I had an ah-ha moment this morning. I was thinking about the weekend and how grouchy I was on Saturday, even though we did some fun things. We went for a small hike up in the mountains to see the leaves changing and had a late picnic lunch among glorious Mother Nature. At that point, everything was good. But it changed fairly soon after. I was fixing dinner and chop, chop, chopping away at the vegetables for chow mein. I was feeling overwhelmed, angry and put upon. Everyone was else was playing games, and I was working! And the more I thought about it, the worse it got.
I'd like to say that here is when the ah-ha moment came in to play, and that I caught myself, learned a great lesson, and continued with my fabulous day. That is not what happened. I was grouchy, got more grouchy, tried to contain it but felt it simmering under the surface all evening, ready to erupt at a pin drop, and when I finally went to bed, I was exhausted. After a more restful day Sunday and another night sleep, I am able to look at it a little closer. And this is where I got the ah-ha.
When I feel undervalued, underappreciated, angry, resentful, overwhelmed or just plain exhausted, I need to take a moment and ask myself a few questions:
1) Do I need to ask for help--from my family, from a friend, or most importantly, from Heavenly Father? Did I think to pray?
Am I willing to do that?
2) Am I tired? Do I need to take a nap or a brief rest? Am I willing to do that?
3) Do I need to change what I am doing? Simplify! For example, rather than cook the meal from scratch, cook an easier quicker meal, use partially pre-made items, or even order take out! Am I willing to do that?
4) Do I need to say "No"? Am I willing to do that?
5) Do I need to adjust what I do next time? What can I do differently? Am I willing to make those changes?
Sometimes, the answer to the question "Am I willing to do that?" is no. Sometimes, I don't have the time to take a nap (no matter how bad I want to!); I am not willling to simplify or change what I am doing because I have others relying on me to do a specific job, and I can't tell a friend in need no. However, I can always say a quick prayer, and I can always look back later and see what I can do differently next time.
For me-- after we go on a hike, I'm counting on some naptime for myself afterwards. I'm also going to ask for help if I feel I need it (and not wait for someone to volunteer to help)!
There is something very empowering about realizing that with Christ's help, I can make my weaknesses strong. I can't always change what goes on around me, but I can change how I see things and how I do things.