Sometimes it just seems like nothing goes right. That your parade of daily adventures seem to be taking you down a road that serves no purpose but to provide entertainment to the universe. When every moment of the day goes so horribly wrong that you actually start to laugh (a verge-of-a-nervous breakdown laugh..not the good kind). When everyone else seems to have it together and if it can go wrong it has…I know you’ve been there…
I’ve been there too. I used to ask WHY a lot…Why can’t either of my children be “healthy” or “normal”? Why did I get played the crappy health card? Why does no one ever offer to help me when they bend over backwards for so & so? Why don’t I have it all together like______ (insert the name of your born organized, not a hair out of place, Stepford wife with her Better Homes and Gardens house and 2.5 golden, perfectly dressed and behaved, adorable children-here)? How do all these other women have nutritious, gluten free dinners on the table by 5 every night, their houses clean, and still (even want) to have “quality time” with their families instead of hiding in the bathroom hoping no one will find them? Why can’t the puppy just this once leave my shoes alone…
I really identify with the e-card going around that says “All these moms are on Pinterest making their own soap and reindeer-shaped treats, and I’m all like “I took a shower and kept the kids alive.” If I had a mission statement for my job as a homemaker and mother it would be We’re all still here at the end of the day….pets (and cabbage) included. In fact, for a while that was actually how I measured the success of the day because in the past things have actually been THAT bad.
But the truth is that pity parties don’t actually accomplish anything. They certainly don’t make us feel better. They don’t change anything that’s happening to us. Pity parties just cause you to stall out in the depths of the circumstances you find yourself in. Feeling sorry for yourself keeps you from moving forward and doing something, anything, to improve the situation. When you find yourself in the midst of saying “poor me” and “no one understands what I go through” take a look around. It isn’t very hard at ALL to find someone out there who has it worse than you do.
Make a list of your blessings-and yes, there are ALWAYS blessings for you to list-even if it’s just being thankful that you woke up and are breathing (remember my mission statement from above?). Get up and DO something. Anything. Idle hands give you too much time to dwell on yourself and your problems. I am a firm believer in the statement “Work will set you free”. Set a timer for 15 minutes and do something. Clean something. Bake something. I have a chronic health condition that affects my mobility among other things….I am a firm believer in move it or lose it~an object in motion tends to stay in motion. Keep moving.
Every day is a new day. Most of the time I feel better about something after sleeping on it. When the doctors thought my daughter had lymphoma I was a emotional wreck. I tried my best to hold it together for her, but didn’t do an awesome job at it. It took a couple of nights to wake up feeling “better” enough to get up and say what are we going to do about it? Action makes you feel like you are in control, not being controlled by your emotions, situation, others, whatever.
I wouldn’t trade my children for anything. I did however ask a doctor one day in the midst of a pity party, “why couldn’t I have a normal child”. I now realize how incredibly boring that would be (and yes, I know there’s no such thing as normal), but the doctor said something that really stuck with me. He replied, “Because God knew you were the best person to take care of them“. Instead of dismissing his words as a platitude, I really thought about how things had worked out in our lives. My daughter’s JRA has many symptoms similar to my autoimmune issues…who better to teach her how to budget her time (or spoons in the autoimmune illness world) and cope with the struggles of fatigue and pain? Then there’s my son, whom God brought to us from the other side of the world? Knowing, even when we didn’t, the challenges he would face as he grew from infancy? What a humbling revelation to think that God thought I was up to the task of being given these precious children.
Yes, there are times I fail to see their preciousness. Yes, I am just as guilty of blowing up the balloons and setting out the decorations to throw a pity party-to-end-all-pity-parties when life beats me down. There are days that I feel like I have been a contestant on the show “Wipeout” and I just can’t take one more hit. But I don’t stay down for long. There is always something to be thankful for. Everything has a reason. Everything that you go through makes you who you are. You can’t always control what happens to you, but you CAN control who you are when you come through. Many times people have told me, “I don’t know how you do it”. First off, I don’t. God does. There are countless time I am amazed to still be putting one foot in front of the other and I know that it’s only by God’s strength that I’m not in bed unable to function. Another reason is if I don’t think that I can’t do something…then I can do it. That and the fact that I believe that you always get back up and keep moving-it’s not about wanting to, it’s about not having any other choice.
In the famous words of Vince Lombardi, “It does not matter how many times you get knocked down, but how many times you get up…..”
Another favorite of mine is “They say that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. At this point I should be able to bench-press a BUICK.”
Throw out those party favors and do something positive!
For more information about the “Spoon Theory” see http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com/wpress/category/the-spoon–theory