Yesterday, I spent a full day laboring at the kitchen reno. Now I should explain a full day by “Bill” standards. I sort of work for about 5 minutes and then sit huffing and puffing for about 10 minutes. I then repeat this process over and over again. Maybe, I am not the fastest worker in town but hey I am doing what I can as I can and the job will get done.
To me that is the important thing both with this project and with life in general. Do what you can, when you can. It is my belief that the Good Lord sees us all as being just human and doesn’t expect perfection from any of us. But He does expect us to keep trying, keep poking away at it all, never give up. Using the kitchen reno as an example, I keep poking away knowing that every little bit done is at least another step towards completion. What more can we do in life. I know from experience that just keeping poking away at something can at times almost seem like an an effort in futility, it is so aganizingly slow. We get impatient want to see more immediate results. I have heard the term wanting instant gratification being applied to people today. I suppose that is true for many myself included.
I look back a now can see that so often I have been my own worst enemy in living my own life. I think it would be fair to say we would all like to live a life with as little stress as possible. Then why do we seem to go out of our way to actually cause ourselves a lot or unneccessary stress. I can just hear a lot of people saying, that is ridiculous, I would never do that. I avoid any stress I can, I don’t create it for myself.
Now I can only speak for myself here but I do ask if anything I am saying you can see in your own life? I look back and see I have been doing it to myself all of my life and am only now even becoming aware of it enough to try and stop.
I took life way to seriously. I often failed to show the proper understanding of other and their side of issues that cause me to take life, way to personally. All of which “spoiled” so much time, so many days and caused me undo stress, needless stress. But, I took it on.
Just a couple of example of what I am trying to say. Road rage seems to be a relatively hot topic these days. I am not prone to road rage, but I think it illustrates my point.
You are in heavy traffic trying to get home after a hectic day at work. When suddenly: some #@*& idiot cuts me off in traffic. Did you see that, that @#*& idiot is trying to get me killed. Off I go into a rant, becoming very angry, upset and stressed. Sound familiar to anyone?
Well let’s really look at this. First off, this other driver did not cut you off in traffic, it was your vehicle that got cut off. You just happened to be in it at the time. It was nothing personal, unless we take it that way. When we do that,we cause ourselves the needless stress.
If we could just show a little more, patience, understanding and give the other driver the benefit of the doubt. We are not even doing it for the sake of this other driver but for our own peace of mind. We don’t know the circumstances the other driver is facing. OK, there is a chance he/she is just a wreckless jerk. But, we don’t know that. For all we know, it could be a frantic father to be that has his wife lying down on the back seat as he frantically tries to get her to the hospital to deliver the baby.
I am not sure where it was but I read a tragic story of a lady driving home from the hospital. Her husband had just died. Her mind was like in a fog, she was in a world of pain and grief. Later she wrote that all she remembers about that drive home, is all the horns of the other impatient drivers as they honked at her for possibly driving to slowly. We just don’t know the circumstances in which any other person finds themselve in, with what they are dealing with. Would you have been one of the ones that would have been honking? How would you feel if somehow you later learned of her circumstances?
One more example from my own work life. I was a banker for many years. Over those years I gave out many millions of dollars in loans. Now the customer sees you as a great guy if you are approving the loan. But, if you decline the loan you suddenly aren’t seen as such a nice guy. Over the 30 plus years I have been called every name you can think of, threatened and once even punched in the mouth.
In my earlier banking years, I took on so much needless stress. As soon as it became apparent I was going to have to decline a loan. I would take on a pile of stess. In a way I suppose this was another form of taking it personally. Then I would be worried about the customers reaction, I felt bad for them and almost took it to the extent of somehow feeling it was my fault they were be declined for what ever it was they wanted. It took me a while to realize, I was just doing my job. It was not my fault they didn’t qualify for what ever it was. It wasn’t my fault they had a terrible credit rating or what ever it may have been. I was personally taking on stress that wasn’t mine to take on.
There is the old saying: “who’s problem is it”? By taking things too personally, I took on the problems of others. Talk about taking on a load of stress, geesh.
These are but 2 examples if we look at our lives, I am sure we can all find many more.