I found an old blog I had archived years ago and forgotten. Look at what I posted on May 17, 2008 - it's awesome! (BTW, that 4 yo is 10 now, we don't eat soy anymore, we did move into a bigger house, and I still love washing dishes.)
If you are feeling frustrated, trapped, or otherwise wanting to run away from home, read this:
I had a great Mother’s Day.
My husband pampered me with the perfect combination of flowers, attention and time off. But come Monday I had to ask myself time and again, what is my problem? Instead of feeling renewed I wanted to claw my eyes out.
The littlest thing triggered me.
“Get me more soy milk.”
“Please? Can I get a please? WHERE IS THE PLEASE?!“
I felt like a caged animal.
I pursed my lips and paced around the house – a feat which is both easy and hard to do.
Easy because the house is so small. Hard because there are usually toys on the floor, the couches, the coffee table, the kitchen table, the kitchen bench, the kitchen floor and if they could be, suspended in air by the sheer volume of their presence.
In fact, come to think of it, we should move. The house is too small, my kids are demanding and I hate my SAHM day job.
Whoa! Back up a bit! Where did this come from?
When Law of Attraction Screws With Your Head
I’ve been practicing the Law of Attraction for years now. I know how to manage your thoughts to find a better-feeling place.
Appreciate your kids. That’s it. Think good thoughts. You love them.
Ok, appreciate the house. You love this neighborhood. Think about that.
“Get these toys outta my way!”
Ok, your husband?
“Oh, he-who-is-enjoying-time-with-adults-right-now? Riiiight.”
The fact that you can wear sweats all day?
“I feel fat.”
Nothing was working.
The more I thought about it the more I realized that with the exception of Mother’s Day, these creeping thoughts, the feeling of being caged up and the woe-is-me pattern had been stealthily building for days. They were so stealthy I didn’t notice them.
(Shh, hush up back there or she’ll find out about us and re-align us into oblivion. Stay close now. We’ve got her right where we want her.)
I needed some serious help. I was spiraling down fast.
Dear God, please give me some insight into what is going on and how to get out of it!
Why I Love Dishes
My epiphany came (as they often do) while I was doing the dishes.
“Stop fighting reality.”
I paused mid-dish. Then I threw back my head and laughed.
It all made perfect sense now.
I kept wanting more free time, more space, more ease, more intellectual stimulation, more more more…
…while I was focusing on what I did not like.
You cannot move to a new reality while you are still stuck in the old one, it is law.
And the old reality, being the more practiced one, the more familiar one, the I’ve-already-unpacked-my-bags-and-chosen-my-side-of-the-bed-one must be dealt with carefully.
My score was three out of four.
I was denying my feelings. Everything is fine. Just FINE, thank you.
I was fighting it. I refuse to feel put upon! Kids – tend to yourselves!
I tried to put a happy face on it. How can I be ungrateful? My family is awesome. I will smile no matter what because they deserve a happy mom.
“Stop fighting reality.”
Ok. Let me look at my life. I have a four year old. I have a baby. I’m a stay at home mom. Kids require attention. They have needs. Life is not as it was when I was single.
As soon as I was able to look around at “what is” without judgment, without flinching and without a fight I felt immense, incredible and immediate relief.
I am ready to focus on what I DO want without the baggage. I am in love with my life. I purr with gratitude
My daughter pops her head into the kitchen just then. “Can you get me more soy milk, please, mommy?” She is all bright and shiny. She smells like sunshine.
Nothing has changed in those fifteen minutes except me. But that makes all the difference. :)
Having a daily gratitude practice will change your life. But what if you are grouchy? Or angry? Or depressed? How about just plain fed up?
How do you give gratitude then?
You have to start where you are. You can only start from where you are. That's where you are!
Perhaps you had a miserable day and all you can think is, "at least it's over". That is an excellent place to start. "I am grateful this day is over."
What if you are monumentally mad at your spouse and all you can think about is them [delete horrible thing] getting their comeuppance. That is still a great place place to start. "I am grateful I can lay here in bed all nice and cozy while I daydream about ways to get even", might come to mind. Or "I am grateful I don't have to take action right now, and I can cool off first."
Ok, I'm making up these examples as I go along. But the point is this: you have to admit your starting point and go from there.
If you are having a singing-in-the-rain kind of day, gratitude might come easily. "The rain!" "The songs!" "My smile!" If you are having a poop-on-your-shoe kind of day it might be difficult to think of anything you are truly grateful for. But you can't fake it.
You have to be honest.
Affirmations you can fake, but not gratitude. Fake gratitude is like nails on a chalkboard. Annoying. Affirmations I'll talk about in another post. Don't get me sidetracked. :)
So if it is the end of the day and you haven't done your Daily Gratitude and now you are cranky and about to pitch a a mini fit about having to bother (haven't we all?) - take a breath. Remember your brain answers what you ask it. If you ask your brain what you are grateful for, it will start looking. Just give it a moment. You might find you are grateful there is only poop on one shoe, and that you left that shoe on the porch. Unless you didn't, in which case you may be grateful for modern day cleaning products. You aren't going down to the river to beat your shoes on a rock to wash them are you? Or maybe you are. Then you might be grateful there is a nice rock there for you.
Do you see where I am going with this?
Cast around your day until you get a nibble on something you truly are grateful for. If you feel awesome, grateful will feel great. If you feel cranky or depressed or angry, then grateful will feel more like relief.
"I am grateful I did my gratitude list."
"I am grateful I get to sleep now."
So... when you are feeling cranky, don't try to do a Mary Poppins Supercalafragalistic happy pappy gratitude list. Just do a real one.