"Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Plank Pullin': Cuz everything little thing's gonna be alright

It’s Plank Pullin’ time! The one day a week that we strongly resolve to ignore the multitude of specks and sawdust around us and pull one bona fide plank from our own eye. Matthew 7:3-5, style.

Two of my four kids have a tendency to worry.  They get caught up in "what ifs", stress out about what's coming the next day, and sometimes forget to live in - and enjoy - the moment.  I often find myself reassuring them... reminding them to take each day as it comes, to not worry, to let each moment take care of itself, to just breathe, to know in their hearts that everything really IS going to be all right. 

And dangit, I'm good at it.  I am.  I'm honest.  I'm convincing.  I'm reassuring.  It's all I can do to keep from patting myself on the back as they tell me, "Thanks Mommy, I feel better now," and happily go off to play. 

But alas, it's nothing more than a sparkling example of my own hypocrisy, because I am a huge worrier.   I hate that I am, and I so very badly wish that I wasn't... but there it is.   And the worst part is not the fact that I have the tendency to worry - which, honestly, is bad enough in and of itself - but the fact that I worry over such undeniably stupid things.  It's not like worrying about, say, walking down a dark deserted alley alone at night.  That would be productive worry that might make one think twice about a possibly dangerous decision. 

No, I worry about very important things like not having time to get the house cleaned before we have somebody over. 

Last Saturday we had a busy day at the end of what was a very stressful (and as a result, a very unproductive) week.  We were out all day off-roading, came home very briefly around dinner time, and then went to a friends house to swim and hang out for the rest of the evening.   It was a great day, and a fun diversion, but that night I came home exhausted and stressed out.   I had to babysit the following morning, and the house was a disaster (and not at all safe for a crawling baby)  We also had someone coming to meet us and talk with us about caring for our chickens while we're away this summer.  Meeting new people in general tends to stress me out anyway, and coupled with the neglected house and babysitting as well, I was nearly rife with anxiety. 

My husband, who never fails to be the voice of reason, basically said "Relax please.  It'll all be fine."

And it was.  We got the house picked up just fine the following morning.  It was not perfect, but neither the chicken sitter nor my ten month old cousin pointed out our flaws.  The day unfolded without a hitch, and I realized - as I often realize - that I'd stressed out for nothing.  I actually wasted entire minutes of my life worrying about... what, exactly?  My house being too dirty?  What on earth is wrong with me? 

It's hard not to stress out and worry when I'm not sleeping, and this particular bout of insomnia has been a long one.  It's a vicious circle too, because the more I stress the less I sleep... and the less I sleep the more I stress.  And the solution is, of course, exactly the same one I so easily dole out to the kids:

Breathe.  Relax.  Appreciate the moment.  Let tomorrow take care of itself.  It's all going to work out.

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?"
Matthew 6:25-27

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