Well, I started to think, I know I cannot do everything, but I sure make myself feel like I need to. Why is this? Why can't I just be happy doing the best I can? I know I am doing the things that I know matter most, right?
That's when it hit me. Have I ever really fleshed out what my personal priorities are? I know in general what is good from parents and church, but what do I really believe? If I know this, I know by what standard to judge my efforts and will most likely be more satisfied with my efforts.
So I sat down and figured out, in general, what value I place on various aspects of my life (e.g. family relationships, school, personal development, etc) and in what order I would rank these categories. It's still a work in progress, but it was interesting to set up. How liberating to put down on paper what is important to me so that I do not feel guilty when judging my own actions by external criteria. I can be okay with not getting to the laundry or even doing some reading if I indeed was using my time according to my personal value system.
This is not to say that standards set by family rules or religion are unnecessary; quite to the contrary, they provide us with truth and principles of happiness to gain testimony of for ourselves (this takes effort, struggling, honesty, and heartfelt prayer--but if we seek, we will find what is true and real for ourselves). I feel it is important for each person to live according to his or her own conscience, holding ourselves accountable internally so that we can then be truly accountable to others.
Now, this may make sense only in my head. But I felt the urge to jot it down, maybe just so I can stumble on it later.