Recently, I was referred to Huffington Post article that hit very close to home. Of course, this was just hours after I sat and listened to a 45 minute podcast on a very similar subject. Seeing the flowers through the weeds. Being grateful for what you have when you have those thoughts of "why isn't my life easier? why is my husband or my daughter driving me crazy?" Instead I should thinking "I have a loving husband - what does it matter if he does x, y, or z that bugs me?" or "I have a daughter who is beautiful inside and outside and is such a blessing. Who cares that she spilled the contents of her dinner on the floor?" (I mean, yeah, I want to teach her to not do that but you get the point...)
I encourage all of you to read this article. I think all of us can benefit from this. Yes, every day this month I am posting something for which I am grateful, but am I actually living that out in my life? Or am I letting daily life get to me instead?
I know the answer to that one without a doubt.
I know you will find this shocking so please hide your surprise, but I, Nain, have an anxiety problem. I am the poster child for worrying. I have made worrying into a fine art, one that I have easily mastered at a young age. Sometimes I don't even know why I'm stressing out. I could be in the most peaceful environment possible, and it is more likely than not that I'm stressing out about some minute thing that has absolutely no significance on anything.
Who do I take this out on? Well, the people who are the closest to me, of course. T and Aubrey. I don't mean to outwardly do so, but they both deal with my stress. Aubrey is young so she isn't really able to comprehend it, but this article struck a chord with me. When she hears irritation in my voice, hears me snap at her Daddy - what does she think? The woman in this article said that one day, after stressing out when leaving the house and snapping at her oldest daughter who was trying her best to help out but making things difficult in the process, looked in the rear-view mirror and say her daughter, wide-eyed and scared, picking at her lip. She said she witnessed her daughter's nervous habits on several occasions before one day her husband pointed out how unhappy the wife seemed. She looked back at her daughter and realized her daughter was thinking "Mom is stressed," "Mom is angry," "Mom is disappointed." Then she thought of what her daughter was likely really thinking. "Mom is stressed because of me. Mom is angry because of me. Mom is disappointed because of me." None of that could be farther from the truth, but this woman let the stress of life affect her and then affect others around her.
I am so very guilty of this. God, I know it. Aubrey can pick up on tension. I know she can. While I know it's unavoidable at times. T and I are only human. We will argue, it's bound to happen. However, it needs to be limited. And I need to recognize the blessings that are right there in my face.
For example, T drives me crazy rambling on and on and on in the car during our commutes. Rather than get so irritated with him and snap, I need to stop and think "Thank God I have this special person in my life who is there." Because I would miss his jabbering if it were no longer there. So he is excited to tell me about his day. I need to really take that into account and listen. And see the flowers in what I perceive to be weeds.
Aubrey has made a mess of herself after dinner, applesauce and spaghetti everywhere. I need to step back and not snap. Take a mental picture of this moment because I'll miss it someday. She is so funny and cute looking like a hot mess. I get irritated when she's pulling me away as I'm trying to complete an article assignment, but all she wants is to play with her mommy in the living room. I'm not going to get to experience these moments forever. See the flowers in the weeds. I can unload the dishwasher later. Those marks on the wall can be wiped off later. I can work on this article when she's napping. In the grand scheme of things, what is more important?
(Side note: I'm writing this, of course, no worrying you all think I'm the worst mother possible...oh the irony)
So today I am grateful for those flowers in my life, and I'm grateful for the friend who opened my eyes to really realize that.