I was reading a blog the other day. The woman was talking about doing obligatory chores with joy. Cranking up the music and dancing while doing the dishes. This is great, I thought, I’ve got to read this to my kids. And then today while I was, of all things, doing dishes it hit me… “Hello McFly”!!!
Let me give you a bit of history. I am 90% pleasant person and a joy to be around most of the time (I think). BUT…I sometimes have a bad attitude. And when I say bad attitude I mean baaaaaaaad attitude. As in teenage angst, jilted lover, cornered politician, you get the idea. It happens when I am doing something good (ironic isn’t it) something like making my family dinner or exercising or laundry or doing an elimination diet. I think we shall use the diet as an example because I am in the midst of it right now.
I LOVE food. LOVE it…in what I am coming to realize is probably an unhealthy way. But, in an attempt to keep myself healthy and support my husband (who is on the diet for health reasons) I decided to hop on the bandwagon. It’s a very empty bandwagon with only a few skinny socially awkward people on it (see what I mean…bad attitude). Anyway, here’s an idea of what the first week was like.
Day 1: “This is awesome. Why doesn’t everyone do this? It’s so easy and I love vegetables.”
Later in the evening of day 1 we go to a movie for my husband’s birthday. I LOVE movies (almost as much as food) and I always, always get popcorn and a coke. “I hate this stupid diet! Why do we need to be healthy anyway? I just want a huge tub of buttery popcorn and a coke!” I enjoyed the movie, but struggled with being distracted by sulking a lot of the time.
Day 2: “This diet isn’t so hard. I’m so glad I’m doing this.” (We went for a hike and then my husband cooked curry for me.)
Day 3: This is the day I got cocky and was all… “I got this. I am disgusted by those other humans out there who don’t choose to do something like this for their health.”
Day 4: “This is the dumbest thing ever I HATE this @$@#&*! diet. I will stay faithful to it, but I REFUSE to be happy about it.” This is when I started having detox symptoms, you know cause your body is trying to dump all the toxins you normally eat out of your system. My kidneys hurt, I had sciatic pain, headaches, blah.
Day 5, 6, 7: See day 4
Day 8: We took our kids to a tea factory, but first we stopped at Chik-fil-a where I got some sort of fruit chicken salad with no dressing and water and watched my kids scarf chicken strips and waffle fries while drinking lemonade. Enter the angsty teenager. I refused to be happy about anything!! When we got to the tea factory I had spent enough time sulking and enjoyed the tour. Thankfully they had a lot of herbal teas that I could taste (that helped keep the hulk away from the factory that day).
So, there you go. A little taste of my crazy. I am done with this crazy. I don’t want it anymore! When I see these attitudes in my kids I get so frustrated, “you should be grateful you even have food”! Yeah…I guess in some ways it is just a simple shift of perspective.
Jesus talked in the Bible about being cheerful in giving. I always thought that was kind of strange. I mean, honestly, imagine you are in the grocery store and a woman in front of you is struggling with 3 small children and buying only the necessities and when the total comes she realizes that she doesn’t have enough. If you on the other hand were standing behind her and had plenty of money in your pocket would it be anything, but a joy and a privilege to get to help this woman. I’m guessing Jesus said this for a reason. Even something we find great joy in can become obligatory. As a mom of 4 I have a LOT of obligatory chores in my life. I could list them, but I don’t want to risk sucking the joy out of your day. But, if I can find some way to shift my thinking about these things it could change my life. I could find more joy more life.
To be grateful. In. ALL. Things. I believe I can change. I will start to shift today.