For the last little while I have not been my best self.
I do put quite a bit of pressure on myself to get things done. I am always trying to do so many things that at the end of the day I usually say, “I didn’t get enough done.” or “I feel like I’ll never get this or that finished.”
So with our move almost 3 years ago, I really struggled with feeling my best. I have depression, and I had just been through one of the biggest changes of my life.
We moved after living in the same house and neighborhood for 18 years. We moved to a smaller house planning for the future and simplifying our lives, which made us empty nesters. I had looked forward to this time, but did not anticipate how hard it would actually be. We had all our kids with us at the other house, including our married son, his wife and our grandbaby, who lived in a little apartment in the basement. We saw them all the time. Our middle two kids had been home from LDS missions for a couple of years, and we had just received our youngest daughter home from her LDS mission in December and moved in March. I still struggle with that, because I wish I’d had more time with her at home before she got married. Now she’s married and lives about 45 minutes away and I usually only see her every other week for Sunday dinner.
FYI. I took the love language test and my love language is time.
So there came a time shortly after the move that I could not stop crying. I have taken medication for depression for many years, but it wasn’t helping this sadness. This sadness, was coming from knowing that my time of being a mom with my children at home was over. I was so lonesome for them. They were raised, and now adults living on their own. My usual routine was completely different.
There were days I couldn’t leave the house. There were days when I didn’t get much done at all. There were also times I felt like my eyes would always be swollen from crying. I practiced saying many positive mantras, lot’s of prayer, focusing on blessings, and the beauty of the world around me, and I think we tweaked my medication.
As I was studying one day, I found a talk by Elder David A. Bednar. In it he talks about spending a Sunday afternoon with one of the other apostles Elder Robert D. Hales as he was recovering from an illness. Elder Bednar asked Elder Hales to share a lesson he had learned through all of his responsibilities as he has grown older and been constrained by decreased physical capacity.
He said, “When you cannot do what you have always done, then you only do what matters most.”
This was perfect for me especially as I adjusted to my new life as an empty nester, my new routine, neighborhood, and house. I had to be patient with myself. I had to say “No” when people asked me to do this or that, knowing it was too much for me at that time. I am doing much better, now. I still have days that are tough sometimes, but I know that, when I cannot do what I have always done, then I only do what matters most.
I am so grateful for lesson’s!