Early this morning, 5:40 a.m. to be exact, I was headed to the Salt Lake Airport to drop my son off for his 7:30 a.m. flight to Iowa. Tyler, my second son, was leaving to continue his mission service for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Tyler had been scheduled to leave for Iowa on Sept. 21, 2020, but the trip got postponed.
Prior to this, Tyler began doing what is now called “Home MTC.” It was where he would be learning Spanish and other skills to be a good teacher. It was over zoom—as that is how most of us communicate now! I remember, before he started on August 5, 2020, I wondered how we were going to get through six weeks of him being a missionary in our home while we lived our normal lives. As a mom, I felt a burden for a bit…that I had to add one more thing to my already loaded plate. Yet, walking one morning, this simple thought came to me. Just approach this new thing like everything else…with the words “first things first.”
I have learned how important these words are many times as a mom but continually need simple reminders to use them. When I look at the big picture of something, like a task or a goal, my brain tries to figure everything out at once and it goes into overwhelm. The “HOW” to do things comes one step at a time for me. It is when I break it down into small steps—that anything I’m asked to do or desire to accomplish becomes manageable.
Connie Sokol, a mentor of mine, often said, “do things in chewable chunks.” I love this visual—not just chunks but chewable ones, like a piece of steak. It takes some time to chew through each piece. That yummy steak looks so good before it is cut but is only enjoyed when cut up into pieces and then each piece is chewed. I believe this is how motherhood is…. taking each day and cutting it into pieces and chewing each bite that life gives us. The way to do this is with these words, “first things first.”
As life would go, on Sept. 16th, I tested positive for COVID and all a sudden found myself in a ten-day quarantine that was unexpected…the following day my husband was positive too. I began to think about how this was going to work for my son who was ready to leave for his mission—and now it was going to be postponed. That is why he didn’t leave on Sept. 21. Again, the words came to me, “Becky—first things first.”
First get better, focus on what you can, and the rest will fall into place. Once better, the next thing came too… and it was to finish getting Tyler ready to leave and wait for his rescheduled flight. We had a few days to finish getting ready, so that is where our focus went.
I invite you to put these words in your life too! FIRST THINGS FIRST! When you feel overwhelmed, anxious, or even just unsure of what to do next, begin by saying the words “first things first” in your mind. Pause and really think—what needs to be done next. The idea will come of what needs to be done and you just focus on that one thing and once done, move on to the next thing. I know it sounds simple. It is–but by saying the words it awakens the power of decision making within!
Despite the uncertainty of life—these words are a gamechanger! Check out my shop on www.becomingwithbecky.com
You can find a “First Things First” vinyl sticker. ($4 with free shipping) I love putting these words in my life where I can seem them to get a daily reminder. These words are ones to try out!