Although I like to always remain positive and try to show you how to be happy there are times for me when it seems like a dark cloud parks itself over my head. I have been using an app to track my cycle to try to identify if it is just certain days of the month and it may be, but if you’ve had one of those days, it can feel like your whole world is caving in. I want to be completely honest because who does it help if I pretend to be up up up all the time and then you feel badly when you have a down day. We all have down days once in a while. So today was one of those days for me.
As I sat here staring at a sink full of dishes, laundry that is half folded up on the bar in the kitchen and half in the basket on the stool next to it, I just felt like throwing in the towel. At least I finished writing an article that is due tomorrow, but that doesn’t make the house any cleaner. In my world a messy house, while tolerable for a short period of time, does take a toll on the mental state.
It seems like the kids were a bit on each other today too, criticizing and ungrateful of sorts and I fell into a bit of an annoyed, “Why are you so ungrateful?” funk. But being the coach I had to jump in to ask myself (which is why I am writing this now) what have I done to contribute to this problem? And rather than tackle the dishes or fold the laundry, or tell the kids to ‘just get along,’ I went to the ER of my email and started typing out a long journal entry to myself, to try to figure it all out. So here is part of what came out. I wanted to share the raw truth, so you can also see how using journaling can help you when you are feeling down too.
Why do I feel so annoyed and agitated? I can get so down on myself at times too. And I think that is why I take out on the kids. My own personal frustration….my own imperfections I project onto them. I am not supportive or loving towards myself sometimes and I expect perfection (hard to admit it but more than likely true) so that is what I expect from them too and at times I let them know if they are not measuring up. I point out their tendency to complain or criticize. How dare I do that! Can I not just be ok to be me? Can I not just accept myself for who I am without all the pushing and criticism of myself and then accept their imperfections too?
I have changed so much in the past 4 years I have to go back to the basics and see how I have reinvented myself even w 3 kids. It’s quite amazing really. Not only have we recovered from an affair (yes it was me…read the book), and saved our marriage from divorce, we’ve blossomed into so much more!
So if I focus on what I am thankful for the list could look something like this:
- husband who loves me and understands me and loves our kids
- 3 healthy girls who are smart and funny and pretty
- pets to care for
- food to eat
- a beautiful house with a pool
- a yard with space to run
- friends who support me
- a network of moms who are committed to being great
- books to read
- computer to learn and share my world with the world
- internet to help me broadcast my message
- air conditioning
- washing machine and dryer so I don’t have to handwash that shit
- free time to build a business I love
- brains to be able to figure out technology
- determination to finish what I start
- inspiration and insight come naturally
- faith that supports me even when I feel doubtful
- serendipities that surprise me
- fresh flowers – we just planted some out front today
- hot tea
- a supportive family in my mom and sister
- a nice mini-van
- freedom to say what I want
- being alive in 2013 with all the many opportunities for women
- the unfailing spirit who guides me, even when I don’t see it clearly I can trust
Changing my perspective and focusing on being grateful is the best way to let go of overwhelm and frustration. I am seeing that now. I sometimes wish I were farther than I am and want to rush to the finish line, but I have to remind myself that there is no finish line, there is only the journey. How will I spend this time, while I am looking at this scenery, the sink full of dishes and the stack of laundry that isn’t folding itself? Will I complain and wish it were different or will I look for the beauty and yet not hold too tightly that when it changes I am disappointed? Will I be able to embrace the next moment too? To lightly touch each moment with my presence and then like a butterfly let it go and touch the next moment as it is.
April, slow down and accept yourself and the journey and be patient starting with you. (tweet this) Only then will your patience and acceptance flow outward towards others. I have so much to learn, but thankfully the journey is not over.