26 October 2012
Is Joy A Choice?
Is joy a choice? I think it is. I've said it plenty of times and I'll say it again, I think our perspective is stronger than our circumstances. I have my grumpy days, today being one of them. I'm not sure what triggers it but sometimes once the grumpies start to rear their ugly heads it's downhill from there. I have to consciously make a decision to not let those uglies get out of control. The easiest way to do that is to change my thoughts. Easier. Said. Than. Done. Do your bad moods ever get so out of control that you're going back to old crotchety grumpies and dusting those monsters off, making past grievances nice and polished and ready to poison your thoughts even more? As a wife and a mom this is something I struggle with. You know, the times where you're upset about one thing and it reminds you of all the similar things you've filed away in your mind in alphabetical order to use as what, ammunition? Life promotes grumpy moods. What are my triggers? A dirty house, bickering kids, Verizon reps (today's trigger), rudeness, feeling like I'm never going to get ahead of work and the house and the homework and the school projects...I could go one but I won't bore you with that. Life. Is. Messy. Actually, let me rephrase that. Sometimes life can be a downright filthy mess oozing with a thick layer of crud and grime. Like that visual? Personally I like things to be a certain way and filthy is not on the list.
How do we stop this madness? We stop our thoughts from 'going there', so to speak. The top technique that works for me is asking for God's help. He has a way better handle on my life and my thoughts than I do. I also remind myself that people are human and humans are FAR from perfect. I am FAR (very very far!) from perfect too. It might sound hardcore but I do not want to be 'that' mom/wife/friend/mother that's in a constant state of negativity with a bad case of the grumps. Since we're all about a quick fix these days, my quick fix is a good ol' reality check. What do I mean by that? Let's say the spark that ignited my grumpy mood fire started because after working so hard to clean the house, someone spills their milk all over the floor. Reality check would be remembering my father-in-law tell the story about the period of time when he was a kid where he had dirt floors (dirt? for real!) in their makeshift home. So who do I think I am to be complaining that milk is all over my shiny and fairly new tile floors?? Side note and unrelated but totally worth mentioning, my father-in-law, with his dirt floor and "tar paper house" starting washing cars at a Ford dealership in Southern California and went on to OWN the dealership. Talk about perspective versus circumstance!
So when the grumpies start a-grumbling because they're hungry for some fuel, remember that we can choose joy instead.