Thursday, May 09, 2013

The grumpy cure

I think one of the best life skills a mother can have (well, anyone really) is the ability to get out of the grumps. We all know that when a mother in unhappy, the chances are certainly better than winning the lottery that the rest of the household will be unhappy as well. A grumpy mother is not a fun person to be and not a nice person to be around. The trouble is, at least in my experience, that the longer one is in a grumpy mood, the more difficult it is to get out of it. This is partly because our fallen human nature has a slight quirk to it. We tend to like to stay in the negative place that we are in. You've felt it haven't you? That feeling of wallowing a bit in your own discomfort? As if it shouldn't be up to us to be responsible for our own mood and we should wait until the world is sufficiently punished and has made it up to us before we begin to change. That somehow taking measures to improve our mental state is somehow like giving up something we deserve.

It's crazy and makes no sense because we would be happier if we didn't wallow, but it can be very difficult to convince ourselves of that in the middle of a good snit. Now, I don't know about you, but my snits are very often in direct correlation to the state of my house. (Or the state of my house is in direct correlation to my snits, I don't know which is more accurate.) If you look around my house, particularly my kitchen, and see that it looks more than a little bit out of control, there is a good chance that my mental state is just a wee bit out of control as well. Now sometimes the house looks as it does (that would be un-perfect) for perfectly good reasons, but at other times it looks that way because I have lost the gumption to stand up and do something about it. Or the gumption to stand up and encourage the others in the household to do something about it... that sometimes takes more effort. And in that moment, my self-esteem and confidence in my ability to cope with life heads downward into a yucky spiral.

This morning, I wasn't feeling too excited by life... nothing in particular, just feeling a little blah. And it was actually no surprise that my kitchen was looking fairly chaotic. So I decided to stop the wallowing in its tracks and do something about. I decided before I did anything else, I needed to clean up the kitchen. It is always most difficult to start (doesn't Mary Poppins say, "Just begun is half done, " or something like that?), but it felt good once I had. And it felt even better when I was done. I felt competent. I could look at my kitchen and not be bothered by it. I felt as though I could tackle explaining reducing fractions to a child.

This is not the first time that cleaning my kitchen has elevated my spirits. There is nearly a 100% correlation between the two activities. So here's my suggestion to you. Are you feeling a little blah about life? Take a look around you. We are highly affected by our environment, especially if we supposedly have control over that environment. Is it looking a little chaotic and out-of-control? Is it starting to mirror how you feel on the inside? Well, try my experiment. Take a small part of the chaos and clean and organize it. I suppose any place could work, but there is something about a clean kitchen that makes you feel life can continue a little more pleasantly. Do give it a try... even if you have to bribe yourself with a little piece of chocolate to get you started.
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Do you recognize this little person? Yes, it's Brandi! Isn't this just the sweetest picture of her. Pray for her now more than every before. There just may be a family out there for this sweet little one. Pray, pray, pray! Imagine her no longer having to spend every single moment of her life in a crib. Imagine her surrounded by people who love her. Oh, do pray!


1 comment:

Erika said...

I love the part about chocolate...that would totally work for me ;0). Your description of being in a snit fits what I have felt before 100%. Thanks for the tip :0)

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