May 9, 2012

Bite Me

So...remember that little epiphany I had?  Live fully in the moment, don't worry about the past or future, don't covet time,  yadayadayada.  Well...I knew that would come back to bite me.  I just knew I'd get the opportunity to 'exercise' this little lesson, I just didn't know when.

Turns out yesterday was 'training day' for me.  Okay Cori, let's see how deep this new beautiful truth is in you, shall we?  Let's throw a curve ball at you today and see what happens.  Oh goodie.

It helps to have a little background information first.  You see, I used to be a huge stickler for a schedule.  If anything got off MY schedule by a fraction of a minute, I was so irritated (to put it lightly).  I lived and breathed by my own self inflicted schedule.  I did not live a free life.  I put all kinds of walls and boundaries up to protect myself.  Those little walls I liked to call "my schedule".  If you wanted to enjoy me, you had to also like my schedule because it controlled me.

I thank God everyday for teaching me a better way to live because living like that is miserable for you and everyone else around you.  But when you feel you have no control over your own life, setting up pseudo-control in the form of a very strict schedule has a way of giving you a false sense of security that you cling to desperately.  A whole day could easily be ruined because something in our day happened out of order or our time frame got messed up somehow.

Looking back, I can't even begin to imagine living like that.  Who was that person?  She must not have been very happy.  Having three kids and homeschooling abruptly threw that philosophy of living right out the window.  I either had to become Nazi-Mom or learn to go with the flow.  I now LOVE the freedom of seeing where the day takes me; staying flexible and open to adventures or emergencies or whatever else might come up.  I'd say God transformed me completely and I hardly remember that old, suffocating way of life I used to live bound up with my rigid schedule.

But yesterday it all came flooding back in full force.  Of course it did.

We had planned to go see Daddy's softball games after school.  He works almost an hour away, so logistically, it's very hard for us to make it up there and back before bedtime on a school night.  Most of his games are late at night but these were at 6 and 7pm.  Perfect.  I could just pick up the kids and get up to his work 45 minutes later.  We would have time to eat and get to the ball fields with time to spare.  It was a brilliant plan.  And to top things off, this was like the only game of his season we were going to be able to come to because of kids' extra curricular actives.

Que rain.  Bummer.

Que cold, cloudy day.  Double Bummer!

This is not turning into the picture I had in my head of a beautiful, sunny, 70 degree, spring day.

But that's okay, they probably wouldn't call the game because it wasn't  supposed to rain during game time.  They'd just have to deal with the puddles all over the field.  Not my problem.  I'm going with the flow just fine.

Then comes the final blow.  Apparently my internal stress-o-meter was already set at pretty high because of the previous, unplanned weather circumstances.  Then Chuck calls like 5 minutes before we were supposed to leave.  "Uh, I have some interesting news for you."

"What could you possibly tell me that is interesting 5 minutes before I have to leave?"

"Well...turns out we don't have a 6 o'clock game.  Only a 7 o'clock game."

You would have thought he told me he hated me and never wanted to see me again.  I was so ticked off by that change of plans.  See, I had planned to hang around with the kids for the 6 o'clock game and leave by 7 so I could get home by 8 to put everyone to bed.  Perfect plan, right?  Apparently, no one else got my memo.

"ARGHHHH!!!!  So, do you not want us to come now?"  What I was really saying here was, I guess that means we don't get to have Smashburger for dinner now and have to eat leftovers that I DON'T WANT and we won't get to see you until like 9 o'clock tonight.  And I have to unpack the car with all the stuff I just finished putting in there to bring to your game.

"Sure, you can still come if you want.  We'll just have a longer wait till the game."

"...........", that's me fuming and thinking.  Suddenly, old Cori rears her ugly, control head and every and anything I've learned over the last 10 years disappears.  I let this new change of plans ruin my ever lovin joy.

Then, to make matters worse Chuck's like, "Remember that living in the moment thing?  Let's just enjoy whatever time we get whether you go to the game or not, at least we'll get to eat together and hang out for a while."

"Ok.  Fine.  See you soon."  Inside, I know this whole thing is so petty.  But I can stop the volcano of emotions erupting just beneath the surface.  It just plain feels good to be mad.

So, I go pick up the kids from school.  They can instantly sense I'm not "happy mommy" at the moment.  They start peppering me with questions about whether or not I'm tired or if I have a headache.  I decide to just confess and tell them, "Mommy is fine, just a little irritated is all.  Things aren't working out the way we thought they would for tonight and I'm just trying to not let it bother me.  But until I've reached that zen state, I will probably look a little perturbed and sound a little frustrated."

Bennett is all over that.  He knows the cure for a bad mood.  He jumps in with excitement in the Trying-To-Help-Mom-Not-Be-Mad-Anymore Cure.  To make matters worse, I'm the one who taught him the cure.  "So, Mom, Whatcha' thankful for today?"

His timing is impeccable.  He knew if I would chose to be thankful, I couldn't be upset anymore.  I'm sure I mumbled something pathetic like, "I'm glad you're finally home from school."  Not like my conscience wasn't doing an adequate enough job of reminding me to just let it go, now I had Chuck reminding me of my epiphany and Bennett reminding me to be thankful.   Man, what does a girl have to do stay in a mad mood around here?!

Oh, I know... how about, get stuck in traffic.  Let's sit right in the middle of a construction zone and try to merge 3 lanes into 1 in the course of one block.  That will help eat up time and mental energy.

What seemed like ions later, we finally made it up to Chuck's work and over to Smashburger.  I silently pray the world's best prayer, "Help God!  Help, please!".  It worked.  For me, that was my surrender.  That was me admitting my way sucked and I would prefer to live thankful and in the moment and chose His way, not my pathetic, self-serving way.

We ended up laughing so hard at dinner.  And yes, it rained but who cares.  Chuck was the one who had to play in that weather.  The kids didn't once complain about the long drive or the fact that we didn't get to go to Daddy's game (I should have been relieved actually knowing my luck with softballs).

And just to make sure I wasn't 'faking' my new found joy, I got lost on the way home and still didn't blow up.  Okay, maybe once I screamed in frustration over the phone when I was calling Chuck for the 3rd time in angst over not being able to find my way back to the highway and driving aimlessly for 20 minutes.  But we did get to see the most beautiful rainbow on the way home...so it all worked out in the end.

It's so strange how old habits can rear their ugly head.  Just goes to show how my best effort is never good enough.  I need to chose Jesus every minute of every day.  And having people who love me around me to remind me of that fact is an extra bonus when I'm too dense to remember.
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