There are many “things” that can make travel easier, new products or life hacks that make it seem that you have all the amenities of home with you wherever you go. One thing that I have realized in my travels, is that the physical things that you carry along with you end up just being useless extra weight if your character flaws ruin the essence of a trip.
I am not saying that I have ruined one day of our trip so far, sadly I know I have ruined
many a few. No one is perfect, and especially not while traveling for such an extended period of time. I have shown my complete fallibility more than ever. It sucks knowing that those days cannot be redone, that no new fangled travel gadget could have changed my response to the variables that caused my crankiness. Nothing can change the past and how I acted, and so I decided to strive to work on three things about myself for the future.
I do not make new years resolutions… I know that these three things will be issues that I will have to work on for the rest of my life, so I am not expecting quick results. But writing them here as a way to hold myself accountable to my desires to be a better traveler and/or person… Maybe even become a mature adult! You never know, it could happen.
1. Allowing Myself to Feel All the Feelings
I am an emotional person. Ask anyone that knows me dearly and they know that I can be what some would call, moody. Actually don’t ask them because I am hoping that you all will still like me.
Okay, so I said I was moody, but honestly the only feelings that I let myself feel (not by my conscious doing) are anger, annoyance,
absolute and utter frustration, and sometimes happiness. I never allow myself to openly feel sad, or scared, or weak. Chalk it up to years of people who broke me down in my adult life, blah blah blah… blah blah blah. Yep, those blah’s are supposed to let you know that I know blaming others for my problems is an unhealthy way to think. No one is at fault for the Great Wall in my heart except for me. I have been working and praying to break down my walls and let myself feel all feelings and trust those around me with them, but I fail at it all the time. And so I get more angry, and withdraw my true feelings even more. It’s a vicious and not-so-smart circle, but hey, if every one was mentally and emotionally healthy, what fun would that be to read and write blog posts about how one wants to change?!
A good example of this was when my friend had to cancel a dinner that I had been so excited about. She had a horrible stomach flu, it wasn’t like she just decided she did not want to go to dinner with me. I felt sad, disappointed, and angry, all mixed with empathy for her feeling so sick. Instead of just letting myself feel these things in a healthy way, I became annoyed at the one who was nearest me, Chad. It was easier to be angry with him for something small and stupid, then to let myself be real with my husband. It’s just not healthy!
I have decided to start small with this one. When I feel a feeling that could leave me vulnerable, instead of letting it turn into anger I will go somewhere where I can be alone (if at all possible ) and let myself be free to feel whatever it is. I will consciously decide to not let anger take over. If I need to cry, I will go cry. If I need a little time having a pity party, I will do so. Then I will hopefully be able to release and control the emotions that I have.
We shall see how this one goes. I am reaching out to you…. Have any tips for me on how to make this happen and stick?
2. Patience, Patience, Patience
This one seems like a given, but is one that I constantly have to remind myself about. I could always use more patience. More when my toddler states, ” I need to go poop!” as we are driving in the car immediately after a rest stop. And immediately after I just dealt with the toddlers major melt down since I was forcing her to try to go potty. But that is just normal ( it is normal right?) parent/child stuff. I can remember doing the same thing to my parents during our many car trips over the years.
I could use more patience when I have my heavy backpack on as we walk through an airport and Z asks me to carry her for the
hundredth thousandth time. I need to be more patient when trying to give Chad directions while he drives. The list could go on and on as to where I need more patience. But I don’t want to bore you before I get to my last point!
3. Giving Myself Grace
This is one that I am absolutely, without a doubt, the most horrible at. I will sit and stew over everything I have done during the day before I go to bed. I replay all the ways I could have been a better mom, wife, friend, and person. I constantly beat myself up… “Maybe I talked too much over that person.”, “Maybe I should have just let Z have that _____.”, “Maybe I shouldn’t have spent this money on that thing.”, these are just some things that come up when I am trying to relax my mind for a good sleep. And then I wonder why I feel unrested most mornings… hmmmm?
I need to give myself some grace. Forgiveness for making mistakes, a free pass on the worrying that I will ruin Z by calling her bossy or some other word that is currently trendy to condemn mothers for using. No one else on earth is able to forgive me for these things and so I need to pray and ask for forgiveness and THEN ACTUALLY FORGIVE MYSELF as well. What a wonderful life I would have, if I just let myself relax a little and realize that I am human and I will make mistakes. Only God can truly show me how to forgive and he already has done it over and over for me, why can I not do the same? Thinking and doing are two different things though and I am at a loss how to do this except to decide to do so and pray pray pray (want to pray for me too?).
Whew. Well that was a lot of inner monologues being thrown out onto the internet, but I hope and pray that writing them down will cause me to actually follow through and work on these things. Thanks for always being there and listening and being a part of our journey around the world, and my mental health checks. (haha)
Now it’s your turn! What three things would you like to work on in yourself? Have an helpful suggestions or encouragement for me in the three things I chose? Leave a comment and join in the conversation!