Monday, November 3, 2014

Do the first thing

When I'm feeling an upsurge of terrible pressure because of all the things that have to be done, and are undone; all the things I planned to do, and have no idea when I'm ever going to do them; all the things I would like to do, yet know that it is impossible for the time being, I remember very precious words which I once copied down, from the (now long gone private) blog "Eyes of Wonder". They now have a place of honor in my personal notebook of inspirational lines, and I have read them so often that I can quote them with tolerable precision:

"Do the first thing, and let the first thing be just to love and care for the people in your life. 

If you feel that extra commitments or certain relationships are hindering you for doing so, cast them (the commitments) or set them (the relationships) aside for the time being, until you feel you can reach out a bit further." 

I feel that at this time, it's very important for me to hold on to this simple truth: set it aside. Set it aside, for the time being, if it doesn't really matter, and/or if it isn't really urgent. Let myself be free from the burden of feeling that certain things must be done, when in fact the only one who feels that they must be done - and without delay - is actually myself.  

Even when it (frustratingly) feels as though nothing will ever be done - because of time constraints, money constraints, energy deficiency common to the last trimester, certain circumstances that oblige us to be away from home oftener than it would be convenient - I know that it is not true. Just as we have had busy periods before, and then they passed, and when things were calmer a great deal of what I had hoped for was accomplished, so it will in all probability happen now. Even and especially when it seems when the pressure will never end - during cleaning for Pesach, or moving house, or when a new baby is born - the difficulties are temporary and the hectic busy-ness is over all too soon. 

And for now, I try to focus that today, like every day, I have the privilege and joy of caring for my family. There are meals to be served and dishes to be done, clothes to be washed and folded, walks to be taken, conversations to be had and countless things to be learned. 


Julie said...

Beautiful reminder. Prayers for you & your lovely family.

Linda said...

You are so right if only we could remember this. take care of our loved ones first.
So happy that you are feeling well.

Jennifer D. said...

Thank you so much for posting this! I really needed to hear this message today as I have been feeling quite overwhelmed with all that I should/need/want to be doing but having a baby in the NICU and going to see her everyday prevents me from getting some things done due to time restraints. I know that at some point she will be home and that life will calm down so that I will be able to accomplish some of the things that seem so important.

maria smith said...

Beautiful! -And so true! Sometimes the list of things to do can seem overwhelming. I'm learning that it's usually better to put my deep cleaning projects aside and focus on my family. After all, I only have my kids for a few short years.