They say that idle hands are the devil’s workshop.
Objectively speaking, I haven’t been idle today. I went to the farmer’s market and grocery store, planned my meals for the week, cooked lunch, took my puppy for a walk, did training with her (the most “playing” she gets while her stitches are still in), and sat on the couch with her for hours, coaxing, comforting, and distracting her so she didn’t run in circles. She even had a huge tantrum and I suffered it out until she passed out in my lap.
It was exhausting. But now, I have a 60 pound puppy sleeping in my lap. I’ve been watching the same TV show for 4 hours (yay, Netflix marathoning), I’ve run out of yarn for my crochet project, and my right leg is asleep. Did I mention that it’s now 11 pm and I haven’t eaten since lunch?
And I wish I were doing something. Exhaustion, for me, always causes a feeling of helplessness. And helplessness is exactly what my monster feeds on. And as I sit here, unable to move, those dark little thoughts creep back into my head:
How could you be so impatient with your puppy? What will you do when you have actual kids? You’re going to be a terrible parent.
If you were more organized, more motivated, more patient, you’d be doing much better at this. It’s a shame you’re incapable of doing it right.
It’s so unfair that you gave all your time to Madelyn (the puppy) while she was awake, and now she’s stealing your time while she’s asleep.
Oh man, I hate that nasty little voice! It’s the only thing in the entire world that I can say that I truly despise. It exists for no other purpose than to break me down, make me doubt, make me fear, make me resent, make me hurt.
But then I look at my beautiful little love bug, as I call her. Not because I love her (though I do), but because I know that she loves me unconditionally, and trusts me entirely. And I want to do everything I can to be worthy of that.
So am I exhausted? Yes. Out of patience? Strung out? Feeling a big long cry coming on? All of the above. But am I going to keep sitting here so my puppy can sleep happily in my lap, and find a moment of peace in her long, boring, painful recovery from surgery? Of course I am. I love her.
How to Be Awesome Tip #11: Accept that you can’t choose what you feel, but acknowledge that you can choose which feelings you act on.