When you don’t know what else to do? Laugh.
Find the positive in the negative. Or for a cliche, make lemons out of lemonade.
I could relate to Elizabeth’s excitement in finding chardonnay juice boxes in the produce section of the grocery store mid-day. I could totally feel her frustrations with shopping at Target with her husband. We go in for milk and laundry detergent, and we leave with [opened] snacks, an air filter, clothes the kids don’t need (“But these are so cute!” And that’s him talking.), and God knows what from the dollar section (seriously, whoever invented that section is a bona fide genius). No milk or laundry detergent.
To which I cheerfully say, “Well, I guess I get to make another trip to Target!” Which sounds terribly like a Stepford Wife.
I’m not always that excited to have to make another trip to get something I forgot. And I forget a lot. But is it the worst thing in the world? Probably not.
Sometimes I get caught so up in what I’m doing, I forget my surroundings. I’m up in the morning, changing diapers, giving kisses, herding everyone into the kitchen, fastening straps, peeling bananas, slinging Cheerios, pouring milk, popping waffles in the toaster, all while staving off my own hunger and stealing longing glances at the coffee maker. Hubs comes in, hovers around me, puts a hand on my shoulder, and just plain gets in my way. And all he wants is a good morning hug from his wife.
It’s then that I realize I’m on autopilot and I need to snap out of it. We’re tired in the morning. We just want to get the breakfast served. Peaceful and quiet meals are a rarity around here (although they do happen from time to time), and we find ourselves just being too serious about things. Kids banging spoons on the table. Annoying? Yes. Life or death situation in which they must stop or this meal is over? Um, no.
I CANNOT be too serious around two 3 year olds and a 1 year old. They won’t allow it. I have to be silly, dance to a stupid song when they’re cranky, and just go with the flow.
Important quotes from Rule 11: “I highly recommend reserving a serious attitude for those few occasions that truly require it…If you can laugh or find something positive in the not-so-great moments as often as possible, those occasions during which a serious response is all you can muster will not only be few and far between, but easier to manage.“
Elizabeth’s assignment for Rule 11: Can you recall a situation in which you took things much more seriously than necessary (in hindsight of course)? The next time you find yourself in a serious mood, ask yourself if it’s really required or can you lighten up a bit?