I am back after weeks of hard work and no rest. My dh has returned from 5 weeks of military training. Even though he completely missed our move into the house he has been working without complaint ever since he got home. Which is a change from before. Maybe it is the house or the new level of responsibility but I like it so I will not question the new attitude. However, I will question myself and how I handled the stress.
"THEY SAY" buying a house and moving are two of the most stressful things a couple can do. On top of that my dh was deployed to TN for an academy, and I (insanely) got him a puppy for his birthday which had to be picked up two weeks before our closing and move-in. This is of course an addition to our two existing dogs and my toddler. I say all this to paint a picture for you of my situation. The week of move-in everything fell apart as far as the help I thought I would have, and if it were not for my mother and a fabulous church family I would have been completely out of luck. Plus, the hot water heater went out and we were taking cold showers for 2 days.
I am not sharing all this for sympathy or admiration for my perserverance, but for an objective observation of my character. As a child many adults thought me to be strong and able to handle many things others could not. I thought that was an admirable quality and I often strived to reflect it. The "self-fulfilling prophecy" effect took hold, and whether or not I was truly strong I was going to show that I was regardless of my needs. I thought being strong meant handling things on you own, not getting upset or showing emotion, and that you didn't need people to live your life. Later in life, after many traumatic events, broken hearts, and shattered dreams, I realized I was not strong and needed many things. I am incredibly weak and often cry. I get lonely quite easily, and much like everyone else in the world I want people around me, a lot. But........because I tried so hard to be what I was not, I don't know how to ask for help nor am I good at being a friend. Showing any kind of weakness is emotionally very difficult and causes me much anxiety. My own mother has often stated she doesn't feel like she really knows who I am. Well, neither do I.
So when stressful events come up (and they often do, at least in my life) I like to take the opportunity to reflect on my behavior and learn about my true character. I found that I am stonger than I thought but I wish I wasn't. I think people view someone they consider strong as not needing anything. So they are less likely to offer assistance or call to check on you. Also, I think they find it intimidating which I have been told I am. I mainly feel misunderstood, like Mr. Darcy (Pride and Prejudice) and did not intend to come across as rude. Additionally, the moving situation forced me to ask for help, which always pains me to do but I had no other choice. Especially asking for help from my mother is particularly hard. However, she was pleasant and agreeable this time so it wasn't that bad. I was better able to handle the frustrations and problems throughout the weeks mainly because there was nothing left to do. I don't think I had ever been forced to "the end of my rope" like I was with this situation. I knew it would end soon but in the midst of it there was nothing left to do but get it done. When I felt anger or overwhelmed or pity I simply had to put it aside. There was no time or energy left for me to experience or deal with these feelings or even to get over them. I had never had that before and it left me with a knew skill.
Often I get upset over small things that are not important nor should they be consuming my time. Before I would analyze them and try to figure everything out that I could. This would never do any good and I rarely learned much about myself. I have wasted many many many hours at this. I fell into several serious depressions in college doing this and have much anxiety over trivial things. It never occurred to me to simply put it aside and keep going. Things really do work themselves out sometimes. Now, I realize not everything is like that and the ability discern what requires attention and what can be forgotten is vital. However, the amount of time and energy I have just freed up for myself is invaluable. I may be able to learn a second language or pick up a second instrument.
SO at the end of it all I am much better than when it started and feel blessed beyond what I ever thought possible. The pressure of all the events weighing down on me made me a better and different person. Times like these always remind me of the scripture He is the potter we are the clay thing. All that forming and shaping, working with the clay can really hurt but when its over you are more beautiful than you were when God started working on you. Of course then there is the firing and hardening which is really painful too. Then God decides you need to look more beautiful and it starts all over because He is God and gets to do whatever he wants, but that is another blog.