I am a big fan of introspecting. I suppose it’s my INFP-ishness coming through. (“They are idealists and perfectionists, who drive themselves hard in their quest for achieving the goals they have identified for themselves”). I am constantly thinking of ways that I could be a better person, and critiquing myself when I fail to do so. (“INFPs have very high standards and are perfectionists. Consequently, they are usually hard on themselves, and don’t give themselves enough credit… The INFP needs to work on balancing their high ideals with the requirements of every day living”).
(Seriously – this INFP thing is just so me, it’s ridiculous…)
All of the sweet women in my Wednesday Mom’s Group are familiar with my declaring that I am such a terrible housekeeper. I secretly suspect that I’m actually fairly average among my peers, but compared to PERFECT, well, I’m pretty bad! I have a tough time keeping perspective in these things, and balancing my high ideals with the nitty-gritty realities of life with pregnancy/toddler/preschooler etc.
One thing that I think would be helpful is to perhaps write down a list of “self-improvement” goals. Things like being more patient with the kids, keeping on top of laundry a bit better, and quitting using certain phrases and words (I’m not talking about curse words – since that’s not really my issue – but rather things like “hurry up!!” or “I’m tired/busy/just a sec/etc). I want to pray more for my kids and hubby, I want to be disciplined a bit more in my spiritual practices. I want to be more consistently healthy in my eating habits, not to mention more frugal.
Then, I was thinking that most of these things just kinda float there on the back burner, never really getting done and receiving a fair effort, since they seem so ridiculously impossible to achieve. But what if I just started with a day? Or even just an hour, if that’s more realistic?
For just one day, I could make a concerted effort to be more patient. Whenever the kids do something that starts my blood boiling, I take a breath, I talk myself out of it, and I employ whatever strategy I’ve prepared. Just one day. Seems do-able.
Then when it’s done, and I’ve succeeded (or seem some improvement), I know it’s possible. It kind of sounds silly, but I really think this could be revolutionary. To know that your goals have a starting point, and that they can start now, today, in the midst of your messy life and many imperfections. To experience the rush of reaching a goal, even if it was as simple as avoiding sugar for one single day.
The first day is always the hardest. But really, I can do anything. For just one day.
Just for one day I will be a more patient mom – not yelling/raising my voice/getting unrighteously angry/annoyed/etc. My strategies to achieve this goal will be to get a good night’s sleep the night before, to give the kids lots of attention when they ask (verbally or otherwise) for it, and to make sure I spend a bit of time reading my Bible. And, of course, heaps and heaps of deep breaths and biting my tongue!
(Please know that I don’t expect to become a perfect mother who is always patient and never gets angry. I do hope that my little experiment will cause me to be much more conscientious about it. I hope for it to be a catalyst towards personal growth in this area).
So, what one thing would you choose to change in your life, for just one day? Do you think this kind of experiment would resonate with you?