Parenting 10,001: All about Perspective
Life is all about perspective. I had a different blog planned for today, but due to recent tragedy of a childhood friend, I decided to change my theme.
It's so easy to complain about the minor events in our lives and it's not often we are able to step out of the circumstances and peer in with an alternative view. Until tragedy strikes.
Why is it that only in contrast do we see the truth?
When we cannot control the things around us, we can control ourselves. It doesn’t feel like it at times, but the reality is that we DO have that choice. I remember one day when I felt like my world was spinning out of control. I had barely completed a very long and nasty divorce and was living in a new apartment with my little boys, ages 1 and 3. I remember the chaos of being in a new place, emotions were raw.
My toddlers were both in the bathtub, which meant my dinner preparation was on pause and I feared I was falling behind schedule.
Then it happened, one minute the bathwater was clear, the next there were little brown forms co-mingling with the bath toys.
While trying to fish out the floaters and fetch my boys from the warm fecal stew, I heard the pan of water boiling over in the kitchen and the very distinct sound of an egg rolling off the counter top and onto the floor. I felt as if I might be starring in a very poorly written Lifetime movie. I had two choices. I could throw a tantrum and drown myself in a bottle of red and be that mom or I could take a deep breath and remind myself of the truth.
The truth is: this moment will pass and will leave behind only a memory. The truth is, life is so much more than the small things that we stress over and it’s time to let the little things go. The truth is, someone is always worse off than you. The truth is, in perspective, nothing is ever as bad as it seems at the time...
Begin your day, not with a to do list, but with a “to be” list. How do you want to be? Don’t just say it. Get your ass out of bed and write it down. Be specific and intentional.
Live with intention and purpose. You can live on autopilot and that might look something like this: Get up, if it’s early enough, work out. If not rush around and try to get you and your children ready to start their day. Act pissy because you have no time and didn't work out. Go to work. Come home. Act pissy some more because you don’t feel like planning a meal. Make dinner. Talk about how busy your day was. Do dishes. Get the kids ready for bed. Struggle to get them IN bed. Do more prep for whatever lies in your next day. I don’t know about you, but that was not fun for me to write or relive.
Let’s go with option #2 and be intentional. Guess what, it’s your life and you get to choose how to live it! EVERY…SINGLE…DAY. Take it or leave it. You can choose to be miserable over things that happen to you or you can choose to be excited about things that you are creating for yourself. When we complain, which many of us do from time to time, myself included, we take on a victim stance. NOTHING is intentional at that point, except for your own misery.
Get up and take a moment to write out your intentions for the day. Be specific, it doesn’t have to take more than 5 minutes. Here’s an example: Today, I will feel calm and relaxed. I will stay in control of myself and my feelings. I will feel excited about my day. People will want to be around me because my energy is so positive. Nothing will get me down today, I’m going to find pleasure in the small things and I’m going to live in the moment, rather than worry about what happened a few minutes ago, or worry about what’s going to happen. I’m going to be fun to be around.
Consider this, you…get…to…choose. Choose to respond in a crazy angry way and make sure you’re ready to welcome the negativity that is certainly coming your way OR choose to respond in an intentional and planned way and brace yourself for the positive results. They are way more fun than the misery. When things get real shitty (no pun intended), laugh or sing, that will throw people off.
Why do we take life so seriously and get mad at the menial things? Live with intention and purpose. Decide who you want to be. I’m guessing it’s not angry mama or papa…I know I’d rather be cool and fun mama. It is your choice, even if you grew up with angry parents. You are an adult now, no more excuses. You just need to practice it daily and set those intentions. Let's face it, without the bad days, would we truly be able to appreciate the good ones? Most of all...keep things in perspective. Look around you and bless all that you have, because some are not so lucky.