Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Control What You Can

We've spent the first seven weeks of 2012 being enmeshed in a crazy new schedule with crazy new stress at my husband's department. Our computer has been at the computer hospital for a few weeks so I have been relegated to "connecting" via my smart phone. "Relegated"? Since when did society become so entitled? But I digress...

I've been through the whole shift change thing enough times to know that you just have to let it happen to you. You can't force it, you can't make it be something it is not or something you are not. You just have to go with the flow. I'm not like that. I like a plan. I can go with the flow when there is a plan in place. (Don't you roll your eyes at me!) So in the first seven weeks of being back to graves after almost three years off and major, huge stress at work for my husband, I'm getting my butt kicked.

In the eight years of our marriage, I have never once sat down for three hours straight and "discussed" my husband's job with him. Sure, I hear plenty of stories every day, but I don't get three hours of straight entertainment. And it's happening regularly now. The stress and frustration and irritation are oozing out of him and pouring over the rest of us at home. He's trying to not let it, but... it happens.

With all this background (and does anyone even remember I'm still busy building lungs, bones, and vital organs?!?!), it should come as no surprise that we had a day of "intense fellowship" this weekend. He was angry. I was hurt. I got angry. And it never got resolved. Some of it just can't be resolved right now. There is all this crap, serious C-R-A-P floating around in our lives and it seems so overwhelming.

Now that I'm at this point, I don't care anymore. As my friends keep badgering me -- in the nicest way possible, I'm sure -- "When are you going to buy a bigger car? When are you going to move from your 700 sq ft house to a bigger house since you're going to have four kids?" I've hit on, "I don't care any more." Of course I care, but I'm beyond worrying about it. The most amazing revelation someone once gave me was that YOU cannot make ME feel anything I don't want to feel. You can't make me feel dumpy, sloppy, stupid, or ugly, unless I give you permission. In all of this, I WILL CONTROL WHAT I CAN. I can control how I respond. And that's about it.

Every situation, and every dilemma I encounter, presents me with a choice. Will I get my panties in a bunch and freak out, or will I put on my big girl boots with a good attitude? Talk to a friend who has no job. No food in the cupboards. An eight-year battle with ovarian cancer. My choice to do the best with what I have and not throw a temper tantrum seems much more clear cut.

Of course this weekend I absolutely did not follow this advice, and what a waste of time and energy that was.