Tuesday, October 22, 2013

the self-pity slide

Sometimes life gets to be too much.

Maybe I'm the only one to ever feel this way, but some days it is all too easy to get overwhelmed.

Surely I'm not alone in this, right?

I'm not talking about the big, important, life-changing events here. No, I mean the incredibly unimportant, miniscule things that shouldn't have any sort of real impact on your day.

Yesterday was one of those days for me. Well, I guess technically it started the night before. Nathan and I watched a movie after the kids went to bed and I fell asleep part way through. That's a pretty common occurrence in our house...and by "pretty common" I actually mean "pretty much every night."

So for some reason, I woke up at 11 pm cranky. No real reason, just plain not happy. I was ready to go to bed, but Conan had spilled something on my phone yesterday morning (again) and so my phone was in pieces drying out (again). That left me without an alarm.

Yes, there was probably an actual clock somewhere in our house that had an alarm, but I wasn't about to go looking for it. Instead I was just going to use Nathan's phone. The problem was, his phone needed to be charged. Not a problem really, though, because my sweet husband told me he would charge it and bring it to me when he came to bed after the movie. I think I muttered something along the lines of, "Fine. Night," and stumbled to bed.

So then I woke up at 2 am with the tv still on in the living room and lights still on elsewhere in the house. I clawed my way out of the bed and went to ask Nathan ever-so-sweetly if he was going to come to bed. Or at least as the loving, considerate wife I am when I wake up at 2 in the morning I meant to ask him sweetly. Pretty sure it came out as more of a mix between a whine and a growl, though.

See, there's this thing about when you let little things get to you. They start you down this path of feeling bad for yourself where every little thing that happens makes you start saying, "poor me!" That path, though, isn't very easy to get off of--it's a bit like that best slide you ever went on as a kid. In my case that would be the giant red bumpy slide on the playground for the lower elementary that everybody waited in line for, even if you had to spend half your recess standing and waiting.

So, back to my bad mood. If I hadn't been half asleep when I got up at 2 I would have been able to see myself getting closer to the edge of that slide...

Fast forward a few hours, past the strange dreams of everybody I know turning into werewolves. The alarm went off like it should have, but I hit snooze too many times and woke up late, leading to me getting Raiden out of bed late.

I was inching closer to the slide...

Both kids ask for cereal, but I'm a terrible mother and can't even keep clean bowls in my house and I have to wash bowls for both of them and find spoons...because somehow we have a bazillion forks out of the sets we got when we got married but are down to only 3 spoons (which I did manage to fix, so now we have spoons, they just don't match!) and wash those, too.
Now skip forward a bit more to 8:00. Raiden ate breakfast super slow, so she still needed to brush her teeth, put on shoes and socks, and brush her hair before the bus came at 8:13. That should be plenty of time for a 6 year old, but it wasn't. 2 minutes before the bus came she was sitting on the couch putting her shoes on. The problem was, she was too busy telling her brother he couldn't color on the cardboard box to get her shoes actually on her feet. So now I'm yelling, telling her to get her shoes on her feet while I'm trying to brush her hair and at the same time telling her that Conan has just as much right to color on the box they were (both) playing with the day before.

...feet are right on the edge of that slide now...

She doesn't know where her backpack is, so while she's putting on her other shoe I run up to her bedroom because I remember telling her to get her backpack off of the middle of the stairs over the weekend and I get down with the missing bag and she doesn't know where her coat is and she's still telling Conan not to color anything like pictures on the box and I find the missing coat and put it on her as I'm pushing her out the door and trying to explain again that Conan can color on the cardboard box because we have lots and the bus is coming...

...and I'm sitting at the top of the slide now...
...not the self-pity slide...

And then Nathan gets up and asks me if I'm having a good morning.

That was it, the last nudge I needed to send me down that slide. It didn't help to get to class and find out I got a 77% on my first dosimetry test and then listen that afternoon to my professor for the physics of radiation course talk about how disappointed he was in some of our tests and that some of us may want to consider whether or not we really want to be in the field of medical physics...especially since I knew going in that I wasn't really prepared for the test.

not that same slide...and Conan is much happier!
And that self-pity one? It's definitely a good slide in that sense.

Yesterday was one of those days where I questioned just about every decision I've ever made and came to the conclusion that I'd chosen wrong pretty much every time. Funny how a bad mood can color your whole outlook like that, huh?

When I was little, I sometimes resented having to memorize Bible verses. I didn't see the purpose, to tell you the truth. I had spent so much time learning how to find any verse I wanted to, so why in the world would I need to memorize stuff?

Apparently, my parents knew what they were talking about (they have the annoying tendency to do that--the whole "being right" thing). Memorizing verses lets them pop into your head at just the right time.

Like this one:
"But He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.'" (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Days like yesterday show me just how weak I really am. I can't keep a spotless house or get my kids to put their coats in the coat closet. I let my temper fly for dumb things. I let the first half of the semester get away from me and didn't do well on my first exams in medical physics. I write whole pages I don't like.

But you know what? That's okay.

"For when I am weak,
then I am strong."
(v. 10)

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