I distinctly feel like I’m getting back on track, now. My personal life really isn’t any less busy – I’m married and have a six-year-old, and our respective family schedules mean that it falls to me to make dinner and help with homework – but I feel much more positive about things. The malaise that afflicted me for the last few weeks (months?) seems to have lifted.
Well, sadly, it came from throwing a little bit of a fit on Sunday. A combination of frustrations built up, and I sort of behaved like a petulant three-year-old. My wife, to her credit, did not respond in kind. Instead, she just talked to me about why I was feeling frustrated and offered to do things to help, and it reminded me of something extremely important.
What was that, you ask?
Simply this: I’m not in this alone.
See, it’s really easy to get caught up in your own head and your own struggles and to start thinking that it’s all about you and what you’re trying to do. And, when you’re not having much success, it’s easy to spiral into a recursive cycle of frustration and bitterness and poor behavior. It’s easy to beat yourself up, and grip harder and try to force yourself to do things, and to start blaming others because ‘they’ won’t give you (or let you have) the time you need.
It’s not true, and it’s not fair. But, when you’re in a petulant whine-spiral, you’re not inclined to be fair. I certainly wasn’t.
I spent most of Sunday in a sulk. But, towards the end of the day, I really realized what I was doing. And that realization, followed by my wife demonstrating that she really was being supportive (even if I was being too petty and self-centered to realize it), cracked me out of that spiral of moaning and complaining and reminded me of what was really important. So Monday, I didn’t make a big deal out of anything. I just got up and went about my day and focused on the positive things in my life. And then yesterday, I did the same. And you know what?
I got everything done. My walking, my exercise, making meals, all of it. Better still, even though nothing but my attitude had changed, I discovered I had plenty of time to get it all done and still go trick-or-treating with my son and spend time with my wife.
My wife. She’s amazing.