A few months ago, I took a parenting class at my local library. There were a few helpful tips that I learned and overall, the class was positive, but one of the days we talked about stress. The teacher gave out a "stress test" and on it were about 50 different life experiences. We were supposed to go through the list and mark which of these things we had experienced in the last year. Each thing was given a numerical value and then we added them all up. The highest ranked things were death of a loved one, the addition of a family member, change of living situation, new job, loss of job, moving. This last year has been really rough. With David's last job, there was this constant state of "we might be moving to ______ (fill in the blank)". On top of that, we were living at my parent's house with all our stuff in storage and everything felt very temporary since we knew a move was coming at some point. Then we had a baby, I turned 30, David quit his job after getting a new one in Seattle and we picked up and moved our family here. Now we are looking to buy a house in this new city all while trying to get acclimated. It's a lot to take in.
Right before I had Louisa, I broke down in tears at my 38 week doctor's appointment when my OB genuinely asked me how I was doing. I was feeling so much stress and she asked me, "What can you change and what can't you change?" As I started to list the things I would do something about, she said, "Then let the rest of it go." I've been trying to concentrate on doing that lately and taking one day at a time. It has really helped to get organized. I have a million things that I need/want to get done and the list is sooooooo long. When I just think about it, I want to cry, but it has helped to write everything down and take one task at a time (plus, I get a lot of satisfaction from crossing off each simple task I finish).
The biggest thing that has helped is prayer. It's such a simple thing but it calms me and helps me gain perspective. Believing that there is more than this life and all the things that are unfinished on my to do list, gives me so much peace. Really, it doesn't matter if I still have boxes of unpacked picture frames in my living room or that I have a bunch of paper work to fill out. What really matters is that I am focusing on my relationships with my family and with God. Taking the time every day to meditate about what that means and concentrating on ways I can be more like Jesus Christ, are more important than having a cute house or getting back to my pre-pregnancy weight. Sure, my other goals are good too, but it relieves so much pressure to remember that those things don't matter. "This is our one and only chance at mortal life—here and now. The longer we live, the greater is our realization that it is brief. Opportunities come, and then they are gone. I believe that among the greatest lessons we are to learn in this short sojourn upon the earth are lessons that help us distinguish between what is important and what is not. I plead with you not to let those most important things pass you by as you plan for that illusive and nonexistent future when you will have time to do all that you want to do. Instead, find joy in the journey—now." - President Thomas S. Monson