Last night I went to bed at 10, carefully setting my alarm for midnight, so I could wake up and register for fall semester. I slept through the alarm, and therefore, didn’t set a morning alarm. But the Lord is kind, I woke up naturally at 6:07am, which is absolutely the latest I could possibly get up and still be on time to my work at the omelet kitchen.
I rushed around getting ready, slowing down only to enjoy a unhurried bowl of Marshmallow Mateys—but that decision came back to bite me. When I was halfway to the car I looked down and saw that one of my shoes was a purple peep toe and the other a green flat with a bow. Too late to change, I went until noon wearing two completely different shoes.
This past fall semester, I was organized and disciplined and I got the grades to prove it. By the end, I just assumed I had broken myself of the high school Mariah’s sloppiness and her preference for finding a way out of sticky situations, rather than just being prepared enough to avoid getting into them in the first place. But looking down at my mismatched shoes, as I struggled my way through my morning classes was like looking at a physical manifestation of my relapse out of disciplined living.
General Conference is always a spiritual booster and this past conference I went into it with a legitimate and specific question on my mind. The question was my little contribution to my endeavors at living an organized life, and it seemed that every single speaker had something to say just for me.
I took notes on the talks and highlighted things specific to my situation in pink. As I gazed down at my wonderfully rose-colored notes and just assumed that after that last Sunday session everything would be different because prophets of God had instructed me personally. Yet, less than a week later, my mismatched shoes are telling me that my discipline and planning are as much in shambles as they ever were.
Sometimes we get into these phases in our lives where we can almost tangibly feel that we’re turning over a new leaf only, to find that it’s a rotisserie leaf; just as apt to turn back over as it was to be flipped initially. I read in my Healthy Living course that “the greatest determinant of persistence is success,” so to persist in something, we weak humans demand visible and frequent reward.
We can be so much better than that. Though I’m frustrated living with the adage that old habits die hard’-they do die, and sometimes it takes persistence that doesn’t come with immediate reward to really progress. Sometimes you just have to wait. Sometimes you just have to change to a pair of shoes that match without writing it up as a reason that organization is destined to be missing from your life. And that darned rotisserie leaf will one day leave the spit permanently and beautifully turned over to the side of that new and better you.