Late on day 3 of NaBloPoMo, I began questioning what I had gotten myself into. I was feeling tired and frustrated by the regular demands and continual interruptions in my day. I could barely formulate a sentence, let alone an entire post. I’d stomp away from my computer, silently insisting I had nothing left in me to write. Then, I’d admonish myself for my defeatist attitude, before passive-aggressively slamming shut a kitchen cabinet. Nothing was flowing, and I was stinking mad about it. For several hours, it wasn’t pretty around here, because I was choosing to swim against the current.
Though I didn’t see it initially, I eventually realized I was making a choice. Several choices, actually. I made the choice to participate in NaBloPoMo, and I was choosing to stay in. I chose to not ask for help with the animals when I needed it and chose to vent my frustration at my daughter and my husband. I chose to snap commands at the puppy to “hurry up” when I took him out and chose not to enjoy the crisp, refreshing air. The list could go on, because my toddler-like behavior certainly did.
As a parent, I’ve tried to teach my children to not only be aware of the choices they make but to take responsibility for them. When my daughter comes to me and complains she’s behind on her homework because she’s “so overwhelmed” and doesn’t have enough time to do it all, I remind her of all the time she has to do __________________ and that she is responsible for the choices she makes. You can imagine how much my 16 year old appreciates this. (Almost as much as I would have in the throes of my hissy fit Sunday.)
I went to bed Sunday night and tossed and turned. I wasn’t yet satisfied with the post planned for yesterday. I wasn’t happy about the chores left undone. And, I wasn’t happy about the way I behaved. However, I knew I needed to let all of it (especially this blog)go, so I could get some rest.
Monday would be a new day, I resolved.
And, it was. The morning started at 4:15 with a puppy (and me) still on Daylight Savings Time. His yelps pulled me from the warm covers and down the stairs into the biting cold morning air. I wiped the sleep from my eyes and watched little Keebler greet the day with boundless excitement because that’s how dogs are; they live in the present moment, not yesterday and not tomorrow. I let his enthusiasm pulse up the leash and enter my heart. I was given a fresh start, a clean slate to make new choices–better choices–starting with a bit of forgiveness.
I tend to beat myself up when I don’t like the way I’ve behaved or handled a particular situation. It usually doesn’t usually last long, but it still takes up valuable time and energy. Time and energy I could choose to spend doing something worthwhile, like writing. Yesterday, in the wee hours of the morning, I realized I was at a crossroads: continue Sunday’s tantrum and berating, or start fresh, like the puppy sitting next to me. Knowing I didn’t want to carry Sunday’s drama into the start of my week, I called myself out, much in the same way I do my daughters and others I’ve coached. I reminded myself that with each commitment, slammed door, action, or reaction, I am choosing my behavior and responses; I am either a victim/martyr or I am empowered, but I can’t simultaneously be both.
With that, I forgave myself for the humanness of my behavior the day before, placed the puppy on his bed, grabbed my laptop, and began to type. I chose to reignite my enthusiasm by first remembering I was making a choice.
Do you ever call yourself out for your own behavior?
(Whew, made it to (and through) day 5! Only, 25 more to go. :))