Some days I just don’t feel like it. I don’t feel like doing the mom-thing. The wife-thing. The writer-thing. I just want to curl up by the fireplace with a good book and disappear for a while. And I’ve learned over the years that it’s okay to feel that way. It’s pretty normal, actually.
That doesn’t usually mean I get to disappear for a while. But just knowing that I’m not a bad mom-wife-writer for wanting to, makes me feel better.
We all have those days…you know…the ones where the baseball uniforms are still dirty twenty minutes before you have to leave, and Eight and Eleven are arguing constantly about who is the better hitter, when Fifteen comes down the stairs and says, “I need to be at work in forty minutes.” (Now you’re contemplating how you are supposed to be in two places at once, while calmly scolding Fifteen for not letting you know sooner.) And no one has had dinner yet and all that’s in the fridge is cheese, milk and a two week old apple. So you realize you’ll be driving the boys to baseball in one direction then driving back past home and going the other direction to take Fifteen to work and buying everyone fast food along the way. Then you hear your hubby’s voice, in one of those bubbles over your head, saying “We really need to save money and the best way to do that is to conserve gas by streamlining your errands and planning ahead for dinners.” Sigh.
Yes…those days. We all have them. Some of us have them more often than not. And those are the days when I desperately need a dose of perspective. As frustrating and annoying as all those little things are, they are part of being a mom. I signed up for this and one day I’ll look back and be glad I did. Even if, right now, I’m questioning the sanity of that decision. Perspective tells me that I’ve got it pretty good and in the grand scheme of things, I have nothing to complain about. My kids are great kids. My husband is loving and supportive. And I know God cares about me. Short of tattooing it on my arm, I need to find a way to turn my attitude toward gratitude. (I have been mulling over the thought of a tattoo. That would certainly be a good reminder!)
I may not want to clean my house, but then I think of the women I know, half a world away, who sweep their dirt floors every day to keep them tidy. (Literally, they sweep the dirt off of the dirt.) I may think I’m going to combust if I listen to one more petty argument about who gets the front seat, but then I think of the friend who desperately wanted children and never could have them. I may be annoyed with hubby when I think he’s being mule-headed (cuz he is, of course ;)) but then I think of the friend who lost her husband suddenly and way too soon.
I’m not having a great day, today. I’m really frustrated. But if I go through this day wallowing in that messy place, at the end of the day, things won’t be any better because I’ve wallowed. However, if I lift my eyes and offer a prayer of thanks for the good in my life. If I go from attitude to gratitude…the problem I’m dealing with will probably still be here when I put my head on the pillow. But I will have had a much better day in the process. And those around me will, too. So, I choose gratitude.
How about you? What are your perspective bringers? How do you shift into gratitude? As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.
Photo credit: Reading by the Fire by moonlighbulb on creative commons & Gratitude tattoo by gisele13 on creative commons.