Sometimes Less is More!
Have you ever felt such keen disappointment that your heart ached and you thought it may actually break into little pieces? How do you cope with that? How do you find perspective?
It’s been such a challenging six months on top of a very challenging three years… and our family has experienced lots of changing dynamics interposed with personal challenges.
Sometimes we have coped better than other times… and I have found myself being weary from carrying too many responsibilities and trying to squeeze too much into a day… something like when I was trying to teach our two sons when they were much, much younger, how to do the washing…
First, they needed to collect all the dirty washing, then sort it into colours and type… putting the towels all together in a pile was their favourite… probably because it was the easiest… we all know what a towel is and I try and buy bright or dark coloured towels, so that they can all be washed in the same load.
I thought the tough part would be teaching them how to load the soap powder and softener and then choosing the right setting on my much loved front loader…
Just a week after they had been given the responsibility of ‘laundry duty’ and specifically washing the towels… I heard this rattle and rumble coming from the kitchen, only to discover my poor washing machine stuffed so fill it was doing a shake, rattle and roll while bashing and banging against the sides of its cubicle space.
I don’t know how they got so many towels stuffed into the washing machine, so much so that it was a struggle to get them out even though they were wet, and supposedly much more manageable. *Sigh*
Now in retrospect many years later it’s funny. *Grin*
Yesterday, I felt something like my washing machine, stuffed to the hilt with chores, work and responsibility… with too much to do, and not enough time to do it all.
I like being busy, especially when I’m productive.
Right now, I’m finding my life just filled to the brim with too much stuff, not enough balance, and struggling to take time to enjoy and celebrate what’s important.
I have been planning a five day long weekend with my husband and our daughter for five months… two days in Gauteng, a day or two in the Drakensberg, and then a day at home. *Smile*
My back-up plans had back-up plans.
And I have been saving and budgeting since November 2014 to do this.
The occasion is simply our 27th wedding anniversary, and the first time that not only would Dave and I, and our daughter be together in three years, but our sons are home as well.
On Monday morning I was so excited I could hardly sleep… and despite some extra and unexpected financial expenses this month, our trip was still on schedule.
I took our car to have new tyres put on and the wheel alignment done… to do a little shopping… and Jess went to the dentist for the third time this month.
I breathed a little deeply as my cellphone chinged each time I swiped my debit card and hoped for a financial blessing.
Just when we needed it the most, Dave was paid an extra few thousand… back pay for an out of town allowance that was short paid last year.
I was so grateful, and so excited I actually didn’t sleep that night. *Grin*
Then when I went out on Tuesday… I noticed a problem with the car… when I accelerated the car pulled sharply right… and when I braked the car pulled sharply left.
Not to be deterred, I phoned my husband and as soon as he arrived home from work, he went out in the car and agreed with me that there was a big problem. *Sigh*
We have a wonderful mechanic, who agreed to let Dave bring the car over late on Tuesday evening, and after just a short drive with the car, he agreed we had a problem.
Understanding Dave’s need to not disappointment me… our mechanic made arrangements, got prices for parts and promised to work through Wednesday late into the night, so our car would be ready to travel on Thursday morning.
Then while I was happily collecting our dry cleaning, having my hair done with Jess, and curbing my mounting excitement, Dave was talking to his boss at 3:00pm on Wednesday, to say he had to leave for Cape Town Thursday morning and he would need to be there for a week.
I’m a resourceful, confident woman.
So last night while I was home alone… I sat with the budget… as my allowance for our trip had dwindled to half with the car repairs, and checked car rentals, plane ticket prices and bus trip costs and logistics. There are no cars to hire… probably because of the Comrades marathon, and even though return air tickets from Durban to Johannesburg are really low this week-end, probably because I want to leave Durban for the week-end *Smile* …it felt just too desperate, rather than the romantic leisurely week-end I envisioned.
In a moment of acute disappointment I burst into tears and sobbed out my shattered expectations.
I realise in retrospect just 24 hours later… that I can cope with the trip being cancelled as we can make other plans and arrangements for a future date… and my husband will be home in a week, and hopefully then we can have our ‘five day long week-end’ even at home… although a week after that he is due in Port Elizabeth for six to eight weeks, which was another reason for our long week-end together.
There’s only so much disappointment and challenge and responsibility and stress I can handle, especially on just an hours sleep… with the pendulum of emotion going from excitement and enthusiastic happiness, to deep disappointment and even despair… it was just too much for me to handle in that moment.
As I cried out my frustrations, I prayed for understanding… and if understanding wasn’t possible, I asked for acceptance, and that I could use this experience with courage to deepen my purpose.
Twenty four hours later, I realise my emotional sobbing was more about a lot of things than just the disappointment of one cancelled trip…
When I awoke early this morning, and reflected on the past few hours… weeks and months… and then sometime after my husband had left at 4:00am, I accepted the situation for what it was, and found purpose in planning another trip, with even more preparation and enthusiasm. *Smile*
Sometime later, understanding dawned and I was blessed with insight and a different perspective.
A fundamental lesson that I know to be true, is that I need to first accept, before I can understand, and I just have to believe there is a lesson… which there always is… and wisdom will come… and that there is a blessing which only becomes apparent with a willingness to believe there is a blessing.
As I write this I should be doing my budget, paying bills and working out a solution with our mechanic… although I’m considering just leaving the car where it is, if he is happy to keep it while I veg a little at home and just enjoy being a hermit for a time. *Smile*
I’m also considering making other changes… like re-arranging my work space, and clearing clutter and getting rid of stuff, not unusual for me at this time of year as Autumn hides her face behind the gorgeous warm days we are enjoying with no sign of winter… or rain to dampen the dusty dry days.
Although, I’m usually a decisive person, I often sacrifice my own needs, wants and desires for the family… and I’m happily patient to wait for the right time to get what I want.
Tomorrow morning after a decent night’s sleep, my confidence will be restored and I’ll look at life with a brighter more grateful perspective once more… however, also realising that sometimes I need to put my needs, wants and desires first. *Grin*
I need a new computer… so I can get my work done faster and so I can upgrade my software to match and complement our server software.
I need a new car… so Jess can have my car when it’s fixed. *Grin*
I want a week-end away… or a little holiday, because everyone deserves a timeout!
I love the work I’m doing… and I have new purpose in what I’m doing and some really great reasons to work hard and earn some money. *Smile*
Love and Blessings
PS… Just for fun I “Googled” Over Full Washing Machines and found these fun pics, *Grin*