Don’t call us, we’ll call you

June 2, 2010

Happiness Project Wednesday: Do what needs to be done

Every Wednesday I’m recording how The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin has influenced my daily life.  To read my introductory post, click here.

I have searched in vain for the blog post (or maybe it was in the book?) where Gretchen talks about how her mom taught her this:  do what needs to be done.  Don’t procrastinate, don’t hem-and-haw, just do it.  For the most part, this is not the time in my life where I get to do this very often.  I’ve got a pile of medical bills for which I need to write dispute letters.  We’ve got what I’ve affectionately termed “junk alley” in the hallway, stuff that needs to be put away, sold, or donated.  Our car needs new tires.  But I’ve also got a three-month-old who’s becoming a bit of rebel when it comes to napping.  Not exactly a recipe for getting stuff done.

Lately I’ve realized this sentiment is about more than these nagging tasks; it’s also about prioritizing.  Do what needs to be done.  And be honest and realistic about what those needs are, and what has to slide for the moment.

In that vein, I’ve decided to prioritize two things.  First, scripture study.  This is a need that’s taken a huge hit since Addison was born.  See, my norm with scripture study in my pre-baby life was heavy on the study.  I’m the type of person that would have about five books out, looking at cross-references and commentary.  I was in the middle of studying Isaiah when baby arrived, and it has taken me some time to accept that, at least for now, there will be no more heavy Isaiah studying.  Luckily, I’ve found an alternative.  My friend Anne from D.C. gave me a book by her father, 101 Powerful Promises from the Book of Mormon, quite a while ago and I’m using it now to scale back my expectations and instead focus on consistency.  No matter how crazy a day feels to me, I can always find a few minutes to read two pages devoted to a specific promise from The Book of Mormon.

Second, therapy.  On my post about how I was still dealing with postpartum depression, another D.C. friend, Linsey, assured me that I was self-aware enough to know if I needed to do something more aggressive to deal with my depression.  I definitely felt that was true, but at the same time realized that I was avoiding making the decision to go back to counseling.  Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE therapy.  I will sing its praises all day long.  I mean, seriously, who wouldn’t want a captive audience for an hour a week?!  But I was really fighting it simply because time feels so precious to me.  I felt like there were so many other things (e.g., medical bills, junk alley, and the like) I needed to do during the time I get away from Addison.  I finally decided that I needed to start counseling again when I realized that even when I had free time, I couldn’t figure out what to do that would really rejuvenate me.  Neal would tell me to do something fun, and it was getting to the point where I couldn’t remember what I do for fun because nothing felt fun anymore.  That’s when I knew I needed to see a therapist again.

That, and Neal telling me that I needed to see a therapist again.

Sometimes we need other people to remind us to do what needs to be done.


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