Things I’m Supposed to Do

13 Dec

Recently, there has been much discussion on the blogs I read about women struggling to be a “Supermom” or “Wonder Woman.” (Incidentally, I’m the only man I know personally who regularly posts to a blog; what’s up with that? I’m just as busy as other guys; I guess I just like to express my thoughts more than most?)

Anyway, I think it’s a healthy discussion to have with yourself and others. What can I reasonably do while preserving my sanity and not become frazzled?

I recently finished one of the busiest seasons of my life in which I was working full-time (45 hours per week) and earning a master’s degree (15-20 hours per week), while trying to manage a demanding church calling (10-15 hours per week), help raise three small children, exercise daily (physically and spiritually) and be a good husband, brother, son, friend, blogger, etc. It was truly overwhelming, but somehow I was able to get through it. I truly believe the Lord blessed me for my sacrifices of time and helped me do more with the remaining time I had. Now that I have 15-20 hours more per week, I’m trying to fill it with meaningful activities. The Church offers many suggestions on things we should or could do — enough to fill several lifetimes! But of course, the leaders don’t expect that. However, I think that since we hear so much in our meetings about all the things that we SHOULD be doing (and everything seems to have an equal weight of importance — i.e. sharing the gospel, reading, praying, FHE, temple work, etc.) it can be easy to get discouraged.

Try as I might, there are still many things that I’m supposed to do that I just don’t do right now. Blame it on lack of time, lack of motivation, or anything else, here are a few things that I just don’t do right now:

  • I don’t write to missionaries. At least, not more than once per mission for the boys I taught in scouts. 
  • I don’t attend every scout meeting that I could. I figure I attend enough meetings being in the bishopric.
  • I don’t go to the temple once a week as some people do. I’m lucky to get there once a month.
  • I don’t do genealogical research. I know what PAF is, but I’ve never really used it — someday…
  • I don’t read a lot of magazines. The Ensign is one that doesn’t get as much attention as it should. Reader’s Digest comes faithfully every month, but I yet to read more than a few jokes in it. My brother and his wife got us a year-long subscription to the National Geographic and I never read it, although I looked at the pictures once or twice. 🙂
  • I don’t grind wheat for bread and regularly rotate my food storage. Heck, I didn’t even have any real food storage until just a few weeks ago when I made a few trips to Costco. Still need more. Gotta be prepared for Armageddon!

I could feel guilty about this list, but I’m choosing not to do so. I’m simply acknowledging it and resolving to “stand a little taller” while not “running faster than I have strength.” And while some think it’s oppressive to be involved in a religion that requires so much of its people, I find it inspiring. No, I can’t do everything. But I can reach higher and stretch myself in ways that I wouldn’t have done otherwise. And as long as I leave the guilt behind and view my religious duties as a blessing instead of a burden, I will be a better man for it.


Posted by on December 13, 2007 in Spirituality


5 responses to “Things I’m Supposed to Do

  1. kira

    December 14, 2007 at 12:05 am

    In my long life…:) I’ve found that the middle road is the best way to go. If you could do everything you would drive everyone else nuts! I say – do what you can and make sure you are doing things that you are happy about.

  2. Vicki

    December 14, 2007 at 12:28 pm

    You accomplish so much–it’s amazing! I just sent you a Reader’s Digest subscription as a gift–hmmm. Hopefully, Robin reads it.

  3. Shannon

    December 15, 2007 at 4:52 pm

    With four little children who need their daddy’s love and attention I think that EVERYTHING on your list should come second. In fact, I think your list is kind of silly, and if I didn’t know you, a little on the self righteous side. No offense. I don’t think there is such a thing as spending too much quality time with your kidlets and wife, just hanging out and being a family. In fact, I would go as far to say that being an over achiever can often be as much a fault in one direction as being a lazy-bum can be in the other. Do I seem a little overly defensive? I am. Probably because MY list of “things that I should be doing but am not” is endless. But I do congratulate you for being so good at time management. You are some sort of phenomenon. (I’m being totally sincere, by the way:) )

  4. robinbl

    December 16, 2007 at 12:22 am

    I just want you all to know that I read every issue of Reader’s Digest and National Geographic and the Ensign that comes to our house. Maybe not cover to cover, but that is one thing that I do do! I think we all do the best we can. We just have to keep our priorities straight and realize that we will make time for those things that mean the most to us. Most of us would not even have it occur to us to put writing to missionaries on our regular to-do list, but you have to realize that Andrew was Young Men’s President to most of the missionaries that are out from our ward right now and has a special love and concern for each of them. We all just have to remember that each of us has a different set of priorities and we shouldn’t judge each other for being different.

  5. Sherine

    December 16, 2007 at 1:53 am

    I didn’t take it as self-righteous at all.. it just made me laugh.


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