Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Next Thing

"Hey Carson, how is it going?"
"Good! Just getting everything done!"
"I know! Gosh, I have so much to do this weekend."
"Seriously, between work, school, and my show I'm not sure how it's all going to get done."
"Sheesh. I know. I'm going to be at school today until 10 o' clock tonight. I got here at 8:00 in the morning."
"I hate those days. Well, I gotta run, I'm late for class!"
"Oh man, me too! Maybe I'll see you!"
This is a conversation that I have nearly every day. Perhaps this conversation sounds similar to one you've had. I think it's a pretty common one--especially for students and theatre folk. Sometimes it seems like our success is dependent upon how much we are getting done; we aren't doing it right unless we're doing it ALL the time.

I came across this talk given by President Uchtdorf at General Conference in October 2012.
"Isn’t it true that we often get so busy? And, sad to say, we even wear our busyness as a badge of honor, as though being busy, by itself, was an accomplishment or sign of a superior life. 
Is it?" 
I think I've worn this badge my whole life. I'm always moving on to "the next thing": I finish this paper and I start my reading, I finish my reading and I go to rehearsal, I finish rehearsal and I send e-mails. I find myself parroting my favorite fictional President:
What's next?  On to the next meeting, the next paper, the next obligation. It's the way many of us, myself included, live our lives and to tell the truth, I'm exhausted. I'm drained. President Uchtdorf continues:
"I think of our Lord and Exemplar, Jesus Christ, and His short life among the people of Galilee and Jerusalem. I have tried to imagine Him bustling between meetings or multitasking to get a list of urgent things accomplished. 
I can’t see it."
I can't see it either.

President Uchtdorf goes on to make an important point that I've been thinking about a lot:
Do we listen to beautiful music waiting for the final note to fade before we allow ourselves to truly enjoy it? No. We listen and connect to the variations of melody, rhythm, and harmony throughout the composition. 
We should be enjoying what we are doing, as we are doing it. We should appreciate the beauty of this life and, I think, simplify it to make the most of it. Otherwise, we get stuck in a rut of constant complaint. I know I get there all too often, and I am quick to explain to whoever might ask how busy I actually am. I
To avoid some of the deepest regrets of life, it would be wise to make some resolutions today. Therefore, let us:
  • Resolve to spend more time with those we love.
  • Resolve to strive more earnestly to become the person God wants us to be.
  • Resolve to find happiness, regardless of our circumstances.
I think there is much to be enjoyed in life. I think we are not as busy as we seem. I think we can find time each day to appreciate our circumstances AND, dare I say, relax a little. This is something I'll be thinking about as I continue into student teaching next fall, and ultimately throughout my life as I seek balance between the many facets of my life.

What do you think?

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