Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Small and Simple

A few weeks ago I broke.  I ran away from home.  I left David with Ben and got in the car and drove away.  I ended up spending the afternoon at Tony Grove in Logan Canyon.  It is one of my all time favorite places.  I used to spend so much time there back in my single days.  It's peaceful there.  It gave me a chance to think.  To think without the needs of others getting in the way.  To think without limitation.  I had nowhere to be.  Ben was in good hands and I just could not handle anything or anyone anymore.

I took my journal and this is part of what I wrote:

   "Is is possible to feel lost and trapped at the same time? I feel pushed into corners.  Corners of habit and routine.  The needs of others.  Expectations, realistic and otherwise.
    I've been burying my feelings with books and television.  Numbing myself with the internet and a full schedule.  Does it make sense now? Lost and trapped?"

 I felt trapped in this life of mine.  Trapped by the routine, the necessary chores, the day to day needs that could only be filled by me.  I felt lost because I didn't remember who I was.  What makes me tick.  I didn't seem to have time to remember that I actually like my life.  That a lot of the life I live is by choice.  My choice. A choice that I honestly do not regret.  So what was the deal?  Why did I break?

I ran with the intention of not coming home until I had something figured out.  I told David that I didn't know when I would be back but I wouldn't be out overnight.  I just didn't know if I would be home at 4 pm or 12 am.  Thankfully my husband is a saint who recognizes a cry for help when he sees it.  He let me go.  I don't think he could have stopped me, but it wasn't a fight.

As I walked around the lake my mind was working overtime.  I was making lists of things that could be lending themselves to my current state.  Dishes, laundry, being in charge of the house, meals, recreation, learning, health, sleep, cleanliness... and on and on and on.

I wrote in my journal.  I escaped into a book.  I walked around the lake and then wrote some more.  What it all boiled down to was 30 minutes.

Before Ben was born, David and I talked about a few things.  I made him promise me that all of our conversations would not revolve around diapers, bottles, etc.  We would talk about politics and world news, books, movies, art.  Of course we talked about diapers and bottles and all the fun baby stuff that comes with the territory, but it was important to me to not be completely consumed by it that I didn't know how to have a regular conversation.

I also made him promise me 30 minutes a day.  30 minutes in which I was not responsible for our son or the house or anything else.  30 minutes that I could use to read or write or just get out of the house.  30 minutes to remember who I am and that I actually like myself.  30 minutes that had not happened in ages.  30 minutes that I stopped taking, I stopped asking for.  There seemed to be too much to do.  To much that had to be done.

I wrote this passage later on in my day of running away:

"I'm sitting by a little stream, listening as the water pours itself over the rocks.  A dragonfly flies by.  The stream is clear and everything is green and lush around it. It finds its way through the obstacles in its path and leaves some of itself behind.  Beautifying things wherever it goes."  

I thought a lot about that stream. Even the obstacles were made better by it.  It gave life.  I want to be that way.  I want to leave things better than I found them.  I want to find my way around the obstacles.  But what happens if the stream dries up?

If you go to Tony Grove early in the Summer, there are streams everywhere.  Especially on some of the hikes.  White Pine was and is a favorite of mine.  Depending on the time of year, you could easily cross 6 or 7 streams on your way.  They are beautiful.  Surrounded by fields of wildflowers.  As the season continues and the heat rises, a lot of those streams dry up.  The vegetation turns yellow and brown and crunches beneath your feet.  The water source dried up.  No more life.

It's pretty simple really.  If you let your water source dry up, if you forget or willingly stop taking time for yourself, instead of being able to beautify things around you just might end up making things crumble instead.

I don't take 30 minutes every day.  With David's work schedule it just wasn't practical anymore. But I do take some time every week.  I'll replace something good (folding the laundry) with something better (take a nap and then fold the laundry with Ben).  Little course corrections to make sure that I don't push myself to the breaking point again.  To make sure that I don't have to run away from everything that I love to remember that I love it.

" small and simple things are great things brought to pass"* and at the same time, by small and simple things are great things brought down.  Make sure your small and simple are where you want them to be.

Happy Wednesday my friends.

*Alma 37:6 (Book of Mormon)


  1. You always have a way of putting into words things I often think or feel myself! You are a great wife and mother! I only wish I lived closer so we could do more together. Keep up the great work!

  2. Today, As I've been on the precipice of running for weeks I read your words. Thank you. Hope you have some renewing 30 minutes this week. Love you!

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  4. I've felt this way so many times, Lora. I KNOW what you mean. I do. I think Motherhood is THE hardest thing on this earth to do well at the same time keeping your identity and your sanity.

    For me, it's a roller coaster. Some days are better than others as far as how well I take care of my family's needs AND mine. I hope the roller coaster is continually going uphill though! I think it's a long process, a journey, of finding ourselves again, but with the added title of Mother. It changes everything. Forever. Not necessarily good or bad, but never the same again.

    I think these quiet times on our own to think and plan are essential. We need breathers! :)

    Wonderful, beautiful post!