Coming Unglued

While I like to think I always have it together, that's really not always the case. There are some moments when I feel "off" of my normal cheery disposition and instead, feel "unglued." Unglued moments for me happen when I've overloaded myself with things to do, when I'm unorganized, when I'm running on little sleep, when I'm running late and when I'm upset because I haven't gotten everything done. Thankfully though, these moments happen very rarely and don't last long.

I can't stand coming unglued. I really can't. I don't like to feel "off" and I don't like to be unglued in front of or with my husband and kids. But everyone is human. We all have moments when we're not our best. After all, if we were always 100%, we would have no room to improve and if you know me, you know I'm all about becoming the best version of yourself in every aspect of your life. Thankfully, I have a husband who reassures me in those unglued moments that me at 90% is better than no me.

When I think back to my most recent "unglued" moments, they've happened when we've been trying to rush out of the door in the morning or when I've been disappointed that something didn't go my way. Now don't think I'm one of those women who wants my way all the time and gets mad when I don't get it because I'm not. At all. Far from it. I'm pretty sure my husband would tell you the same thing. We both tend to have the same interests and really enjoy spending time together. I like to support him in the things he likes just as he does the same for me. The only thing that sometimes takes us a while to decide is where to eat (and we can blame that on my aversion to Chinese, Japanese and until recently, Subway!).

But back to the "unglued" things.

I'm not a yeller. I don't scream. I don't explode. I tend to keep it all in and then get cold shouldered. If you want to know how to perfect the cold shoulder, you can learn from me. I almost feel like it's a defense mechanism I use to avoid getting hurt or upset. And trust me, I've had many occasions to use it in my life. But it's not good and it's not something I should do.

When I'm unglued, I also tend to get frazzled and hurried and feel bad for myself. And there's nothing I dislike more than people (myself included) feeling sorry for themselves. But sometimes,albeit very rarely, it happens. In the "unglued" state, I find myself thinking about the fact that I seem to take care of my family, myself and work and put others in front of myself. I think about how I really care about how others feel about certain things but that isn't always reciprocated. And I tend to chalk it all up to "Anna's always smiling, happy and nice and she'll get over the little things." But in reality, sometimes the little things matter the most. Just because I'm happy, smile and I'm optimistic doesn't mean I shrug things off and don't let them bother me.

When I start to feel "unglued", I know there are three things I can do:

  1. Pray - I sincerely feel that our enemy is out there trying to get us wherever he can. We've been learning about him and his tactics in our Sunday school class recently and I've also been reading a book I'd highly recommend called Interview with the Devil. I know he's on the prowl and he's going to try to penetrate whatever he can to make me not feel like myself - to cause me worry, doubt and stress. To cause me to become unglued. Knowing this, I can be on the lookout for his tactics. When I start to feel this way, I know I need to take a step back and pray (although that's sometimes the last thing I really want to do).
  2. Run - Running is a huge stress reliever for me. If I'm feeling unglued, I like to pound the pavement. It always makes me feel better.
  3. Write/Talk - I don't like to burden others with my thoughts or worries, so I often write. My husband is a great listener and can tell when things are bothering me which always causes me to talk. I'm not the best at talking yet, but his encouragement to talk really helps.
Most of all, when I feel unglued, I like to think about the cause. Am I unglued because we're rushing in the morning? Was I rushing because I hadn't gotten my clothes out the night before, packed my lunch or ran a little too long? Am I unglued because something bothers me that I have no control over? Do I recognize I don't have control and just pray? Am I unglued because I've set unrealistic expectations for what I want to accomplish is a very limited amount of time? Did I think about the time constraints when I was planning my mental to do list?

I believe that when we know what causes us to come unglued, we can take the steps to improve it. We've started getting the boys' clothes out for the week on Sunday as well as packing their lunches then. I've started squeezing in a run before work and transitioning it to lunch if I can't get it done in the morning. I've started really trying to pray consistently about those things outside of my control all the time, not only when they're bothering me. 

Coming unglued is inevitable. It's always going to happen. But my response to my unglued feelings is what matters. It matters because the way I deal with things determines my attitude and even more importantly, the way I respond sets an example for the two most precious little ones. Just as Kevin and I always reassure them that it's ok to get upset when your brother steals your toy from your hand, but the way you respond to that is what matters, the same is true for us. Being disappointed or upset about things is natural, but it's the way we respond to those disappointments and things that cause distress that shows what we're really made of. I don't know about you, but I hope my life shows that I'm far from perfect, but that I lean (although it doesn't always happen) on the One who is always there when things are just coming unglued. He's the Only One who can take the pieces, pick them up and put them back together without leaving any cracks.

Labels: ,