Posted by: Karen | May 1, 2005

Some Perspective

I discovered I always have choices and sometimes it’s only a choice of attitude. – Judith M. Knowlton

Yesterday I began the day with a cheer and lofty expectations of what I would accomplish on the first day of my weekend. I wrote some long e-mails raving about my new house purchase to family and friends (we’ll be moving July 1 – e-mail me for the new address and/or to read more raving). I planned my supper menus for the next two weeks and did up my grocery list. I put the library books in the van, loaded up Soccer Boy and Little Miss Growing Feet, and aimed to get two weeks of grocery shopping plus a pair of new girl’s runners done within the 90-minute soccer practice window.

Oh yeah, those were lofty expectations. Completely unrealistic. What planet was I born on, anyway! Just because I’m organized doesn’t mean that my daughter will attend to the schedule like a little military robot. It didn’t help that she annoyed her brother with her LeapPad so much that I was frazzled by the time I dropped him off. It also didn’t help that I continued to be annoyed with her so much that I confiscated the darn thing before we even got to the grocery store. It really didn’t help that I’d used up most of my patience quota for the day by the time we’d only chosen a) 1 pair of shoes, b) a jar of vitamins, c) Disney Princess toothpaste and d)

Nope, I was trying to decide on d) while holding fast to the cart after having emphatically stressed through the gathering of items a), b) and c) that the cart is not a bumper car, and nor is it to be used as such, when suddenly Little Miss Bladder had a dire need to visit the washroom. On and on it went, and before we’d even gotten a third of the items on my list it was time to collect Soccer Boy from practice. Fume, fume, while we pay for stuff and Little Miss Ping Pong Ball Attention Span bops all over the planet and I try to restrain myself from hissing at her through gritted teeth. I totally lost all composure when we got back into the van, I went to hand her the LeapPad and realized that in my anger at slamming it shut I’d mangled the cord in on the pointer-pencil and it wouldn’t work anymore.

I went over the edge and cried all the way to the soccer field. You know, I have struggled through 3 gruelling 10k races in the last 9 months and had my expectations shattered by missing my goal by mere seconds, and managed to handle the disappointment, but a mere morning trying to control one child and a broken toy sent me over the edge. Whoo boy.

Believe it or not, Coach Dianne, apparently sent by God to rescue me (or my children) found us at the soccer field and cheered me up while I took her to drive by our new home. She came home with us and we made lunch.

I was still feeling pretty frustrated, but in the hours since then I have been solidly reminded that my life could be a lot worse, and I should be grateful, for goodness’ sake! Yesterday afternoon my in-law’s water softener broke, sending a waterfall throughout their basement. My mother in-law, who broke her tibia 10 days ago, was home alone and had to bump down the stairs on her bum, hop through the water over to the main water shut-off valve on one foot, and turn the water off. Guess who had pizza for dinner while waiting for the emergency plumber to come? My frustration of the morning seemed so insignificant when hearing of my in-law’s basement.

This morning, I got a call from Yolanda, one of my running buddies. We were going to go for a long run with Linda from Y’s house this morning. Y called me from the ICU at the hospital, with news that her spouse had had an aneurysm last night, and was awaiting surgery. Suddenly I was not only un-frustrated, I was very, very grateful for many, many blessings.

Linda and I ending up running together without Yolanda, and sent her and her spouse prayers and strengthening thoughts. We ran for not quite an hour and a half.

I will be more patient, and more grateful. I will take a deep breath and suck it up. or let it go. whatever. I am blessed. And it is NOT all about me.



  1. I always have to remind myself to be thankful that I have two loud, active, healthy boys — it’s hard to consider that a “blessing” some days, especially when they’re high on the “rambunctious” side, too! Hang in there!

  2. *hugs*

  3. *IN* goes the good air, *OUT* goes the bad air, breathe, breathe, breathe…

    Lovely, thought-provoking post. Thanks. 🙂

  4. Coach Dianne happened to be waiting impatiently for something and decided instead to go and see Karen’s NEW house. I was pleasantly surprised to see a white mini-van (just like mine!) ahead of me so I followed Karen’s mom-mobile. While it’s nice to know that I’m not the only parent who completely loses it, it’s not nice to see it happening to one of your best friends, especially live and in person. You see, Karen is the cool, calm, patient, ‘in control’ person who gets ME out of these child-induced explosions! Strange to have the shoes on the other feet. No more LeapPads!

  5. great post on perspective, k. sounds like despite the headaches, you’ve got tons to be thankful for.

    after spending the weekend with grandparents and elderly friends, you really have an awesome perspective on what is truly of value.

  6. It is so important to put things in perspective. This happened to me, too, recently. Congrats on the house, by the way.

  7. There are always worse things going on someplace, but its still going to be hard to deal with frustrating stuff going on your life right now anyway. Sorry you had a rotten start to an enthusiastic day. And I can entirely relate to the line “used up most of my patience quota”.

  8. Be easy on yourself… Just because other people are worse off than you doesn’t mean that your own frustrations are invalid. Sometimes blowing up at a small thing can be a way of getting out other tensions that life has been handing you that you thought you were taking in stride. I can identify with this post! Hang in there and be good to yourself.


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