On a small chalkboard in my kitchen: “What is the opportunity? – KKB”
My friend Katherine knows that I am too easily defeated when I encounter obstacles. She prayed for me once that instead of quickly giving up in the face of obstacles, I would look at obstacles as opportunities. “Camille,” she counseled, “when a difficulty arises, stop and ask yourself ‘What is the opportunity here?'”
I have to remind myself of Katherine’s advice often. Daily. Multiple times each day.
This has been a BUSY week for me. I had the joy of welcoming a new grandbaby into the family on Monday, and was able to spend a couple of days with the young parents as they began settling into life with a newborn. (Translation: Lots of sweet baby snuggles for Grandma, and not a lot of sleep!)
I arrived back home to the house in the hay field yesterday evening just in time for dinner, after a stop at E.W.’s for a box of chicken and a carton of coleslaw. Unload the van, unpack bags, cold shower (van doesn’t have AC, so I was soaked with sweat after the drive home), quick dinner (too tired to cook!), and then the kids and I vegged out in front of a movie before I finally crashed into bed.
Catch up on a week’s worth of neglected housework: mopped floors, cleaned bathrooms, dusted, changed sheets, caught up on laundry, ALL before noon. (Call me Tawanda!) Super productive morning.
I was going to tackle writing assignments right after lunch, but I took a short nap instead because my head was fuzzy. After a 15 minute nap and a cup of coffee, I sifted through email, chugged out a blog post (bam!), and began work on next week’s article for the newspaper.
I still need to get groceries. And order books for Helen’s dual-enrollment classes. And finish cleaning out the closet under the stairs. And look over lesson plans for next week. And write an article for GHC. And…
The day is almost over. My energy is at low tide. I need to catch my third (or is it my fourth?) wind. I wish I could believe that this evening will be productive, but my brain is getting fuzzy again…
While I have been pressing hard to catch up on household chores and writing assignments, another has been flitting in and out, fussing and blustering and doing nothing particularly productive. I’ve had good day – I am amazed at what I’ve been able to get done – but this person’s idleness and general negativity seem to be contagious. In the pit of my stomach, there is a yucky, churning, expanding feeling of defeat.
So I ask myself: Camille, what is the opportunity?
I see at least a couple of opportunities before me:
- I can be grateful for what I have been able to accomplish today.
- I can let go of what I have not been able to check off my ToDo list, let it go with no regret because I know I have worked hard to make the best use of my time today.
- I can refuse to adopt the fussy, negative, surly mood of my companion, although he has made a few of my bazillion-and-one jobs unnecessarily more difficult.
Yes, I can do those three things (in addition to the floors and the laundry and cleaning out the litter box). Yes, I can!
I’ve had an awesome day today! How about you?