Today’s reminder is that you and you alone get to decide what you will think and how that makes you feel. Ok, just wanted to lead off with that before I tell you my personal story about how I had to work to control my thoughts to create the feeling I desired for my day.
Today I started my day as I do most, drinking my homemade protein shake while reading the Bible and talking it over with my oldest son. This morning since the kids are all out of school, our time also included son #2, which made the conversation a bit more distracting as they struggled to keep their hands to themselves. But as we got going and started discussing the setup of Daniel’s story and his commitment to God, I felt ready to tackle a new day with better results than I had yesterday.
You see having my kids at home isn’t such a big deal to me. I have been a stay-at-home mom more than not during the past 8 years and I have homeschooled as well. So I have a plan in place for how to survive and thrive with my kids.
But it is the process of having my husband at home that rattles me and sends me spiraling into despair. It is my personal assessment that he does not do well without a job or something planned in which to go do. He has been this way since we met 20 years ago. He has never been content to make it even one day at home. And if he ever did stay home an entire day, he has always been heavily reliant on the television to provide his attention.
I am the exact opposite and the way I was raised plays into this. I am happy to spend all my time at home. I have even chosen a profession that allows me to work from home. The idea of being asked to stay home for the next 15 days in a row for the quarantine does not bother me. I have no anxiety over it because I have an endless supply of things that interest me, hobbies to entertain me, and not to mention three kids to keep up with.
But for my husband, he is losing his mind. Or so I guess. We’re not talking so well right now. Honestly. He finds my need to fix him frustrating. And I find his need to not be fixed frustrating. Do you see my problem? So after I read the Bible today I pulled out my journal and started writing down my thoughts and how I felt.
I went into this knowing that I wanted to set a positive or at least a moderately better thought for myself about my husband than I had done in the days past. But nothing came to mind that didn’t bring up angry emotions. So I got out my list of feelings and started reading and that’s when I came across Accepting.
I stopped and read it again. Accepting.
Could I just work today on feeling accepting of my husband no matter if he is watching countless hours of TV or not?
I weighed the idea in my mind. I decided it would be an improvement over how I felt the day before – angry, frustrated, intolerant.
So I worked out that if I was going to feel accepting of him, then I would begin by thinking that he is a person with free will to make his own decisions. I think it is a great thing that we have the right to make our own decisions. After all, he grants me that same courtesy. When I worked all day yesterday with clients and then watched a webinar afterward, he didn’t complain.
Do I view our actions of equal merit? No. Am I still a bit judgmental of him and his choices? Yes. But am I just going to work on accepting them today and allowing him the freedom to make his own choices? Yes.
Do you see how that works?
I am not able to magically cure my thoughts, but I find something – no matter how small – that I am willing to believe and accept as a new thought for myself and I work on embracing that.
Because sometimes that is always we have the power to do. One small thought change. One small new feeling at a time.
The result? I was able to make it through the day continually feeling accepting. It has not been easy, but I have reminded myself of my thought and relaxed as I did so. I just eased into acceptance. And things have gone better.
We still have a long road ahead as this quarantine is expected to last at least a couple weeks and with him and the kids at home, invading my quiet zone, the safe space where I work from, I know there are more challenges to come.
But I am committed to working on it through prayer and my thoughts to find ways to take it day by day. How about you? Have you been journaling your thoughts and feelings throughout all the changes that have rapidly come upon us? Have you been staying committed to your Bible reading to glean insights from God? Together these healthy habits will set you up for the best day possible.
Blessings to you.