Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Sometimes you need a little perspective

Until twenty minutes ago, my kitchen was filthy. Like, I'd-turn-my own-mother-away-at-the-door-if-she-showed-up filthy. There was trash overflowing out of my too-small trash can in the corner. The punch bowl from a friend's baby shower was sitting dirty in the sink (the shower was a week ago - I told you it was bad). The counters were dirty, there were dirty dishes everywhere. Won't do. Why is cleaning so therapeutic?

I unloaded the dishwasher. Loaded it back up. Bagged up the trash and changed the bag. Put on the kettle.

(I am a green tea fanatic.)

Sigh. Missed deadlines. Press checks up in Portland in pouring rain at the most inconvenient time possible. A needle fell out of one of my socks and I lost my crochet hook so I have to figure out how to fix it. My massage therapist is taking a hiatus so I have to miss my monthly trip (this is a very big deal, I have a very high stress job). I had a terrible asthma attack the other night because of my laundry detergent (it was new). My face is a mess, my sheets are dirty, my cats need brushing, the coffee table is covered with junk, and I have to go out of town on Friday.

This is the past few days of my life. The kitchen is clean, I can breathe, the dishwasher is running, the cats will live another day without being brushed - so some of it is temporary. The rest? I was literally so angry last night I had to sequester myself. I watched A Very Long Engagement, by the way - fantastic movie. Might watch it again tonight.

But today I was reminded, while I was carefully chewing over my problems and focusing on me me me, that other people have it worse than I do. No matter how bad things get for me, there is generally always somebody having a worse day than me.

I sang all the way home tonight. Hymns. Didn't feel like it, but did it anyway. I made myself belt them out at the top of my lungs while I cleaned the kitchen, fed the cats and bagged up the trash. It's my go-to method of attitude adjustment. You can't feel crappy about yourself if you're focusing on someone else. And you know? I feel better. Not great, but better.

Just a little alarmed and discouraged and stressed, but better.

Be still, my soul: the Lord is on your side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through stormy ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice Who ruled them while He dwelt below.

And even better now.


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