My elementary school growing up came with a merry-go-round. Each recess kids would flock to the spinning metal, clinging to its bright yellow poles for safety. There were always too many kids fighting for enough real estate to stay safely on when it would inevitably pick up speed, centrifugal force threatening to throw you off.
I avoided it as much as possible.
I didn’t like that feeling of being out of control; the world spinning so fast that you are running on adrenaline to keep you upright. Pushed round and round you only see in blurs and hazy blobs repeating themselves over and over and over. A few times I watched kids thrown off because of a slippery grip or dragged in circles after tripping over their own feet trying to jump on.
The adrenaline rush was fun for a moment of course, but inevitably I would feel sick afterwards. It would take a couple of minutes of focusing on a single point to remind my brain we weren’t still spinning.
However, during the summer my siblings and I would venture down to the school and play to pass time. When I knew that I could safely hold on to a pole and firmly plant my feet, I would ask my brothers to push me around. They always wanted to push me fast but I loved it most at an even pace, a sweet spot that left me happily spinning with my eyes closed tight.
It would revive my senses and I would hop off, my body a little more aware of its own balance.
I believe in a slower, simpler life but for the past month, I forgot to take my own advice. That spring energy had me organizing too many projects and planning all the fun events that turned me into one very un-fun individual.
That’s when I know I am going too fast.
I am cranky and exhausted and impatient. I am so mad at my own over-scheduling that I become increasingly selfish over whatever is leftover. I escape to solitary confinement looking for a recharge that never happens because of the natural interruptions of family life.
So what do you do?
You have to slow down. If there is little time to recharge, you have to stop doing so many things that require your energy. You focus on those top priorities that keep your grip tight and your feet planted. You follow the Spirit’s guidance through prayer and scripture study. It will remind you of what is essential, of what gives energy, of what fuels a joyful life.
It is natural to want to explore and pursue ALL the dreams you can imagine, but the pace might pick up to an unbearable speed and you might get thrown or dragged through the pebbles.
Trust in the Spirit to lead you to what you need to be doing. Heavenly Father wants you to have a happy life. He wants adventure and success for you. He knows what will make you learn and grow so that life will still be thrilling, spinning with childish glee.
That excitement is built into this earth with so much to explore and see, but it will pass in a blur if you push too hard and move too fast and risk finding peace in the balance.
This past week I made a list of my what I love to do and what I need to do. Items in both columns received an automatic priority status. Items that were still necessary were given a note to seek help for; from my husband, from friends and family. Then I focused on choosing two items that I love doing but aren’t totally necessary. I pondered over them for days and prayed to know what to choose.
I received an answer through a talk given by a local church leader. His words spoke directly to my heart, reminding to focus on this time of my life; motherhood and family. I knew that whatever I chose should not detract from it, but build upon this beautiful life I already have.
“And now, verily, verily, I say unto thee, put your trust in that Spirit which leadeth to do good” (D&C 11:12).
You have to slow down enough to be able to focus and hear that direction, a reminder that I need again and again.
This life is always changing becasue the earth is always spinning, like a big organic merry-go-round.