Life got you stressed? Choose calm.

This will come as no surprise to those of you who know me best:  I lose my cool pretty easily.

Yep. I’m the person who screams, falls down, rolls around and moans… after I stub my toe. These girls got their fabulous drama from their mama.

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(Have you seen the viral video, Company is Coming, of the mom freaking out while cleaning her house? I swear the producer was spying on me for video inspiration.)

So, now we have a puppy. He’s adorable and sweet and the girls are absolutely in love.

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And he pees. And poops. Sometimes, in the house. Sometimes, even runs through it, leaving paw prints of yuck. Maybe during a meal. He’s full of fancy tricks, that pup.

I lose my cool in the ugliest of ways. I’ve had more than my fair share of dramatic, paper-towel-gripping, expletive-blurting moments over the last six weeks of puppy-hood. I’m not proud of my reactions, and yet, I often lack the self-control (or sleep) to not totally and completely lose myself in the heat of the moment.

No matter what kind of pathetic scene I make, there’s really nothing I can do to change what happened. Yeah, there’s a mess to deal with. I could lash out. Or, I could calmly and quietly handle it.

I think sometimes we forget that we have a choice in the matter.

Life is going to happen. Stress will bubble into our lives. There will be countless messes to fix. And yet, complaining won’t get us anywhere.

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Where are you feeling the pressure these days? Maybe it’s the holidays with the long checklist of gifts, cookies and cards. Maybe it’s the inbox that never, ever, ever slows down. Maybe it’s the home that no matter what you do always feels like a cluttered disaster.

Whatever it is that’s stressing you out, your reaction is on you and you alone. You are not a victim of your circumstances. Sure, plan ahead and find ways to create smooth sailing, as much as possible. But when the often-inevitable madness happens (and it will), remember who controls your reaction:  You.

I’m preaching to myself here. Just ask my husband. 😉

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