“Wonderful thing…. No matter how filthy something gets, you can always clean it right up.” – “God,” as played by Morgan Freeman in Bruce Almighty
A few weeks ago, our family had one of “those” weeks. Oh, who am I kidding – we had one of those months. What’s worse, the month was in such a foul mood that it looked like it’d grow into one of those years. 3 out of 5 of us had sinus problems, 2 out of 4 vehicles broke completely down and took days to get fixed (not to mention $$$$), the dryer decided it didn’t like its job, and every bill that could come due did come due – without considering, for one moment, the unexpected extras.
Bills are so uncool that way.
There were other ridiculous things that happened but, for sanity’s sake I seemed to have blocked them out. Allow me to add that all of this came about as we’re planning our oldest daughter’s wedding… in two short months. Her dress? Well, it hasn’t come in yet.
During one of the crazy days, one of my girls pointed out that I never seemed to get stressed or “flip” out. I thought about it for a second and realized that, generally speaking, I don’t. Not over things that can be fixed, anyway. If there will be any flipping on my part, I’ll be when something or someone has been lost to me forever.
Then, well, I do give a flip.
But when you think about it, temporary situations – even those that pile up like building blocks – simply aren’t worth coming undone over. Why risk the damage it can do to your heart, your psyche, your good name – to say nothing of how ridiculous one looks mid-flip.
The next time something unsettling and stressful happens, ask yourself, “Is this a permanent loss or a temporary mess?” As the great quote at the top of the article says, messes can be cleaned up. However, if we’re busy coming unglued, stressing out, demanding, “WHY ME?!?!?” and so forth, the clean up will be put off until we’re worn out from our temper tantrum. By then, chances are that the problem has been compounded, feelings have been hurt, and time has been wasted.
It’s so much better to simply forgo the tantrum, keep your wits, and grab a mop.
Christian Oey says
Great article. I guess we should really decide before we stress out if by stressing out will it solve the problem quicker or change its outcome?…Selah….
Christian – http://www.christianoey.com
Alison @ Femita says
Some very powerful advice here! We all need to let go of small problems a little more. If it’s not the end of the world it’s probably not worth worrying about. Try to focus on the solution instead of the problem.
Alison, I love the whole premise of focusing on the solution instead of the problem. It’s the only way to move forward! – Joi
Hi Joi: I just read through your article on burying the empty nest syndrome in the back yard. We just dropped our only child, a daughter, off at college yesterday. I am so happy for her and yet I feel devastated. I don’t believe I have ever been so sad or cried so much. I know I will get through this and have plans (many listed in your article) to begin my “new” life. Reading your “words of wisdom” helped me feel a little bit better. I am sure that with each passing day, I will have periods of sadness, but I am going to do my best to move on with MY OWN life, still being there whenever she may need me. Thanks again.
Rebecca, my heart absolutely goes out to you! My oldest daughter (Emily) is getting married (and, of course, moving out) in a matter of weeks. As I was showering earlier, it somehow occurred to me that September would be the last month my “little girl” would be living under the same roof as us. Oh, yeah, the tears came down as heavy as the water from the shower!
I finally talked myself out of it – reminding myself that she’d probably be here as often as ever – after all, she has no intention of cooking, so if they want to eat, they’ll have to come here!
I also realized that we’re living under the same sky – the same sun, the same stars, etc. Being a family creates a sacred bond that can’t be broken by miles. In fact, I think you often feel it EVEN more strongly when there are miles between you.
By the time I got out of the shower, I had dried my eyes and regained my sense of focus and sense of celebration… celebrating the fact that we raised a beautiful, intelligent daughter and that she will always be that beautiful, intelligent daughter – just as your daughter will always be your’s.
No one else can really understand what we moms go through!
Congratulations on your daughter going to college – what an important and wonderful time for her. My very best wishes! – Joi