Don’t think about it

dove promise2Have you ever thought about serendipity?  About things just, well, happening, when you need them to?

Lately, I’ve been going through a difficult time, and I’ve been thinking – nay, obsessing – over it.  What should I do?  If I make decision A, how do I handle the details?  What about decision B?  How will THAT decision play out?

And then, today, I opened a little Dove Dark Chocolate Promise (Heaven in a 1 inch square), and inside the wrapper, it said, “Don’t think about it so much.”

Hmmm…. Interesting idea.

What would happen if I just put aside the thoughts of It for a day?  Would my world crash around me?  Probably not.  But nothing would get solved.  Still and all, the idea of it gave me a few moments of peace.

And then a strange thing happened.  Every time I started by obsessing, that little quote popped into my head.  “Don’t think about it.”  It was like a mantra.  And I’ve never had a mantra before.  Well, not before about a week ago…..

(wavy lines suddenly mar the screen, and you hear Wayne and Garth saying, “doodeloot!  Doodeloot!”)

Last week was a difficult one for me and Josh.  It was the last week of school, there was the nip of summer in the air.  He was resistant to going to bed when the sky was still lit with full sun, and he didn’t want to get up and get dressed to go to school.  He wanted to play with his cars, and ride the dog.

One morning, things got contentious.  The more I said, “hurry up”, the slower he moved.  I pushed, he pushed back.  He’s a stubborn one.  Can’t imagine where he gets it.  I threw everything I had at him – taking away toys, threatening to have him sit if he missed the bus, even a spanking.  I was seeing red, and black, and getting lost in a fog of mad.  And he was, too.  I felt like chewing nails, I was so angry.  Finally, I got him in his clothes and out to the bus in time.

When I returned home, I made a cup of chai and sat at the computer.  I opened my Google home page, and there was the quote of the moment, “Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent,” Isaac Asimov.  And that quote stopped me dead in my tracks.  Because even though the confrontational morning hadn’t turned violent, I was feeling a little violent.  I felt like slamming doors, throwing things in my frustration.  I specifically did not spank Josh, because I was that angry.  I didn’t want to hurt him.  I will spank him, but only when I’m in control, and can do it dispassionately.

And this quote, coming so close to the troubles of that morning, caused me to ‘snap to’.   I am not incompetent.  I may be a bit lazy, disorganized, a terrible housekeeper, and a champion procrastinator.  I may be scatterbrained, crazy, irreverent, and more than a little goofy.  I may be, and am, a lot of things.  But I am not incompetent.  And I realized the truth of those words.

Since then, my dealings with Josh have been calmer.  Whenever I feel the frustration welling up – and we all know it will, he’s five and full of himself – those words come back to me, “violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.”  And I realize, violence comes from losing the cool.  Another mantra is born.

More and more, I am aware of these things.  Perhaps it’s the upheaval and transition that my life is in right now.  Perhaps I’m growing up, finally.  Maybe it’s God, talking to me.  Heaven knows, I’ve been asking, begging, enough lately for help.  Whatever it is, it’s pretty darned cool.

Am I alone here?  Do you find yourself having serendipitous experiences?  Do you think, at times, that God, or The Universe, or Fate, or whatever, is trying to tell you something?  Or help you along?

This entry was posted in adulthood, advice, anger, behavior, children, growing up, learning, live and learn, parenting, self control and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Don’t think about it

  1. JQ says:

    Awww, this is cool! I’m sure each and every mom has been in that situation – where things just boil over, I know it has for me. I have been known to hold a grudge *a-hem* but recently, a friend said something to me that was extremely hurtful and it was festering. However, something came over me when I saw her and told me to LET IT GO. I can make something out of it, or not. I chose not to. Gosh, it was freeing. Maybe I’m growing up too?

    There’s also been this other voice (for lack of a better word) trying to tell me to be a better house keeper, but I totally ignor that one!

  2. SKL says:

    I have had this happen many times in my life. When I was a teen, I could basically turn it on and off. If I had a difficult problem, I’d go for a long ride on my bike and have an open conversation with God, and I’d usually end up with the answer I needed. If I was stuck at home with a problem, I’d go to the Bible and open it and point randomly at a passage, and it always seemed to tell me exactly what I needed to hear. As an adult, I’ve gotten inspiration from a long walk, a break spent just staring at some phenomenon of nature, or a peek in any holy book. I guess it’s what folks in the East call “meditation.”

    I think a lot of “the answers” are right in our brains / hearts, but we muddle things with the complications of life, including a lot of baggage that we don’t need to keep. When things stop making sense, it’s time to do some housecleaning in the archives of the brain, reboot the RAM, and look at things in a new way. Sometmes a simple message from an unusual source is just what we need to find the wisdom within.

  3. Gary says:

    No, this doesn’t really happen to me although I wish it would from time to time. I think sometimes we all could use a little help like this with certain situations. Call it “help from above”, pure coincidence or whatever you would like. It would be nice and I would welcome it for sure. 😀

    Nice post!

  4. javajunkee says:

    I have those thoughts all the time. I can worry myself sick over things I can’t control. I hate it but that’s the way I’m wired. I feel if I don’t worry then I won’t do anything about least whats in my ability to do in the deal.

    I can sit in a vicious spin cycle all day if I don’t do something to get my mind off the crap going on around me. Or the “what if’s.” …those get in my way all the time.

  5. nikki says:

    Wow Laura..great post and very thought provoking! Bailey has ADHD so on bad days things are bad! We have bad mornings and I HATE that! It’s the worst way to start the day. Bailey is normally a very well behaved, polite and caring boy. There are times that he pushes my buttons or flat out has terrible attitudes with me. To be 100% honest I have days that I just want to run away from everything. But then I take a step back and think of the alternative. No Bailey? NO WAY…I’ll take the attitude and bad days! Jason said something last weekend that really hit home for me, he said, a bad day with you and Bailey is better than a good day at work! Now I have heard that phrase quite a bit but to hear it put that way way different. It made me think about how good we all really have it.
    I am so guilty of worrying about things I have no control over. I’m just a worrier though, but funny things is as much or as little as I worry about it…it all works out the way it’s supposed to.

  6. Joy says:

    This post really made me think of a lot of things. I do feel kids pick up on our moods and feelings and depending the character of their personality, can either boost us or fight us. I had one of each. The more stressed or bad I felt, Jason would dig and dig and dig at me. Toby was always the pleaser and I can only think of one time in his life that dug his heels in and fought me and that was when we moved to where we are now. He hated change and didn’t want to move but we really had no other choice.

    Jason and I are more alike “emotionally” and I think that’s why we fought like we did. He would just know things without me even having to say anything. Toby on the other hand also knew but chose to make me laugh instead of “dig.”

    I love the Isaac Asimov quote. I know that will pop into my head and it’s so true I feel. I only spanked when I absolutely had to. When more scared or fearful rather than mad. Touching stove, running into the road etc. When too mad, I’d walk away. I just always felt if I was that out of control, I would never lay my hands on anyone let alone a child. I learned very early on to pick my battles and something like missing the bus or forgetting homework earned me “time” that they would “owe” me. If I had to do certain things for them, the time it took me to do that, they in turn owed me either weeding my flowers, rubbing my feet or making dinner. It worked very well for us. I’m just not a violent person but you do really want to chew nails a lot of times during the raising of our children.

    The other thing is I’ve never had a Dove Promise and now I’m wondering if I should take up eating chocolate so I can get these good tips. I never knew they were there.

    Great post Laura and a HUGE welcome to you.

    • Laura (LS) says:

      You’ve never had a Dove Promise? Oh, honey… what you are missing!!! I was never a big dark chocolate fan until I had one. Now I won’t touch – ok, that’s a lie – now I *prefer* dark chocolate to milk chocolate, but I’m persnickety. The Dove Dark tastes like solid chocolate pudding… mmmmm, smooth, oh, sooo chocolaatyyy, and just sweet enough.

      now I must have one.

  7. Just a Mom says:

    I have moments all the time when I think that God is trying to tell me something or lead the way. My problem is knowing when to shut up and listen!
    Great post!

  8. SKL says:

    The thing about the kids getting to you. I have always been a “mellow” person but my kids can get to me. My eldest came home at 1 yr old and it was rough initially because (a) I misunderstood her communications, and (b) she has the most horrible screech when she is very upset. It took me some time to figure out what was really happening in my brain and what I should do about it. I had some moments that I am not proud of, but luckily little kids don’t hold grudges.

    I noticed that I usually have the patience of a saint after I’ve had my morning coffee – but not before. So when my daughter would start getting cranked up in the mornings, I would back off and get busy making that coffee. Just a couple of sips put me in the right mindset to deal with it.

    The other thing that can set me off is when I am in a hurry and the kids pick that time to be uncooperative. Suddenly a routine that we’ve happily gone through every day for the past year is a torture. Punishing only makes things worse. I’ve come to the point where I’ll avoid the issue all together (e.g., a bath at night instead of the usual morning bath) in addition to allowing a lot of extra time. I do look forward to the time when my kids understand why they ought to work with me, not against me, when we’re on a tight schedule.

    Joy, I love your idea of “you owe me time.” I am definitely going to steal that from you.

    • Joy says:

      I did that for a lot of things SKL. If they had written a report and needed it typed out, I’d do it for them but for as long as it took me, they would owe me to do something for me and they were fine with it but I felt why should I have to pay if they dawdled and missed the bus or Jason “forgot” his glasses at home and I had to take time out of what I was doing to run to the school? Just little things also. I felt if I did something “out of the ordinary” to help them, they had to help me out as well.

  9. Tosha says:

    Hmm.. where to start…I have those moments. Believe they come from what you will but i’ve got friends tugging me lately to keep me grounded.. Else my world would fall apart and everything up in the air come crashing down. This is our last week of school here and the kids are doing the same thing. Refusing to get up, get dressed, get ready,brush their teeth, go to bed, do home work, take this , do that.. You name it they are refusing..

  10. starlaschat says:

    It’s a wonderful the feeling of being or feeling assisted. Life can certainly be unnerving at times. Something I learned from Javaqueen recently was to sayHush….thoughts….Hush. I just love saying that it’s so comforting. It’s nice when you get reinforcing good to help along the way. It seems the more I look the more that shows up. Wonderful post.

  11. birdpress says:

    I looove Dove dark chocolates! They are the only “candy” I will buy for myself. I haven’t bought any in a while though because last time I did I went through a bag a little too quickly. 😉

    I don’t often admit it, but I look for “signs” in things. I believe that *something* out there, which we are a part of, communicates with you if you decide to notice. Even if it is just a little reassurance, or to push you in one direction over another. It’s kind of believing that things happen for a reason, even if you are not sure what that reason could be.

  12. Sue says:

    I do believe that things happen when you need them to whether you realize it or not. I do try and look for it, but sometimes the best ones are the one’s you don’t see and then go, duh!!!

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