Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Doing The Next Right Thing

This is something my mother told me the other day. You see, life is hard, and mine is no exception. While I could spend all day figuring out how many millions of people have it harder than me, the crux of the matter, is MY life in hard for ME. I am not living starving in Africa. I am not living in India where women are little more than possessions of men. I am not living in a drug-war infested country. I have not struggled with infertility, homelessness, severe illness or disease, the loss of a child, etc. Nevertheless, my struggles and trials are still hard for me. Knowing that other people have suffered worse things, does not change the fact that I have trials. Knowing that I have healthy children, an adoring husband, and a roof over my head, does not change the fact that life is just flat-out hard. Having said that, having these trials, and struggling with how to move forward through them, also does not make me ungrateful for what I do have. Admitting that things are rough, that times are difficult, doesn't mean that I do not appreciate the blessings I do have. I do have many blessings in my life. I recognize and thank God for those blessings. I enjoy spending time with my children. I enjoy taking care of them and raising them. I love my husband.  I feel I must say that, because there are people in this world who believe that if you complain about one thing, if you admit you are struggling, then they are compelled to tell you how "it's not that bad," "be grateful for what you have," etc. This is neither necessary nor helpful to the struggling individual, or maybe it is just not helpful to me at this time?

At any rate, "Do the next right thing," I do not know what I am supposed to do from here. I do not know what I am supposed to be learning from this experience. I don't know why life is hard for me right now, and why my family is called to suffer and struggle thus far and continue to do so. But I do know what the next right things are. I don't know if my husband should quit his job. I don't know if he should join the military. I don't know if we should stay here for the rest of our lives wasting away in a town with no opportunities nor prospects (I sure hope not!) But, I do know what the next right things are. I do know that we need to continue to pray and study our scriptures. I do know that we are supposed to continue going to church, even though I feel isolated and alone and unnoticed there. I do know that I am supposed to continue doing my visiting teaching, (even though I feel like mine doesn't care about me, and I feel like I am just another number to her. Even though I have asked for visits repeatedly and continue to feel neglected). I do know that I am supposed to continue keeping up with (or trying to) the housework. I do know that it is right to love and raise my children. And so, even though I don't know what the big choices are RIGHT now, I can choose to do the smaller ones. I can choose to do the next right thing, even in the midst of my struggles and trials. And maybe in doing so the way will be made clear to me. But even if it isn't, I will know that though I struggled and nearly drowned, I choose to keep on going. I refused to stand still in the dark whining. I choose to press on and not quit. And somewhere inside, I have to decide that doing my best IS good enough.

And now a quote (on Facebook, I don't know who said it): "Keep your chin up. No one expected you to save the world, otherwise you would have been born wearing a cape and tights. Just do the best you can."

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Screaming In An Empty Room

Some days I just feel like this:

Yeah, because that is how I feel today. This blog is not solely about weight loss, or getting physically healthy. It is about getting mentally and emotionally healthy too.

You know what? It is okay to be mad and frustrated and stressed and upset. And sometimes the only way to relieve to pressure is to blow off some steam. So if you feel you are about to explode, let it out! Scream if you have to, punch a pillow, write a nasty letter to whoever is bugging you. Then, breathe, smooth that pillow out again, and destroy the nasty letter. The point is not to hurt someone or something, the point is to release the pent-up tension before you blow your ever-loving mind. If you keep tucking things down inside you, if you keep stifling the stress and anger inside, and you never let it out in a controlled way, then the tension is going to mount and build, until it releases itself in a non-controlled way. Here's the thing, letting yourself scream for a moment, or choosing to punch a pillow, or write that letter, are all things that YOU choose to do. YOU are the boss of YOUR choices. When YOU choose to not take care of yourself, then you begin to lose that control. You begin to move into a place where the contained bad energy HAS to escape somehow, and it is not going to be controlled when you do it. This does NOT mean that you are excused from the consequences, or that you are not responsible for what may happen. You will be responsible for the outcome, because you chose not to deal with an issue until it was too late.

So when you feel the tension building, choose your vent. Do you want to go into the bathroom or bedroom or outside and yell it out? DO you want to go punch your pillow? Do you want to write a scathing note to that jerk of a boss who treats you like garbage? Once you decide what you want to do, THEN DO IT! I promise you will feel better. And when you feel better, you can tear up that mean note (you aren't really a mean person), you can smooth out your bed (see, the house already looks better) and you can breathe again, (ahhhh, Oxygen!)

Bye Bye!