Monday, September 3, 2012

Trying to Overcome "Why Do We Even Try?!"

Here we are, ready to begin another school year. This will be my third year of homeschooling, with Joshua as a second grader, Noah as a kindergartner and Veronica as a 1 1/2 year old developing abundant skills in the arts of throwing tantrums and screaming "no!"

This month we are also presenting an Engaged Encounter weekend, we will celebrate our anniversary, we are going on our last camping trip for the year and I begin teaching Faith Formation.

With a lot going on, I will consciously (try to) keep an "I can do it!" attitude. Yesterday, our priest gave a wonderful sermon on the differences between being an optimist and a pessimist. One quote was from Winston Churchill:
A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.

English: Sir Winston Churchill.
For an optimist, he looks a little grumpy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I typically think of myself as an optimist, but do I see opportunity in every difficulty? Hmmmm. Definitely not.

Last week, we had a surprise 60th birthday party for my dad, and many stories came up about him from when we were kids. One story happened when we were all sitting around the dining room table for a celebratory brunch and little Jeremy spilled an adult's Bloody Mary onto the beautiful white table cloth. In sudden frustration, Dad exclaimed, "Why do we even try?!"

While I have inherited many wonderful things from my Dad, this discouraged attitude when the going gets rough is sometimes also one of them. For instance, if I have a dinner planned to cook one night and it doesn't come together for some reason (like I measured something wrong, burned it or forgot to buy an ingredient), I'm not sure if anything else gets me in a worse mood. I mean this scenario gets me seriously pissed. I surely don't see this difficulty as an opportunity.

The Y is closed this week for renovations, and this past weekend after indulging in too much brunch and a touch too much champagne, I decided to go for a run. This was definitely an effort, as all I wanted to do was take a nap. One of my requirements for a run is my iShuffle with a good workout playlist, especially when it's been months since I went running due to all my zumba-ing. Well, first I couldn't even find my iShuffle and then it wouldn't sync with my computer. Almost an hour later, I just wanted to bag the whole thing and like my dad, yell, "Why do I even try?!"

In organizing for the upcoming school year, I have been making my first ever Mother's Notebook, an idea that I got from another blog that I like to read, Life as a Mom. This notebook is my own custom made organizer that I am putting together myself and will then have bound at Kinko's. Basically, it is magical bliss on paper, will change my life and make me a better person. It has been a lot of work and while I enjoy putting stuff like this together, there have been several times after hours of work, when the technology I'm using just stops working. Again, I felt like giving up. Why do I even try?!

Is the glass half empty or half full? The pess...
Perhaps I am a "Half Empty" kind of girl? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I am working on changing this attitude when I encounter an obstacle. I did go on that run (after Jason figured out another way to upload my music) and I am almost done creating my Mother's Notebook.

With so much on my plate this month and this upcoming school year, I need to go into it expecting a few obstacles. Okay, scratch that. Maybe I'm more pessimistic than I thought. Actually, I think I need to go into this school year expecting it to be wonderful.

Still there's part of me that wants to argue that I'm not a pessimist, I'm a realist. But isn't "I'm Not a Pessimist, I'm a Realist" the title of the National Pessimist Organization's anthem? Hmmmmm.

 (Photo credit: Ankher)
But for the sake of this posting, let's say that I expect a few obstacles this year not out of pessimism, but because such is life.

When the inevitable obstacle shows its scary face, I am going to try really hard not to throw up my hands, throwing in the towel and yelling through fitful sobs, "WHY DO I EVEN TRY???!!!"

No, I will try really hard not to do that.

I will try hard to remain calm, maybe even smile and see the obstacle as an opportunity.

And if I can't do that (See how pessimistic I really am?), I will at least not give up, reread this posting and recall that while my genetic make-up fates me to give in too easily to discouragement, I am trying to work on that.

Rebecca - Read here and say out loud: I can do it.

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