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10/04/2005: "Whirling Thoughts"

I think I should make it clear that I don't think that any of the things that are mentioned in the poem are impossible for a person to do, or even a great majority of them by any one person at any given time seems quite feasible to me. Any of the things mentioned there would be a fine and worthwhile undertaking. No one is all things to all people at all times, however, and the Lord has counseled through his prophets not to run faster than one has the strength to do so...

I know that my time to be able to attend the temple multiple times a week/month is not now, nor is it likely to be so for years to come...

Right now my life is busy with the care and teaching of five children, so much so that "you've got your hands full" is a standard greeting from others =)

In the past month I've been subject to derogatory comments from sisters at church for coming to church within x time of having a baby.

"What, are you trying to be some kind of hero?!" a scowling face leaving the mother's lounge.

"Can you believe she's here? She's definitely ambitious" cooly remarked while I'm two feet away.

I think the not-so-funny undertone of the poem is the desire to find fault with someone we esteem to be surpassing us in an area. Obviously no one is perfect. Yet why do we fall for the lie that success/happiness/talents are a zero-sum game, that anyone's gain must be our loss?

Replies: 3 Comments

on Wednesday, October 5th, mamacita said

Okay, now you've raised my motherly ire. I want to give those sisters a what-for...

I think it's a common female thing in this world, because the men have the power (be realistic, here, it's a paternalistic society) and the acid tongue is your only defense when someone else is showing you up.

I think that men, who perceive themselves to be powerless, tend to resort to violence when they have a touch of the ole green monster.

I totally agree that those who feel confident in themselves are not bothered by someone else's success, or worried, and those who are genuinely happy will be happy for others' accomplishments and not play the zero sum game.

I love you, I also don't want you to overdo anything. Yes, you have your hands full, and I hope you are able to do lots and lots of things well if you want to.

See you, soon!

on Wednesday, October 5th, Tanya said

Hi there,
Don't get too upset, I know that sometimes people say things that perhaps they shouldn't and in the manner they shouldn't. I don't know when you went back to church, but to me 3 weeks is okay. I personally don't like to do it much before that, newborns can get sick so easy, and so can you. Really be careful this winter too because I think RSV will be bad this year. I know for me it is hard because Michael doesn't believe in staying home, it was hard with Collin because I didn't want to take him to church much at all that first winter. This one will be different because of our Callings so we will have to protect the little one the best we can. Anyway. Have a good day, relax, take care of yourself. After all your little one is still not very old. Don't wear yourself down too much. Love you and I'll say a prayer for you.

on Friday, November 11th, Vickie G said


My husband was doing a search to see where this poem had gone since it was first read in Women's Conference (since I had never put it online or anywhere else except in a drawer....) and he found your site.

It was fun to read a little bit here. I like Flylady too! =o)

I just thought I'd let you know that there wasn't an intent to have an undercurrent of subtly putting someone down who seems to be able to do a lot of things.

I wrote this about 8 years ago for a Stake RS workshop I was giving. I think I probably got asked to give it because (I modestly admit) I am a good speaker, but I think it was mostly because I have ten kids. And I think people make an assumption that the kind of LDS mom who has ten kids and who looks halfway decent, is some sort of amazing superwoman who can do zillions of things at once, unlike the rest of the mere mortals on this planet.

Well, I am NOT that woman.

My point in writing this little poem was to illustrate in hopefully a fun way, that although there are "lists" of many, many important, worthwhile and even critical things we "should" be doing in our lives, that NO ONE can do ALL of these things ALL at the same time. There =is= a time and a season to life. What we really need to do is to work on keeping our lives in a good place and do those things that feel most important at time, making sure that we do keep up on a couple of key spiritual basics.

As I told someone else recently who was asking about this, "When people would ask me, 'How in the world to you do it all?!' my honest reply would be, 'I'm not sure what it is that you assume I do, but I can assure you that I don't.'

In those days when we had 10 at home, ages newborn up to age 21, with the last 3 being three years old and under, we just barely got by. If a day went by and I managed to make some kind of food appear for three whole meals, people one way or another got where they needed to go, everyone had something or other to wear that was relatively clean, and nobody got killed that day, I called the day good. We did have daily scripture study and (most of the) family prayer. Ummm, and that's about it. Everything else was negotiable.

I did my best to take care of whatever was truly important, and everything else got done on a crisis basis. Whatever the most current crisis was, that's what I did. No one has any clean underwear at all? Okay, laundry just got moved up to the top of the list. (I had my year's supply of unwashed laundry, btw.... True!) That's how things basically worked.

But we had a lot of love and a lot of fun. We still do, even though we're down to half. (Can I say 'Yay!' here without you thinking I'm terrible?? It IS calmer, and that's a nice thing.....)"

I'm not some amazing person and I never will be. Nor do I need to be. I'm just a good person who loves my family and lives the gospel to the best of my ability. I love the Savior, and hope that love is conveyed to my children. I try to keep my life pure, and trust that Christ's grace will be sufficient for me even though I'm not the amazing girl in a whirl.

And my bottom line to all this is that I hope we would all be less judgmental and critical of others, more gentle with ourselves, and that we would be supportive of each other. If someone can do something I can't, I can wholeheartedly admire that without feeling the need to belittle myself because I don't seem to be able to do that or else demean her in order to bring her down a notch. I would hope we would cheer each other on instead feeling the need to bring each other down.

Okay..... I'm sure this is waaaaaaay more than you EVER wanted to know about this silly poem! I don't know if you'll ever even read a comment to a post that was over a month ago, but oh well..

Take care, sweetie. Enjoy the sweet and good moments of this time in your life, for there are no doubt many.


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October 2005

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