Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Eating Elephants

Every month I publish a newsletter for the Relief Society in my ward.  On Saturday, December 1st, I was working on the newsletter and looking over some older ones.  February 2012 caught my eye.  I had written a message, which it seemed to me, must have been a time capsule meant for just for me.  

I wrote:

"I’ve put a lot of goals into motion over the last few months.  I have more goals I’m plotting daily.  I have projects and ideas that overload my brain and litter my desk with little yellow post-it notes.  And I am exhausted trying to make and keep up with all the changes.  Chances are that you can relate.  King Benjamin taught in Mosiah 4 that “all these things” should be done “in wisdom and order.”  “for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength.”

They say that “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”  It’s so easy to look at how far the journey extends and be paralyzed by it.  At times, it seems, it would be easier to stay where we are than to walk the rocky road in front of us.  Sometimes we watch the other travelers’ form and grace and think that we pale in comparison. 
We have extended a challenge to each one of you for 2012.  In spite of the outward appearance, every booklet is different.  They are different because each sister is unique and special.  The goals that you choose to set are going to vary.  Even the goals that the presidency outlined can be accomplished in a hundred different ways. 
As you begin this journey I want you to remember a few things.

  1. Each person’s journey is unique.  The finish line is the same but the path’s dip and turn in different ways.  Do not compare your abilities or shortcomings to those around you.  Take time to have joy in your individual journey. Remember both the tortoise and the hare reached their intended destination.  How much nicer would it have been if they had congratulated each other at the finish line.
  2. Break larger goals into smaller pieces.  I’ve heard that you can eat an elephant if you take it one bite at a time.  
  3. Don’t give up.  Be courageous.  These goals aren’t “New Year’s Resolutions” to be discarded after a couple days of discouragement.  “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”  Then try again and again and again and again.  President Monson says, “Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says, ‘I’ll try again tomorrow.’”
I know that if we keep walking (whether it’s fast or slow) and continue to keep trying we’ll find we can accomplish great things."

End of quote.
I just finished eating one of those elephants.  I, with the helps of friends and families, donated a Christmas tree for the Festival of Trees in honor of Elizabeth.  Otherwise, I must be on the tortoise track because I joined Weight Watchers in February 2012, and I've only maintained a 5 pound weight loss.   My house is less organized than it was a year ago.  I haven't blogged in months.  And I feel like the room is filled with elephants.  But I find my words from the past very encouraging.  I will be courageous as I approach the end of the year.  I will start with one single blog post, one room, one letter, one habit, one pound...one step.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Toy Control

One of my friends suggested splitting toys into different boxes then trading the boxes periodically.  The idea is that when the toys get old you switch for a different box.  The kids get a fun new set of toys every time a new box comes out.  Plus, there are fewer toys to cleanup each day.  It's a great concept.  But I was struggling with where to put the boxes.

Solution!  We brought these two cheap Home Depot cabinets up from the basement.  Doug screwed them to the wall so that they won't fall over.  I put the vinyl decals on.  Isn't it cheerful?

The big reveal!  Look at those beautiful boxes!  You can see the space on the left for the toys that are out in the family room.

This has worked wonders for parental sanity.