The Storm Inside

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I saw this meme a few weeks ago and was reminded of it last night. I was trying to sleep but I could feel that old, familiar anxiety that shakes me just enough to keep me awake at night. The storm was brewing outside and the crack of thunder nearly made me jump out of my skin. I didn’t realize how on edge I was until I noticed the storm inside of me was much larger than the one going on outside my window. Sometimes anxiety strikes at the oddest moments. I had been a difficult week with me being a continuous advocate for my son at school. My daughter had her last and most important swim meet of her senior year and I was trying to remain calm underneath the palpable chaos. The stronger and louder the noise became outside, the more I felt at ease. I had no idea the storm inside of me was so great until I could compare it with the one blowing hail up against my window. Calm down Kim, I thought to myself. Feeling anxious cannot become your new norm. I took a few deep breaths and let the sound of the rain falling on the house slowly put me at peace. It’s so important to check in with yourself from time to time and put down what isn’t yours to carry. When you become accustomed to carrying more than your share, you forget the relief you feel when your hands are finally free. That was my last thought before I finally drifted off to sleep.

Carry Your Own Load

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Imagine if everyone in your life minded their business and took care of their own responsibilities. I know for myself, when all I have to do is worry about me, I am happy. I don’t mean that in a selfish way. I mean, when I am doing everything I need to do, including keeping myself in a good way by doing right by my mind, body and spirit, I am truly at peace. Negativity is like lint on a new pair of black pants. At first you only notice one or two specks but before you know it, you are completely covered. When you have to carry someone else’s load on top of your own, it starts to wear you down. You become so overwhelmed while the people who have dumped their responsibilities onto you sit back and take a few hours to themselves. That extra weight on your shoulders turns into anxiety, resentment and anger which replaces all happiness with negativity. It isn’t as simple as taking a lint roller and cleaning that stuff off. It means handing that lint roller over to the person who got it all over you in the first place to start to remove it piece by piece. Why is it some do all and the rest do none? Why can’t people pull their own weight so we could all have a little bit of peace? Maybe I will never know.

My new challenge is for YOU to take something off of somebody else’s hands. Offer out of the blue, to do something that makes life easier for someone around you. It could be as simple as holding open a door when somebody’s hands are full. Then pray they pay it forward. 

Be the change!

Pick Your Clothes Up Off The Floor or I won’t Cook Dinner Anymore

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If you do your share, you won’t have to keep score. Often times, we look at our partner and carry a mental list of what we think they are not doing. After all, we are all human and it’s pretty aggravating when someone is not pulling their share of the load. The more we complain, the less they do. The voices in our head will carry on dialogue that sounds something like this.

“He didn’t pick the clothes up off the floor so I won’t wash his clothes anymore. Why should I pick up his clothes when he is a grown adult?”

In the meantime, he is sitting on the couch thinking something like this.

“She leaves her glass on the table every night so why should I bother to pick up mine? Maybe if I leave mine on the table, she wil realize how annoying it is and finally pick up hers. If not, we will let them sit on the table until there’s no more room.”

Can you see how counterproductive this kind of thinking is? You cannot change your partner but not doing your share to prove a point will not lead to anywhere good. Neither will nagging or pointing fingers.

Everyone should do their share. Marriage is a partnership where two people are meant to work together as a team. If you’re not, then shame on you. And what’s worse, if you are not doing your share while pointing a finger at your partner for not doing his or her share, than that makes you a real jerk. Knock it off, pick up your clothes and put your dishes in the sink. Then go out on a nice date and remember why you fell in love in the first place or talk about why you don’t feel loving anymore.