Late this past summer, I found myself getting an attitude. The, “I don’t want to”, attitude that plague’s me from time to time. I have a special little “word” that sums it all up -*Ugh*.
One word, many meanings, and it’s easily measurable. Broken down into 4 levels, it looks like this…
1.) The mildly irritated, I’ll do it tomorrow *ugh*
- Often let out as more of a sigh (sometimes long / sometimes short, an exhale)
- Audible distance: unless they were sitting on your lap, no one probably heard.
- Looks-wise: you still manage to look *pretty* under pressure.
2.) The lukewarm, why is this happening to me *ugh*
- Short but audible
- Often accompanied by eye rolling
- Audible distance: folks in the same room heard you.
- Looks-wise: still holding the *pretty together* but suspicious
3.) The medium, I’m upset and I’m letting you know *ugh*
- Characterized by it’s mid-point tone change (much like the cracking voice of a teenage boy, it usually starts out on a higher tone and midpoint drops to a gritty lower level tone)
- Audible distance: Folks in a 2 room radius likely heard
- Looks-wise: *Pretty* lapsing, usually accompanied by brief moments of ugly
- Questionable face contortion possible
4.) The boiling point, can’t take it, extreme frustration *ugh*
- Length: long drawn out “UGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!”
- Often elevated
- Could be confused with a scream
- Hearing Distance: Entire house knows, and any passers by
- Looks-wise: Your ugly is out there, the veins in your neck are now visible.
With this mutual understanding of the *ugh* gauge we can now move on…
This summer I was stuck on level 1. Stuck, stuck, stuck… Much like a ball in the gutter at the bowling alley, it was deep and it was going nowhere but straight down to the black abyss.
The problem with being *stuck* is that, if you don’t deal with whatever adhesive it is that has it’s grip on you, than, inevitably when more pressure is added into your life, related or not, you move to level 2. And so on and so forth, until one day you find yourself steaming on level 4 for seemingly no reason at all. (or so we say, there are plenty of reasons… we just won’t mention them because we’ve been so good at ignoring them up until this point) In short, not a good path to be on.
So there I was, a chronic level 1’er…. I found myself day after day looking at a task at hand and being overwhelmed with a feeling of defeat before I even tried. I knew that if I could just complete the task I would feel so much better about my day and myself. For *stuck* reason, I couldn’t get myself to focus on the ‘feel good’ feeling I knew was awaiting me at task completion. Instead, I was focusing on the step, after daunting step, that I would have to take to get there. The time, the frustration, the imposition, the *BLAH*…
After awhile, I developed these handy dandy little excuses for everything. I’m too tired. I don’t have time. I don’t feel good. I have nothing to wear. It’s too messy. I have a headache. It’s too cold. It’s too hot. I can’t focus. Get the picture? You name it, I had an excuse for it.
I was sitting at the pool watching the kids play one mid-morning… the kids asked me “mommy, aren’t you coming in?” Before my brain thought, my mouth said “It’s too cold! BRRRR!” As those words were still coming out of my mouth, I was taken back by them. You see, I had sunken into my pool lounger, with my greedy little self, and, before I was even fully reclined, I was thinking “I wonder how long I have to stay here”.
‘What is the matter with me?’ I thought.
I remember as a child jumping into a freezing cold pool, only to feel warm a few seconds later, and having fun for hours swimming thereafter… As a kid, I remember watching all the adults sitting poolside and thinking ‘they’re missing out on all the fun!’… had I really turned into ‘that’ adult? What would happen if I just jumped in? If I forgot about the initial shock and focused on the hours of fun to follow?
I could feel the adult in me saying ‘no I’m not like that, it’s much to cold’… But, what’s the alternative? Being bored poolside, counting down the minutes, wondering what the acceptable time limit was that I could request we all go home… hmmmm.
It hit me, as I sat there chewing on this fatty thought… All of my excuses started with “I’m not like that”, “I don’t…”, “I can’t…” I rationalized with myself for a moment and said “okay, maybe you’re not normally like that… But what if, for one day, you are? What would happen?” From that moment on I started thinking of all the fun I would have, all the memories the kids would have of mom giving them rides around the pool, laughing, racing… if I could just get over myself for the few seconds it would take to jump in…
I stood up, took my muumuu – like, momma cover up off… I walked over to the pools edge… I jumped! We went back day after day the rest of the summer, and we all jumped – every time! It became a race to see who could jump first and it was …awesome!
I began to challenge myself to apply that same, “What if, just for today, I”, concept to different areas of my life just to see what would happen. I’ve been so blown away at the things I’ve been able to accomplish, by simply taking the limits off of myself, that I’ve decided to start sharing them here.
It’s surprisingly simple but the pay-off is incredible!
Hopefully the challenges I share, will encourage you to try something you previously have said “I can’t”, “I’m not like that”, or “I just don’t…” to. See what happens if for one day you say “I can”, “I am”, or “I do”!
“What if just for today you…” What’s one thing you’d really like to overcome, finish, do, but haven’t? I’d love to hear about it! Let me know if you rise to the challenge!
It’s a great feeling!
Note: As I complete challenges I will post them under the category “What if, just for today, I…”