***This is a guest blog post from my sister, Sarah Tomco. She is an English major at Brigham Young University. She is leaving in less than a week to serve a full-time mission for the LDS church in Paraguay.***
Each day is gifted to us in a 24 hour package. A typical and acceptable work day is 8 hours. Ideally, we sleep for another 8 hours. That last 8 hour chunk is ours. One third of our day can be devoted to God, family, friends, backyard barbeques, good books, etc. These 8 hours can be sufficient if these 8 hours are truly dedicated to those most important things. However, in this day and age, work tends to seep into and steal more hours of our precious life than it deserves.
The idea is to prioritize and to give our hearts to each portion of our day, so that we may transition into the next phase of our day without any lingering regrets. Dedicate your time and your heart to whatever it is you’re doing. When you work, work hard. Remember why it is that you work: to support your family financially, to grow, to learn, to serve, to uplift those around you. Do not drudge through your work day: celebrate this opportunity you have to widen your circle of influence and to teach and learn from others.
Then, when you get home, wholeheartedly dedicate and consecrate this time to the people and activities you love. Put at least as much effort into becoming a better husband or wife as you do into getting that desired promotion. Love your children like your life, your happiness, and your sanity depend on it–because they do. Your work does not end when you get home. Help your wife with the dishes, help your 4th grader with his math homework, read your babies stories as they fall asleep. Take your kids camping on the weekends even though it may be far more work than play for you. They will cherish those memories forever, and they will honor your dedication to their childhood. All of these things take time and effort: they are worth it.
If this is how you spend your days, then you can sink into each night with greater peace of mind and greater reason to live. When you rest, dedicate your time to that rest just as you dedicated your time to work and home. Sleep so that your body may have the health and energy to perform even better the next day. You may find ways to rest outside of sleep. Give your heart to reading, meditation, early-morning jogs, whatever gives you an opportunity to rest your mind and taste the sweetness of life.
Remember that each of these facets of life can become sacred and meaningful if dedicated to the right purpose. Let your life be rich in time well spent, not desperate for more or regretful for time foolishly lost.