I'm in the middle of reading "Happier at Home" by Gretchen Rubin (as well as several other books). The book is interesting; she writes about goals and projects she goes about implementing in order to increase her happiness in life (and more specifically at home). I feel that it reads a bit like a very well organized blog. The book is very upbeat as she writes about this and that accomplishment and how it did or didn't affect her state of happiness.
To be honest I'd read about half way through and it was starting to feel a little too upbeat to me. I mean, I make new goals almost as a profession but am I able to complete half of them? No. Here she is marking this off and working on that project and I half started to think, "this woman is too good to be true."
A little over half way through she hits a wall so to speak and I'm like, "HA! I'm not so much a freak as I was starting to feel." Smack dab in the middle of the book she writes:
"Around January, my emotional energy flagged. I felt trapped in a kind of Ground Hog Day of happiness. When I looked back at my Resolutions Charts from previous months, I saw rows of X's on certain pages; the same resolutions defeated me, over and over. I wasn't making much progress."She goes on and on like this for about five pages. This, in the middle of a pretty upbeat, go and get em book about happiness. And then the book returns to it's normal pace. This little "I'm feeling defeated" moment in the book stuck out like such a sore thumb and yet I am still feeling a sort of relief from her having put that in there.
When I was a kid I was so fascinated by Paul's rant of sorts in Romans chapter 7:
I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin. (vs. 15-25)
I used to read this over and over as a kid. I was confused at how this man who wrote a good portion of the new testament which is all, "do good, be good, turn away from evil, love the Lord," how could he all of the sudden be struggling so much? What in the world was he failing at/ not doing that he wished he were doing that would cause him to write such a passage filled with that much turmoil? I was fascinated that life could really be that hard for adults too. I mean, it was SO difficult for me in middle school and high school and I wasn't even working full time, paying bills, raising kids, running a house hold... but adults were supposed to have it all together. I mean, they had grown up. I was just utterly fascinated by this passage.
I still am really. It's like a beacon of hope. "No mam, even people who write a good portion of the new testament don't have it all together." People who write books about happiness even have to put that downer moment in the middle. Being an adult doesn't mean having it altogether.
Okay, pep talk done.
Now that the holidays are upon us I am starting to feel very overwhelmed. I want the holidays to be spectacular. Christmas only comes once a year. But I have a hard enough time feeling that I accomplished taking care of my home, my family, my kid, paying the bills, keeping everyone fed, and making it to work and back on a daily basis. Throw the holidays in there and, well, this year I'm starting to panic a little. I write all this to say, "no panic necessary! Adults don't have it all together. I just need to keep putting one foot in front of the other and well, I seriously need to get more organized." But really, it's okay. I'm going to try my hardest and everything will be just fine.