Saturday, April 12, 2008

Feel the POWER

What an amazing day, and it isn't even 9 am (wow, it has taken me an hour to write this, due to breaking for breakfast and to put a movie in for Lilly).

First a little background. Unschooling doesn't always come easy to me. In fact, it doesn't often come easy to me. You would think it would come a little more easy than most because my mom came as close to unschooling (though she didn't know the term) as one could given her circumstances, but sadly, it doesn't.

Also, a bit on our current circumstances. I am an introvert, and do need time alone. In "good" times, I don't *need* a lot of alone time. In stressful times, I need more than I like to admit (or ask for). Currently, life is stressful.

~We are attempting to live on $600-700 per month (although we don't have rent or mortgage, but it's not as easy as it sounds, even given that).

~Our only car broke down 2 1/2 weeks ago. It's transmission related, but we don't know exactly what until this coming Thursday.

~Because our car is broke down, the girls and I have been having to stay home most of the time and I think "cabin fever" is running high, as we naturally love to be out and about.

~At the beginning of March (so the bill for February) we got a $650 electric bill (apparently they had only *estimated* for December and January, but they had estimated low so they tacked on the rest to that bill). Obviously, with only $669 of income in March we weren't able to pay it, so now we have the $625 (I did pay a little) shut off notice and another $300 bill for April (March's bill). To answer questions, yes, we are trying to get help with it and I am pretty sure we can, it's just a tad more difficult now that we don't have a car.

Those are the *main* things that are stressing me out, I think. And believe me, I know it could be worse (in 2002 we were living in a tent in my mom's backyard after our home was repo'd), but things are crazy stressful and life in general feels out of my control.

I should also add that we live in Michigan, which has the highest unemployment rate in the nation (aside from Puerto Rico) by a margin of 1.2%, so "go get a [better] job" is a lot harder than it sounds. (Feb 2008 unemployment 7.2%)

Anyway, after all that babbling, I wanted to tell a story today about Power. Not like electric, but the kind of thing that you see most "business tycoon" type people craving and pursing until they become domineering, pompous prats.

I've already said, I haven't been able to get much alone time lately. Usually my mom takes my girls every two weeks for a couple nights (I can just hear a lot of you say "LUCKY!" and yes, I know I am *very* blessed by this. It's the one thing that keeps me sane.) and that is enough time for me to rejuvanate. Two weeks ago, she had to work and this weekend she couldn't take them either. So, now I am faced with another 2 weeks of no alone time, which stresses me out even more.

I asked my SIL if she could take the girls for a couple hours this weekend to the park or something, but it's supposed to rain so it doesn't look like that is going to happen.

I asked my dh if he would take the girls to see a free movie today, but he would be out all day (with the having to ride the bus issue) with a movie *and* having to work. When he said no, the disappointment shone clearly on my face, I know it and I could see him worried about how I would handle it. Usually, especially in the past, I would blow up at him and everything would become his fault.

Instead, I went upstairs and brushed my teeth (I have also been known lately to take a shower). While brushing (and thinking I could really use a really high dose of patience today), a line from a movie came to me (forgive me, my brain works a lot in lines from movies, increasingly over the last ten years).

From Evan Almighty:
God is speaking to Joan Baxter, the main character's wife.

"Let me ask you something. If someone prays for patience, you think God gives them patience? Or does he give them the opportunity to be patient? If he prayed for courage, does God give him courage, or does he give him opportunities to be courageous? If someone prayed for the family to be closer, do you think God zaps them with warm fuzzy feelings, or does he give them opportunities to love each other? "

So, I started thinking of the situation as an opportunity to be patient. Lilly had followed me upstairs and was talking to me, playing with the hair dryer, etc which was becoming increasingly annoying (the thought "Can't I just have 30 seconds alone!" screaming loudly *in my head*). I yelled at her, then apologized, put the hair dryer away and asked if she wanted to take a bath (her *favorite* thing to do). Then, I came downstairs and Rog was walking around trying to be helpful, but obviously thought he was walking on egg shells, expecting me to blow up at any moment.

Here is where the (think of Genie from Aladdin said in your best Robin Williams voice) *absolute power* comes in.

I asked him if he was going back to bed if he would please take the box [of cloth diapers] upstairs with him.

Seem silly? I basically gave him permission to go back to bed. I wasn't trying to be controlling. I don't think that the power is the fact that I controlled him, but in that I controlled me, and my response to the situation.

I think the trick was, I *wanted* him to go upstairs. I didn't say it so that when he walked away I could fume inside my head about how he should have wanted to sit here and talk to me.

Before, I would have started picking up the house, huffily, all the while yelling at him because I wasn't able to get my alone time.

The feeling was amazing.

1 comment:

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