Tuesday, June 7, 2011

7 June - thoughts on responsibilities & obligations

I was previewing a book last night on my Kindle before deciding whether or not to buy it -- Camilla, a Biography of Camilla Eyring Kimball, by Edward L. Kimball, & I came across a quote that was in ways, a real slap in the face before even finishing the Prologue:

"Some people feel that their responsibilities stifle them. I feel that fulfilling obligations is the best way to grow. Any woman should be alive to opportunities--alive to public interests, to her family, to growth from Church service. I have no patience with women who find life boring. Life is so interesting, it just worries me that I cannot get done all the things I want desperately to do."
~ Camilla Eyring Kimball

What a great reminder of what life is all about - not the "What about me, me, me?" attitude, but about what we must do even when we don't feel like doing it. Our responsibilities are not a curse or condemnation, but rather a chance to grow, think beyond ourselves, & find joy & success in our everyday life. So much of our ability to see it this way, however, falls with our attitude. It's easy as a wife & mother to feel like a martyr & underappreciated for the work we do. My problem is that I vacillate between actually following through with the work & pretending I'm doing the work while bitching about how rough I have it. Give me a break - talk about a sour, pathetic attitude.

The happiest times in my life have been in recent years, especially, I have found, when I'm living by a routine & getting the basic things done in my life that are rightfully required or expected of me. I don't mean by dragging my feet & complaining along the way, but by tying my hair back (or actually washing & styling it), rolling my sleeves up & getting to work with a smile on my face. Life is a blessing. Work is a blessing. Family is a blessing. So why fight it? There is such a sense of accomplishment that comes from fulfilling responsibilities without rushing around last minute to do everything. Planning & organizing makes life so much less stressful & allows for more stress-free time & opportunities to accomplish things you didn't think were possible.

When I was on my A-game, my house was spotless, the cupboards were organized, my laundry pile was practically non-existant, I had meals on the table each night, I was exercising, I studied my scriptures instead of just reading a verse real quick to get it checked off my list of things to do, & I spent free time playing with Will & developing my talents (taking a photography class, practicing the piano, baking treats for my family & neighbors . . .). And I still had time to spare in my day! I did all this stuff throughout the day & had more energy than I had on days where I'd laze around the house & think how down & bored I was. 

So what are my responsibilities (that oftentimes feel stifling when I have a poor attitude or don't have my priorities straight)? And what can I do to improve myself in each responsibility (w/o being overwhelmed by a sudden change in my routine, or lack thereof)?
  • Mother - plan activities with/for William; set up play dates for him; continue to read him scriptures at breakfast time
  • Wife - be positive & don't take my frustration out on a loving husband who works so hard for me & our family
  • Homemaker - stick to a daily routine (it worked miracles in the past, so get back to it); start cooking again
  • Church callings - review the next week's lesson throughout the week & prepare activities/object lessons when possible; prepare & schedule ahead of time
  • My health - set aside a time 3x a week to do simple exercise (walks, stretching)
  • Develop talents - work on one talent each week for 30 minutes on a designated day or days
  • Spirituality - get back to reading the scriptures daily after breakfast (can include actual scriptures, General Conference talks, Ensign articles - something's better than nothing)
Looking at this list seems so overwhelming, but when I've put all these things into a simple daily routine, my responsibilites no longer feel like they're taking me over, but rather, they enlighten me & bring an amazing sense of peace & accomplishment to my life. I just need to remember not to worry about doing things perfectly. Even imperfect work with a positive attitude, as oppossed to no work or perfect work w/ a frustrated attitude, still blesses my life, family & home.

Find joy in the seemingly mundane things. It will make all the difference in the day-to-days of life & will surprise you with how much you've grown when you can look back & see where you started.


  1. I've heard a lot of great quotes from that book, but never this one. Thank you for sharing, I needed it today. :o)

  2. I love this post, and quote! Thanks for motivating me Liz!

  3. Liz, we haven't talked in forever, but every now and then I check up on your blog to see what you are up to! Looks like you are doing great :) Anyway, I rarely comment on blogs, but this was such a great and honest blog post! It motivated me to set some goals of my own, and I LOVE that quote! Thanks for your amazing post :) Glad you are doing well!

  4. Go Lizzy! You are living!


    Washington Perryman

  5. Liz, thanks for the reminder of how our attitude can change our whole perspective! You CAN do it!


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