I usually pretty bad at keeping my own goals. But every once in a while I get something in my mind that I just can't not do.
This past week it was reading the Book of Mormon. (Non-LDS Followers, I know I'm going to lose you here. But let me just warn you, if you run away now, you will miss out on one of the most epic tales of all time. It is a tale of fierce bravery, adventure, insane chance encounters, cheesecake, sleep deprivation, and basically none of those things except sleep deprivation).
I am always reading the Book of Mormon, at least a few verses a day. My Bishop recommended that I study it for 30 minutes a day leading up to my mission. I did pretty well until I moved back home for summer. I still had been reading every day, but not as much as I should have. I calculated earlier last week that I would have to read 8 pages every single day to finish the whole book before entering the MTC. I was discussing this with my used-to-be-roommate/basically mom, when she suggested I should just read a ton at once and get ahead. I was like UM YEAH. SOUNDS GREAT. She was thinking like 20 pages a day for a few days so I can go easy later on.
Then, I got one of my most brilliant ideas ever! (FEEL my sarcasm. FEEL IT. It is DRIPPING from those words like a popsicle in a small child's hand in summer). I said "Wait a second, I should just read the WHOLE thing by the end of this week so I don't have to worry about staying caught up when I'm on vacation later." Roomie/mom said "yeah okay" like she always does. Just agrees with me to make me feel good. I was already in the book of Mosiah, and I was like "yeah I can do this, no biggie." That was Tuesday.
Wednesday I didn't read much, so I decided I needed something to motivate me. They say you're much more likely to meet a goal if you tell other people about it. So I tweeted that I was going to finish by the end of the week, that way I would be accountable to all 56 of my Twitter followers (although I'm fairly certain that like 40% of them are spam accounts. It's whatevs).
Thursday I finished the book of Mosiah. I planned to read the whole book of Alma on Friday, then finish the rest Saturday. For those of you who are unfamiliar, Alma has 63 chapters. BILLIONS of pages (yes, I'm exaggerating, but that's kinda what it seemed like). It came to be about midnight on Friday (so, yes, technically already Saturday. But I still consider it the same day if I haven't gone to bed yet) when I realized that I had 50 chapters left if I was going to finish Alma. I remembered that I had 56 faithful Twitter followers, plus roommate/mom counting on me, and I couldn't let them down!
I live tweeted the whole night, if you wanna check out my tweeeeeeter page. Wait, if you don't already follow me on Twitter, what the heck, why? Oh. You don't have a Twitter account. Okay. That is the only valid excuse. If you have an account though, sheesh. Follow me. Okay. Moving on.
It. Was. Brutal. I'm not going to say how late I was up (or early . . . as the case was . . . ) because my parents would be like are you kidding me that's the worst thing ever you can't live here anymore you aren't our daughter GO LEAVE WE DON'T WANT YOU YOU'RE ADOPTED ANYWAY NO CAKE FOR YOU YOU'RE GROU-
Let's just stop that train before it goes any further. Okay. Deep breaths. Just don't tell my parents that I was up until almost 4:30, doing laundry and sitting in really weird positions to keep myself awake. I was also mostly speed-reading/skimming. Surprisingly, I picked up a good amount of the story. And the cool part it, it's easier to keep track of who everyone is and how they relate to each other when you read that many years worth of history in that small amount of time. It was actually a cool experience, except the part where I was thinking "WHAT HAVE I GOTTEN MYSELF INTO" the whole time.
The cool part is, I didn't hate everything at the end. Usually when I HAVE to keep a goal and I do something unwise like stay up until 4 am to do so, I just hate myself and the whole world. But when I read the concluding words of the 63rd chapter, I felt good. Relieved to be done, yes, but calm. I didn't feel like I was going to hate my life the next day and regret it. And I don't regret it.
I finished the rest over the next two days, and I feel great. I got a little less sleep than normal, yes, but everything worked out. I'm fine. And I actually kept a goal I had. And it was a worthy goal. The scriptures are great. You might be thinking, this is a terrible way to end such an "epic" story that wasn't even that epic. But the point is that we really can push ourselves and accomplish crazy things. And even if those things don't end up being worth it, they might at least make a blog-worthy story.