Monday, February 9, 2009

The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day*

Today I left the house early to go to a 5th orthodontist evaluation for Allie, because my sister-in-law said this doctor was significantly cheaper for them. Their estimate was $500 higher than any of the previous four. Apparently, my daughter has expensively crooked teeth.

And then when I checked her into school and raced home to meet the cleaners that were supposedly arranged by the contractors to clean up their mess...they were a no show.

So I checked my email and found out my other sister-in-law** was no longer available to babysit for our all-expenses-paid trip to Clearwater, Florida for my husband's job. Meaning we may not be able to go. All expenses paid or not.

I turned down a visit to the park because I had to take Brandon to a dermatologist appointment.

Brandon forgot his dermatologist appointment and got on the bus, so when The Littles and I showed up to pick him up, he was on his way home.

When I got home and called the dermatologist they said they would be sending us a bill for $50 as a no show fee.

I stopped to pick up a can of diced tomatoes on the way home to throw something together for dinner. I noticed the store brand was on sale so I bought several. When I got home, I realized I had bought all stewed tomatoes instead.

I burned my hand on hot oil cooking dinner.

When I went to give the kids a bath I found poop on the bathroom wall. When I asked Ben why there was poop on the wall, he said "Because I had it on my hand..."

When the kids were taking a bath I checked Clara's folder and found out the box I was sending in for her Valentines in the morning was actually supposed to be decorated. By her. It was 8:45 PM.

I didn't finish a single load of laundry.

I didn't meal plan or grocery shop.

My home is still a disaster.

It felt like a thoroughly wasted day.

Some days are like that...

Some days are like that, it's true. Today was a bad day. It was easy to say that, and I did. Repeatedly. I whined to anyone who would listen to me talk. I was an absolute grump.

But my day, it wasn't really so bad. Not one significant thing went wrong. And, as I sat with Ben and Clara, up past their bedtime and happily gluing paper hearts onto a shoebox, I knew that to be true. It was simply a day of aggravations like so many others. I made it so much worse by choosing to make my happiness, and convenience the only priority. I wallowed in self-pity about a possibly canceled trip. I yelled at my son about his missed appointment, and my other son about the poop on the wall (I kind of forgive myself for that one.) I pouted. I snapped. I cried.

And I failed to honor God in a single thing I did. In fact, I left Him out of my day completely. Because there was no room for Him beside my self-pity. And dagummit...I wanted to feel sorry for myself. I deserved to feel sorry for myself. All day long things didn't go my way. All day long, people failed to consider me. It's a common problem of the human condition: righteous indignation. We cling to that word "righteous" as use it as an excuse to lash out at the people who have wronged us. Or in my case, at the universe that was obviously conspiring against me.

But the problem was, that as a child of God, by not rising above my tiny, temporal, annoyances to show kindness and love to those around me I failed to show that I believe these things to be small and temporal. I failed to show that I believe in anything greater than myself. And for that, I am ashamed. I recently did a Bible Study on finding joy regardless of our circumstances, and the key concept I took away from it was that we must keep our focus upward - on God, and outward - on others. That if we live each day focusing inward, we will always ride the emotional roller coaster of our feelings and never find the peace that comes with an eternal perspective.
Sing to him, sing praise to him;
tell of all his wonderful acts.
Glory in his holy name;
Let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice.
Look to the LORD and his strength;
seek his face always. ~1 Chronicles 16:9-11.
True, consistent joy can only come from keeping our eyes focused upwards. Something I obviously need some work on.

Tomorrow will be better. I believe it. For even if it's not, I will be. And for everyone who had to listen to me whine today, I'm sorry.

*My apologies to Alexander and his creator, Judith Viorst, for my shameless, and pathetic, rip off of her work. We love that book at our house, and it was the term "Some days are like that, even in Australia" that kept popping in my head as I went through my day today.

*My sister-in-law cancelled babysitting for a very good reason. I love her dearly and hold no animosity towards her for cancelling and am in fact, honored that she had agreed to stay with the fearsome foursome at all. We have very few people in our lives willing to take on that challenge. Hmmm, don't think today's post helped that situation much.


Laura said...

I needed that this morning! After a long, relatively sleepless night with kids who were not in fact sick but just whiney, I've already snapped, (nearly) cried, and failed to show love to my family... and it's only 8am. Thanks for the wake-up call (no pun intended)!

The Kings 3 said...

I understand about those days! I love the earlier post of your kitchen colors. Gorgeous. I want my kitchen painted, too. NOW.

Chrissy said...

You do such a good job at articulating the way I feel. I really appreciate that about you.

Also, that was an exceptionally sucky day.

InTheFastLane said...

It is so easy to feel sorry for ourselves, although you seemed to have a number of good reasons...but this is something i struggle with, and then I feel resentful. Choose your attitude...I know i can, somedays, it gets harder.

painted maypole said...

poop on the wall? even in australia

I've been pondering this whole joy in all circumstances things as well... pondering because I have yet to figure out how to actual make it happen

Christine said...

what a sucky day my friend. i hope, pray, that things got better this week.


Lori said...

I thought that was a brilliant knock-off of one of our favorite picture books! Perfect! Some days ARE like that!

And I know all too well the feeling of frustration when we find ourselves so totally un-transformed by our faith. I think to myself, "shouldn't I be better at this by now?!?" Thank God He has promised to stick with me regardless!

Lisa writes... said...

I have so been there. I've wondered how and if God can be glorified in a life as messy as mine was (IS...present tense, as in TODAY), but He can! It's in weakness He shows Himself strong!

P.S. Can you BELIEVE how expensive orthodontia is? When we got our quote for my son, my husband's first reaction was NO WAY! HE CAN JUST PAY FOR BRACES HIMSELF WHEN HE IS OLDER AND HAS A JOB!!!! All caps, because, yeah, he was yelling. :-) He's since reconsidered after hearing that the estimate wasn't so far off base as he thought...

Carrien said...

"by not rising above my tiny, temporal, annoyances to show kindness and love to those around me I failed to show that I believe these things to be small and temporal."

One of the wisest things I have read all week.

I should tattoo it to my forehead. :)