I witnessed a pretty impressive multi-tasking effort the other day.
This teenage boy was skateboarding, walking his massive dog, AND talking on the phone all at the same time.
The over zealous Golden Retriever was practically dragging the kid like a scene from a movie, with the skateboard wobbling violently and the phone nearly slipping out of his hand.
As he rolled on by, I couldn’t help but think that this was the perfect visual for how my life feels sometimes.
I find myself trying to tackle 7,493 tasks at once. I am a mother, a wife, an employee, a friend, and a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. With each of those titles comes a million and one responsibilities. So I do my best to be the supportive wife and the fun mom and the hard-working employee and the reliable friend and the invested church member. And then, just when I think I can no longer keep my head above water, another responsibility is thrown into the rotation.
By then, I’m drowning.
At the end of the day, there are a million things on my to-do list left unchecked and a handful of half finished projects reminding me that I fell way short. Life can be demanding, and as I’ve been thinking about achieving greater balance in my life, I’ve started to wonder if balance is an achievable feat at all.
A tiny little moment helped me redefine my definition of success. And now, I like to think less about my clumsy attempt to obtain balance and more about prioritizing.
So here’s the skinny:
I hadn’t done laundry in a week, and the giant grass stain on the knee of my jeans was a blatant reminder of that. I got to work piling as many darks into the washing machine. When a pair of little hands waved a book and said, “Read, mom,” I responded with, “Okay, just give me one minute!”
Then time stopped the way it does when God wants to have a teaching moment with you, and I heard these words in my mind:
Stop. Read the book. Show him he is the most important thing in your life.
I couldn’t not listen when the prompting was so undeniably clear. I dropped what I was doing and scooped Milo up in my arms, and we read not one book, but 1,000 books (or so it felt like it).
Was it worth it? The little arms wrapped around my neck and the very wet, uninhibited kiss after we’d read proved it was 100% worth the tiny sacrifice I made.
I feel like God continually reminds me to put people before tasks. After all, that is the disciple’s way. That is Christ’s way.
I like these words from Elder Uchtdorf:
“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.
“Instead I see the compassionate and caring Son of God purposefully living each day. When He interacted with those around Him, they felt important and loved. He knew the infinite value of the people He met. He blessed them, ministered to them. He lifted them up, healed them. He gave them the precious gift of His time.”
Instead of asking myself how I will achieve x, y, and z, I need to ask myself What’s the most important thing I can be doing in this very moment?
The most important thing to me will always be the people I love.