up. I really need some help in that area. I grew up religious but not spiritual (quite the opposite of the "I'm spiritual, but not religious" trend going around). I went to church, and got nothing out of it. I still get very little out of it the few times I go.

  4. I always feel guilty going out to eat too. :) I think a lot of people do because not going is such an easy way to save money. It's fun, though, and nice to have a break sometimes.

    I've tried the 15-minute thing in the past and it's been awhile. I should do it again: thanks for the reminder! Sometimes that's really all it takes. Surely my kids can wait that long while I get a little something done.

  5. For me, when I make time for myself and making time to feel good, the rest of it falls into place. I was raised with a very powerful work ethic. I work all of the time. But my lesson in life is that I must take time and just be. I have more ability to take care of the things that are important to me after I am rested and feeling fine