Thursday, February 25, 2010

"Now go do your best. Be bold, and mighty forces will come to your aid. Goethe said that."


When my husband disappeared that night and I realized he had gone to bed without so much as one word to me, I was sad. I gave him a get-out-of-jail-free card, knowing he was (almost) as exhausted as I was. Still, I enumerated in my mind all I had done that day and started to feel upset. But, I was too tired to make much of it and went to bed myself. I woke up around 2:30 with the baby, then again at 5:30 to start the previous day all over again – minus the grocery part (‘cause, really, who needs to do that two days in a row?).

As soon as the quiet loneliness of the house enveloped me that morning, the feelings that I was too tired to give thought to the previous night began to boil over. I felt overworked, under- loved, and under-appreciated – the strength and combination of which overwhelmed me. I was drowning and taking note of how bitter the water tasted. My natural inclination was to blame the other adult someone in my house. To point the finger. Only, I realized I didn’t want to feel angry, to villainize my husband, to make him my enemy. I tried to remember that at the heart of things, he is a good man. . .

I cried.

Then, I prayed. Not to feel these feelings. Not to make my husband out to be a villainous cad.

In the shower, I cried (and prayed) some more. I thought about giving him a talking to. Giving him a what for and all that stuff.

As I went to leave, I noticed M’s lunch pail and cereal bowl on my front seat. “Why did he leave this like this? I pulled all my stuff out of the truck when I used it yesterday! Why is the car so messy?” Then I remembered he drops off and picks up the baby and the hauling him into the house the day before hadn’t left room enough to bring those things in. I may have 15 arms for things like that, but my mere mortal husband only has 2.

I prayed again.

Then I realized I was teaching the lesson on Sunday in Relief Society. It was about moral agency – our freedom to choose.

Hmmmm. I wondered what Heavenly Father was trying to teach me.

As I continued to pray not to be angry or upset, my mood lifted. I saw things more judiciously. I felt more centered. As the day progressed, I felt. . . happy. Gratitude returned.

As my ill feelings were mending, I e-mailed M. It was a test of his love -Reply: he-loves-me; No Reply: he-loves-me-not. He replied. (He loves me!) We joked via electronic ping-pong. The world started spinning again.

So, what did I learn?

I learned happiness is a choice. So is anger. We are never forced into one or the other.
I learned that there are traps at every turn, especially on days that start with waking up the baby at 5:30 a.m. and end on your feet in the kitchen at 9:30 p.m.
I learned that when I rely on my Heavenly Father, I am strong.
I learned that my husband and I are in the same boat, paddling in the same direction, so there’s no sense smacking him against the head with the oar when I find him taking a hard-won break.

[Title quote is from "Almost Famous"]


Jen said...

and i have learned that you are very insightful and it would do me good to read this post again. cuz I soooo have days like that! what a wonderful way to handle that situation. thanks for helping me see that!! love and miss you by the way!

Trina said...

not any better time to have read that message than now! thanks

Jonathan and Katherine Earl said...

So well put! --Katherine

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