One of Those “Character-Building” Kind of Days

Hmmm...It’s already started. I had big plans to accomplish a whole lot today, and so today is the day that everything is coming up to try to make sure I don’t! I’d say that’s natural, but I’m not sure if it is.

Thankfully, I was able to sense, already, that this is going to be one of those days, good for developing patience, and I can really only attribute it to the Holy Spirit. Otherwise, I’d be a hitting the shrew level pretty soon. I’ve got an index card in my pocket with the verse I remembered around 7:15 this morning.

“Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. And let perseverance be perfect, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-4, NAB)

What I don’t understand is why didn’t I get this feeling yesterday? It was the kind of day that could only be characterized as dreadful. I felt like a dirty towel that’s been shoved under the bed, forgotten, until it starts to mildew and you’re wondering, what’s that smell?

I literally did nothing until almost 5:00 p.m., when I pulled myself together enough to get dressed and go to choir practice. Once I did that, the day proceeded splendidly and we had a lovely practice, but of course how much am I going to accomplish after 8:00 p.m., when choir was done?

I got a pep talk from a friend, but nothing seemed to work. I knew that I was behaving badly, but I just didn’t care. I know there will be days like that, too, but by the end of the day I was developing that combination feeling of guilt and anger. The day was wasted! Aarrgghh! It’s hard to brush that off, even when I remind myself that it was only one day, and days like that are bound to happen, it could’ve been worse (a whole week, etc.), blah, blah, self pep talk, positive thinking, etc.

So I made up my mind before I went to bed (early) last night that today would be different. And it is.

6 thoughts on “One of Those “Character-Building” Kind of Days

  1. Don’t beat yourself up about your relative inactivity yesterday. In a leadership seminar I attended last week I learned that leaders absolutely must set aside time for themselves, so that they are able to subsequently attack their responsibilities with the appropriate level of commitment and resolve. This is why leaders are encouraged to take vacations.

    So, I would view your inaction yesterday as being necessary to recharge your emotional “batteries”. In fact, just recently you posted your frustrations concerning the amount of domestic work that you were undertaking. You needed that time yesterday to recover from that high level of work and to renew yourself in order to sustain that commitment. Indeed, the resolve you are displaying in the face of adversity today reflects the fact that the time you devoted to yourself yesterday had the desired effect. Hang in there!

  2. I know I shouldn’t beat myself up…it’s never productive or useful!

    I would agree with you totally if I had really gotten anything accomplished. The thing with housework is that you can do it ALL DAY and look around and the house is still a TOTAL WRECK! (At least, in my house!) I’m not at all good at it, that’s for sure. I wish I was, but I always get distracted. This morning I’ve already been on the phone with five different people about financial matters. It’s after noon already and I haven’t done a single thing I planned.

    Now I’m looking around and seeing nothing accomplished. It’s tough…

  3. It sounds like you have two challenges. First of all, you need to start considering housework from a glass-half-full perspective, not a glass-half-empty perspective. For example, I am currently ignoring the fact that I have a stack of unpaid bills on my desk, a half-dozen empty beer bottles and soda cans next to my kitchen sink waiting to be put in my recycling bins, a dozen shirts on my kitchen island waiting to be taken to the Salvation Army, dust bunnies colonizing my bathroom (particularly in the whirlpool tub), and an enormous stack of work-related paperwork to deal with. Instead, I am focusing on the fact that this evening I washed, dried, and folded a load of laundry, dealt with all of my dirty dishes, helped my new graduate assistant move his household goods from my garage to his new apartment and enjoyed a wonderful Klondike bar and a chewy porter for dinner. I am refusing to let the fact that I didn’t get it ALL done to obscure the fact that I got a LOT done.

    Secondly, my leadership training has taught me to accept the fact that my grandiose plans for getting work done sometimes go awry. You have to recognize the fact that sometimes you are presented with situations that simply have to be dealt with NOW. EMBRACE the fact that you have the ability to recognize priority situations and to deal with them effectively, despite the fact that they can be extremely disruptive.

    My read of your situation is that this morning you took care of some high priority financial issues instead of your housework. That sounds like a rational, reasonable course of action and you shouldn’t let what remains to be accomplished obscure the fact that you DID get VERY important things done this morning.

  4. I SO appreciate your comments! You’ve always got something positive to say.

    I DID get a lot done today, there’s no doubt about that. I just wish I could be this proactive on a DAILY basis and not just an occasional one…

    However, Is it just me, or do we seem, as a generation, to have a harder time putting our noses to the grindstone? Maybe it’s because the grindstone doesn’t seem to have an “off” switch, unlike the ones of the past…

    That sounds like another entry…

  5. I find a list of three things that must get done, a timer, prayer and a podcast help me stay focused and feel like I’m accomplishing something. Once I get something done, my mood elevates and offs no longer so overwhelming. Do I remember to do this? No. but …. Praying for you Cynthia!

    • I have used the timer for so long I’ve worn a couple of them out already, though I do have several, because I keep misplacing them! I also pray, when I remember, and when I do, everything goes so much better. I haven’t tried the podcast, but that’s a good idea.

      Thanks for praying, Lea-ann!

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