Thursday, August 12, 2010

enduring well

I am one day away from completing one of my worst mothering weeks ever.  (Notice that unfortunately, I said one of my worst).  Every time I think I've hit a new record in grouchiness, I outdo even myself.  Isn't that something to be proud of.

It's not that I haven't tried. That's what is so dismally discouraging. (Did that sound dramatic enough? Dismally discouraging? I hope so, because that's what I'm going for.)

There is something you may not know about me.  I have tendencies toward this depression/anxiety thing.  I think it's official medical name is Womanhood, but I'm not quite sure.  My symptoms include but are not limited to:  Irrationality.  Unreasonable expectations of myself and kin.  Lots of tears (usually guilty ones after having blown my top at the people I love the most).  Oh, and another thing.  I feel like I can't breathe.  Especially when I look around at all of the undone, unclean, and seemingly impossible tasks surrounding me. 

Whew, I said it.

I was just thinking the other day how I haven't had a bad spell for quite some time.  And wouldn't you know?  The very next day. . .KABOOM! 

I immediately knew where I was headed, so I jumped on it.

The worst thing about this whole deal is that most of the time I am completely aware of  how unreasonable I am being- how irrational my thought process is.  I try to stop myself in my own tracks.  However, despite my best efforts, my soon-to-be train wreck forges straight ahead.

I have tried prayer.  I have tried reading my scriptures more abundantly than usual.  I have attempted slowing down, and when that failed I gave speeding up a try.  I even carved out the time to go running this morning, thinking that was the answer.  When I wasn't sure that was working, I ran faster.  When my heart threatened to stop, I thought that maybe I needed to force myself to be happy.  It's this naturally occurring phenomenon I've heard about called Smiling.  I thought that if perhaps I forced a smile onto my face, my mood would automatically follow suit.  So it was that I spent the last half mile plodding along with a smile plastered on my face.  When none of the above seemed to cure me, I bought myself a hot fudge brownie milk shake.  Nothing a few extra pounds can't make worse, eh?

And still I felt in the dumps. 

I drove to Logan this afternoon, crying all the while.  (I wore sunglasses so I didn't look so silly.)  While I sobbed out all of my discouragement, I listened to a talk by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf.  Elder Uchtdorf reminisced of a time when, as a 10 year old refugee in West Germany, he struggled in school.   Whereas he had previously learned Russian as a second language, he now had to learn English.  He explained, "There my educational experience was a different one . . .For the first time in my life, I began to wonder if I was simply not smart enough for school."

Elder Uchtdorf goes on to say "Fortunately I had a teacher who taught me to be patient.  He taught me that steady and consistent work- patient persistence-would help me to learn.
From that experience, I learned that patience was far more than simply waiting for something to happen- patience required actively working toward worthwhile goals and not getting discouraged when results didn't appear instantly or without effort.
There is an important concept here: patience is not passive resignation, nor is it failing to act because of our fears.  Patience means active waiting and enduring.  It means staying with something and doing all that we can- working, hoping, and exercising faith; bearing hardship with fortitude, even when the desires of our hearts are delayed.  Patience is not simply enduring; it is enduring well!"

So that's the ticket, I suppose.  Learning patience.  Learning to endure with the knowledge that sooner rather than later, the sun will shine.  Working, hoping, and exercising faith.  Remembering that my girls will probably still love me in spite of me.  In fact, a good friend of mine (I think of her as my second mother) comforted me the other day with this advice.  Her children are all grown now, but she told me that she still has a quote written on her chalk board which goes something like this,  "As long as your children know that you love them, that important knowledge will cover a host of parental mistakes." 

I know one thing for sure.  I have a host of mistakes.  Parental and otherwise.  I guess my quest will have to be making sure that during the in-between times my girls know without a doubt that I love them.  If they are sure of that, hopefully they'll  make it through all the days when they must wonder who I am and who kidnapped their mother. 

In all actuality, I'm afraid this enduring thing goes two ways.  The first part is mine.  Learning to endure my own weakness as I seek to become the woman I long to be.  The second?

Well, please say a prayer for my girls.   


dippyrooroo said...

My biggest fear is that my kids will forget that nice mother who was kidnaped, and start to think that the crazy woman is all that there is. I don't know which way to go either. I'm doing the try slowing down, try speeding up thing too. Lately I've been trying the speeding up thing, and when I'm finally forced to look up from my work, I see my baby sitting in the middle of the floor with a lost look on his face, or else he's got tears running down his cheeks and he's grabbing onto my leg... And all the things I'm trying to get done... they never get done. This is a tough job. I was so angry this morning. I've been angry for days and I just couldn't stop the stewing. I finally was able to break out of it a bit when I started reading my scriptures. But I know I still have farther to go, and I know that the sooner I let go of it the better off everyone in the family will be, but it's hard to shake. I think I'm trying to wrap my mind around the idea that sometimes life is just really hard, and sometimes I just make it really hard. I wish I had it all figured out.

Darcie said...

Kelly, I think having you and Courtney as parents makes your girls some of the luckiest kids on the planet, really. I'm sorry you had a rough day/week (especially on your birthday!) It can be discouraging at times, can't it. We all hit our rough patches, but things will get better.

(and if this makes you feel any better... this post is fantastically written! I love reading everything you write!)