Thursday, January 26, 2023

Things Done and Not Done

 This past December was a really busy month for me. I almost always make a detailed To-Do List for each new month, but I didn't get around to making one for December--a rare lapse for the structured, organized, and disciplined Donna! There was too much going on and I had to mostly focus on just getting the basics done each day. I did however make a quick little goals list on a Post-it note one night when, among other things, my lack of monthly list was stressing me out. 

I made four "Dec. Goals," and I only met one of them! πŸ˜† I'm normally a goal-setter and keeper, but not so much last month! At least not as far as keeping or achieving the goals went. But I have to say on my own behalf that I'm pleased with my personal growth in my attitude about this. In the past, I would have put a lot of pressure on myself to achieve these things (I'm a classic Upholder), but I don't really do that anymore, at least not for things like this. The trials of life have mellowed me out and helped me to focus on what matters most. I still like to do what I set out to do, but I've learned to cut myself slack when life gets a little crazy. And that is a very freeing way to live!

As for the goals, here's a quick(ish) report on them:

1. Finish the OT: I'd been reading and studying the Old Testament for my daily scripture reading for about 18 months and wanted to finish it by the end of 2022. But I would have had to double or triple up on my reading in December in order to make that happen, and I didn't really have the time most days to do that. So instead, I kept up at my usual study pace and finished reading the Old Testament a few days ago. It doesn't matter that it didn't end nice and neatly with the calendar year; the important thing is that I read scriptures every day, and I read every verse of the entire Old Testament for the first time in my life!

2. Finish Part 1 of training and send it in again: Ohhhh, this one. πŸ™„ This was for my medical transcription training that I've been doing since last spring. I finished up Part 1 of the actual transcription training where I listen to a (pretend) doctor's voice and type out what he says, printed out all 300+ pages, and sent it in to be evaluated. I was so disappointed not to get glowing feedback about it in November; in fact, it was quite the opposite. I was stung by the criticism of what I thought was high-quality work. This was still training, after all, and most of the people doing this program are totally new to transcription and advanced medical terminology. 
I didn't realize how picky they were about having hardly any errors in any of it. 

I stewed about it for a few days and then decided to swallow my pride and do as they asked and go through the whole thing and fix it up to their (::cough::extremely high and unreasonable::cough::) standards. I wanted to get it all done in December and send it back in by the end of the year. But because of the busy-ness of the month, I wasn't getting very much done with it and ultimately decided to shelve it until January when life got back to normal. 

It now being January, I'm happy to report that I've started working on it again and have a new goal to finish up with it and send it back in by winter's end at the latest. This is much more reasonable, and it's not going to make any difference in the long run. Actually, it could make a good difference because I'm not rushing it and am combing through it very thoroughly and fixing up every last thing that I can find (because of their ::extremely high and unreasonable:: standards!). It's time-consuming and painstaking work and I'm glad I didn't try to do this all last month! This is a goal I'm glad I didn't meet.

3. Go to the temple every week as my gift to the Savior 🀍: This is the goal that I did meet, and I'm so happy that it was the one I achieved! It was by far the most important and impactful one. At the beginning of the holiday season I thought about what I could do for my Savior, He who has done and continues to do so much for me, and decided that I would attend and serve in His holy house every week for the whole month. I made sure to set aside the time for this, even during challenging weeks when a lot was going on (including the crazy week before Christmas that included divorce court, two trips to the emergency room for Bentwood, wrestling meets for the boys, and John's winter band concert!). 

(Obvious disclosure, the grounds didn't quite look like this in December! 😁)

I've never been to the temple for four weeks in a row (it actually turned out to be five going into January), and I absolutely loved it. Two of the times were for my five-hour shifts as an ordinance worker, and two were for endowment sessions and initiatories. Doing this was so good for me, and it truly blessed my life. I believe some special blessings happened because of it. That's what the Lord does--you give to Him, and he returns it to you ten-fold. I love my Savior and His temple so much. I've missed it this month and wish I could still go every week. I'm so glad that I did that last month as my gift to Him. If there had to be one goal to focus on--which there was!--that was the right one.  

4. Make my reading goal for the year: Well if you read my blog regularly (and why wouldn't you? 😜) you know that this didn't happen. I wrote about it here and here. I would have had to read like a maniac throughout the month to get that done, or read a bunch of very short books, and that wasn't happening. And it's fine; it really doesn't matter!

I guess the point of this post is to say that oftentimes in life, some things get done and some things don't. As long as you're doing what matters most, it's okay. Last month, just getting through the month with my health and sanity intact was a big accomplishment. Add in my temple goal and I was golden (or goalden πŸ˜‰). This is a big step forward for me in letting go of perfectionism and managing expectations for myself in a realistic, more flexible way. I still love To-Do Lists and getting things done and I'll always be an Upholder and a goal-setter--that's just who I am and I like that about myself--but I'm learning how to do it better.