A few weeks ago I had a very bad day. Maybe more than one day. Here’s a little bit of how it went.
I needed to get dog food that day. The can was completely empty, so that was the day I needed to go. The dog food I use (BTW, Costco brand dog food has some pretty good reviews, and it has glucosamine right in it) is in the big city. But actually it is in 3 big cities. I couldn’t decide which city I wanted to go to. I couldn’t decide what else I wanted to do for fun. I couldn’t decide what/when/where I wanted to eat while I was there. I put my head down on the table and thought what is wrong with you? You can’t even make a decision about how to have fun.
Before I left, I played a couple of video games on my Kindle Fire. Negative tape: What a loser. You are wasting your entire life playing stupid video games. Actual time elapsed: 15 minutes.
I finally figured out a plan, but before I left, I did a quick vacuum. This time of year, I don’t even put the vacuum away. I usually vacuum every day or two (thank you, Noah.) Negative tape: you are such a slob. Why don’t you vacuum more often/better/more thoroughly?
I headed out to the car, but before I left, I went over and worked on the wood pile for a bit. I straightened up some of the stacks, and brought in some wood for the wood stove, and then covered the stacks with the tarps. There was news of a storm coming in. Negative tape: (for weeks previous–what is wrong with you? You can’t even get outside to even up your stacks of firewood? What a lazy bum.) That day–what a half-assed job you did. Other people have such neat stacks of firewood. What is wrong with you?
I got in the car to leave, and it hit me. Evidently, almost nothing I did was good enough.
I am not a psychologist, or even a self-acceptance blogger. Karen does that much better than me. I hesitated to write about this because I don’t have a definitive solution for it. I do think that recognizing a problem is half the battle. I’m not sure the Stuart Smalley approach is helpful. Although just watching that does make me laugh.
I don’t do daily affirmations. But I have thought about what I do accomplish, and why I don’t accomplish all that I think I should. I talked to my best friend. She knows me better than almost anybody, and she is good about being truthful AND affirming at the same time. She asked, “exactly how many hours in a day do you think its acceptable to be ‘slovenly?’ (my word, not hers.) I thought about it and said, well, I guess I think that no time is acceptable for that.
Last Saturday, I got to meet up with one of my very long time blog friends!! (ack—bad blogger admission here-no photographic evidence!) Juice just recently moved out here all the way from Baltimore. And she mentioned to me that owning her own home, and all the upkeep and repairs that go with that, had caused her more anxiety than she had realized. This was a good reminder to me. Keeping up a house is a lot of work for one person.
And then there’s the whole aging thing. Oh, Iets talk about that tomorrow, when I can stand it better…
Just so you know, I am fine. I don’t need any positive affirmations or anything. In fact, I waited until I was feeling more positive to actually write this blog. Probably the very best thing for me to do is to actually PRAY the serenity prayer:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
Much better than yelling “SERENITY NOW,” don’t you think?
I don’t think dogs have negative tapes, do you?
Sophie, in her favorite alternative throne and a rare moment of serenity:
Monk, serenity-master (Mr. Monk had a dental with four extractions and some surgery on his foot this week–came through with flying colors!):
Bess, practicing serenity in Mr. Monk’s chair:
Noah, in a serene moment: