Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Balance We Bring

You know the bad mood you get sometimes that can take everything about anything and turn it into something bad?  Especially the one that's focused on yourself and how horrendous or UN-special you are?  I lived there for a few decades and still have 'nostalgic' moments from time to time.  I think it began with the realization that I had blond hair, but no other member of my immediate family did.  Suddenly, I thought surely I was adopted, weird and singled out (in a bad way) because I didn't have black or brown hair.  Nevermind that the masses preferred blond hair and I should've considered my self blessed!  Goofy, of course, but that's how irrational fears and uncertainties work.

I think we all can write a list of attributes that we hate and would trade with someone, if given the chance.  Truth be told is that most of those hated aspects are probably bringing balance to one of your communities and several relationships.  What we experience as weird or different is often an opportunity to help others find an equilibrium somehow.

Though the little can complain of not knowing how, the big's heart grows bigger in the showing how.

-You might hate the grammar police, but they're a great resource when you need that resume proofread.

-Maybe you can't stand that 'soandso' is always late, but they remind you to grow in mercy and patience.  Or maybe you bristle up at the 15 minutes early crowd.  They are usually the ones who provide extra help and preparation.

-Spenders help us remember that life is short and to enjoy our days.  Savers prepare for our future and give many good gifts in time.  Both are necessary for a healthy life.

We can grow so overwhelmed by disgust - for ourself or someone else - that we completely miss value and balance that everyone brings.  I struggle a lot with not focusing on all of my ugly attributes (inside and out).  It's hard when I'm looking to be this perfect person that everyone loves, that I love and that is never wrong, but all I come up with is me.  What I overlook, though, is how much value even my ugly faults can bring the world around me.

Confessing a weakness to a friend usually increases your bond.  Asking for help gives others an opportunity to serve.  Even experiencing sickness or tragedy can bring others closer to God through prayer.  We all bring balance to others, if only we would look up and appreciate it.

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Chaos in Change

Dear change,
You know we've never had a good relationship. And while I still think you could be easier on me if you just tried, I'll be the bigger person this time and accept you as you are. But just remember, you owe me now. That means the future had better pan out well. Otherwise, I'm comin' to getcha!

A cautious and yet-to-be-satisfied customer

Sometimes I think we define and view ourselves by the attributes we like or would like to have.  I pretend that I'm easygoing, open to new things, especially when I tell myself I want new things.  In reality, I don't handle change well.  Emotionally, I thrash about resisting and arguing with it, looking for the easiest solution to make me feel better.  That usually results in a rash decision that doesn't help me long term.  Thankfully, Mr. Butler's middle name is rational.  

So, have a good day and here's to chaos!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Getting Your Hair Caught in the Vacuum

My hair is long enough that it reaches past my waistline.  It's more convenient to put it up in a bun when I'm exercising or doing housework, but sometimes I just forget to.  Yesterday, I forgot to.  Vacuuming is best done when J is awake, but that means he wants to be involved, which I love but can get complicated.  So, the faster I finish the task the better.  As I entered J's room, the vacuum started to sound different and like the careful household item owner that I am (or Mr. Butler has trained me to be) I stopped to make sure everything was okay.  In one quick motion of concern, I leaned down to look underneath and suddenly my hair fell in the same direction.  Before I knew what was happening my head was jerked toward the ground and my hair was being sucked into oblivion!

I recovered without a problem, but it was ridiculous and alarming all at the same time.  And life application came pouring into my brain.   Of course, there is the don't let your hair near the bottom of a vacuum lesson. Beyond that, perhaps this is how some people wind up in the proverbial ditch on the side of the road.  No bad intentions, no ill will.  Just low attention to detail, low caution and suddenly they are getting sucked up into something they never dreamed of.

How to keep your vacuum from sucking you up:

1) Remember the power it holds.  Because something is common to us, it's easy to forget the power it has to affect our lives.  Anything that we allow ourselves to get dependent on or familiar with can and will influence us.  Technology, friendships, even habits like diet and exercise.  Make sure we treat it with the respect it deserves.  It will change your life, just make sure that's a good thing.

2) For intended use only.  When we don't have what we want (companionship, confidence, motivation, etc.), it's easy to pretend to get it from somewhere else (food, spending $$, facebook, etc.).  Food is for health and sustainment.  Money allows the purchase of goods, not happiness! Make sure you are utilizing elements of your life for what they were intended.

3) It can happen to you! No one is immune to being careless and getting sucked up into a whirlwind of some kind.  Know your weakness and put in fences.  If you know you are a time waster and just got a new iPad, set time limits for yourself.  Do you eat when you get bored? Every time that tummy growls, drink a glass of water and do something on your to-do list first before taking a bite.

Nobody (that I know of or would claim to know) plans on getting their hair sucked up a vacuum.  Nobody plans to lose precious time and relationships over foolish choices.  But it happens to us all, all the time.  Take a little inventory today.  "Only YOU can prevent forest fires!" That pretty much applies to most everything else.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Balance in Cycling

I don't know how the rest of the world functions, but this girl goes through cycles (not just 'that' cycle). Cycles of precision, cycles of rejuvenation, cycles of not hanging up a single item of clothing for a week because I just don't feel like it.  And as much as I'd like to will myself to stop cycling, I haven't discovered the secret combination.  What I am learning is that at the end of said cycles, I usually come out with new observations and better perspectives.  Here's what I've learned this week:

-I naturally try to make every choice or decision into a moral right and wrong.  And that's not healthy.  Making someone or something 'wrong', when it is not necessarily so is something to be feared more.

-Just because something is a good thing to do doesn't not necessarily mean it's something good for me in this season of life.  There's an organization that I support and feel compelled to be an active member of.  And I've tried, but I found myself dreading it and resenting much to do with it.  Why? Because I knew that if I didn't participate I could spend some down time with my son or get a day off where I could be more productive at home.  I tried really hard to fit it in, but it finally hit me.  There are plenty of members of the organization to support it and only one wife and mom in my household.  That trumps everything right now.

-Stress, lack of sleep and lack of exercise has the power to ruin my life.  Good, solid habits and God's merciful strength is the only thing that keeps it from doing so.  Without the habits I've been working on lately (better eating, exercising daily, early meditation time, etc.), I would accomplish nothing and spiral downward.  When I do spiral downward, it's only by God's mercy that I start over again.