I was talking to my daughter on the phone the other day and she was having what we lovingly call a "melt-down." She is in college and feeling lost, should she stick with her chosen major, should she change it, what classes should she take, how is she going to pay for all those classes and more. She was telling me about a video she watched about people in her age bracket having a "Quarter-Life Crisis." Now I don't know which video she was watching, but here is one of the many that I found on YouTube.
I had never heard of a Quarter-Life Crisis, but as she talked and shared how she was feeling I was thinking about how similar I was feeling. I am not 18-25 when apparently this phenomenon can happen, but I did realize that I am in the age range where people do experience a mid-life crisis. We are now an empty nest for the most part (our kids are coming and going from college, jobs, missions, etc.) and I have been a stay-at-home mom for years. What is a stay-at-home mom supposed to do, when the mom part of the equation is no longer needed? Am I now just a stay-at-home woman? Now I know my kids would say they still need me, as in the melt-down phone call from my daughter the other day. But let's face it, I am no longer driving kids back and forth to school, helping out in class, going on field trips, driving kids to sporting practices and events, church activities and so much more.
Now don't get me wrong, I love my free time, but the problem is, I am not quite sure what to do with it. Should I get a job, should I push my stamping and scrapbooking business more, should I keep pursuing being a professional organizer, do I focus most of my time on community service or a mix of all of those things. Like my daughter, I am feeling lost, I am feeling like I am not sure what direction to go. I keep praying and keep trying things, but so far I don't have strong feelings for one direction or another.
At church yesterday there was something in one of our lessons that really struck a chord with me about feeling success. Honestly, other than having amazing children, I feel like all my other endeavors have been failures. In Lesson 11 of Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Lorenzo Snow, it said this:
There is a course that men and women may pursue wherein there will be no failure. Whatever disappointments may arise or seeming failures may result, there will be in reality no failure, as a general thing. . . . There have been times when it seemed as though we were moving backward; at least, it has to those who were not fully enlightened in regard to the mind and will of God. The Church has passed through very strange experiences, and the people have made great sacrifices. . . . But we have come along through these sacrifices, and as a people there has been no failure. Why has there been no failure? Because the people, as a whole, have had their minds fixed upon the true principles of life, and they have conformed to their duty. . . . The people generally have had the Spirit of the Lord, and have followed it. Hence there has been no failure. So it may be with individuals. There is a course for every person to pursue in which there will be no failure. It will apply to temporal as well as spiritual matters. The Lord has given us the keyword in these verses that I have read from the Book of Doctrine and Covenants: "If your eye be single to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you, and that body which is filled with light comprehendeth all things. Therefore sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to God." [D&C 88:67-68]
It meant a lot to me when I read "there will be in reality no failure" as my Heavenly Father gently reminded me that though I am not a huge financial success, I have tried to do most things in my life with Him in mind. Granted I am still in my apparent mid-life crisis, I still don't quite know what to do with myself and I still am feeling lost. But I also believe that I will find my way, I will see the direction my Heavenly Father would have me go as long as I keep seeking His will in all I do. Now, what to do next, I guess I should at least go do the dishes . . . baby steps!