Sunday, February 2, 2014

Keeping Pace

In high school I ran cross-country. I was never the fastest by any stretch of the imagination, in fact, the only time I was on JV was when the JV level runners were combined to run with the 'C team' runners. Never the less I loved running, the people I ran with, and the many things I learned about running. Maybe someday I'll blog about that, but today I'll be using running as an analogy. Sure it's not original,  my favorite running buddy, Crissy (or rather, сестра Хансен, or Sister Hansen, since she's serving her mission in Russia right now), and I have talked about running relating to to gospel countless times, but it's an ever effective analogy, so here we go.

Running is not easy. It's hard work, it requires time, dedication, and sometimes hanging-on-by-your-fingertips perseverance. And you have to deal with people thinking you're crazy. Like, all the time. Even when you just go on a short 3 or 4 miler.

Life is not easy. It's hard work, it requires time, dedication, and sometimes hanging-on-by-your-fingertips perseverance. And, if you're anything like me, people will spend a lot of time thinking your crazy. My siblings tell me almost daily.

To run successfully and become better as a runner, you can't always do the same route, the same workout, the same distance every day and expect to do better. Tempo runs, hills, sprints, long runs, fartleck workouts, intervals, and slow recovery runs are all important elements of getting better. Sometimes we need to run quickly,and other times we need to run slowly. But ALL of it is important for getting better at running.

Life is the same way. There are sometimes where it feels like everything is happening at once, every school assignment, every work project, every calling responsibility, or every possible trial you can imagine. Other, much more rarely, life calms down, and things are at peace. Sometimes we have control over the pace of our life by cutting things out or adding things in, sometimes we don't.

Right now I am in an odd state of life, since I don't have school for the first year of my life since I was five, in some ways it feel slow, but in most other ways it's practically running me over. No pun intended.

Mission prep is not so easy. Well, let me rephrase. If you're like me and want to be the uber-prepared hermana that is basically a spiritual Hermione Granger, and you have this natural desire to learn and know everything you can about things you care about then mission prep is not easy.

Pretty much I want to be as ready as I can be. Which, at least in my head, includes;

  • Read and study all the standard works, (especially The Book of Mormon).
  • Read every mission prep book I can get my hands on.
  • Be physically ready, so workout at least half an hour a day but I love strength training, running, yoga, and Pilates, so how can I choose what to do for only half an hour? 
  • Be mentally ready by preparing myself to leave my family and all that is familiar for a year and a half for a new culture, climate and people. How do I even try to do that? 
  • Be proficient in Spanish, since I'm going to be with native speakers and don't want to feel totally lost while I'm there, and I want to learn spiritually as well as linguistically.
  • Read Preach my Gospel so that I am familiar with it and I can have maximum effectiveness in my mission study time.
  • Go to the temple. Often.

I also need to go to work for 40-45 hours a week, do work for my two different church callings, purge the sentimental paraphernalia I have cluttering my room, pack up, donate, or trash things that I won't need on my mission, purchase and organize the clothing and other items I'll need for my mission, spend meaningful time with my family and other important people in my life, take and print pictures of said meaningful time to bring with me, and probably a lot more things I haven't even thought of.

Life's kind of a sprint right now.

But, fortunately, I don't have to do it all.

That's right. I said it.

I don't have to do it all.

There are a million and one good things that a person can do, but there are only 24 hours in a day, so having priorities are important, essential even, for not going totally bonkers.

One of my favorite scriptures is Mosiah 4:27, which 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."

I've read this scripture time and time again at so many stressful point of my life. I have to learn over and over that, as much as I'd like to, I can't do it all, and I'm learning that's OK.

There's only so fast or so long that I can run on any given workout, and only so many things that I can do, and even though I want to go into the MTC perfectly prepared, I won't be; there will still be discomfort, growing pains, wonderful things to learn, and so many occasions to feel the Spirit, whether I understand the Spanish perfectly or sometimes even at all.

So, here's to doing my best, trying my hardest, and doing everything I can and then knowing that that will be enough.

Only 87 days left!

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