Yesterday morning was nuts. I overslept, the kids were hard to move (five more minutes), I didn't get to make their lunches so I planned on dropping them off on the way to work (I had stuff to deliver to the school for me, too). Dishes in the sink, a last load of laundry mocking in the hallway, I ran out of waffles. There were a couple of other things that had me on edge, and by the time I made it to work, an hour late, I was agitated.
I sat at my desk, trying to concentrate and count my cells, but my heart was pounding and I kept going over in my head the things I did wrong, the things that went wrong, and I couldn't settle down.
I switched my music to something soothing, and took a deep breath. What's wrong with you? I asked myself, as I sat, continuing to count and recount the same cell over and over. I took a deep breath. And I thought, this is crazy. I do a lot of things right. What went right this morning?
I was ready to leave before the kids were, makeup and all. We got to school and no one was late--I walked Audrey to her class. She gave me the biggest smile as she turned to run out and meet her friends. Later, I paid some bills before I left the house, delivered the lunches, and put the papers I needed to get out in the teachers' mailboxes. I picked up some birthday cards for our supervisor's birthday on my way in to work (a friend of mine called me and asked me if I had any at home and I said no, but I'd take care of it.) I got a compliment from one of my colleagues when I got to work, and fielded inquiries along the "Do you feel better?" line. (which was nice)
Small victories, it's true. Maybe even a little shallow, now that I think about it.
But my mood changed, and I settled down. It's really easy to get stuck in thinking that you suck when things are a little off. Or a lot off, whatever the case may be.
It's harder to convince yourself that most of the time, the things that agitate are not worth the effort of exasperation.
Like when you are getting married, for the lack of a better analogy, and you want everything to be perfect, everything to be just so....but the baker mistakenly gives you carrot instead of chocolate cake, you got a run in your hose, and your mother-in-law makes a pass at your brother. Yet you smile and pose for the pictures, and no one knows that anything is wrong at all. All they see is a beautiful wedding.
I like to think that on my frazzled, screaming-at-my-kids-in-the-parking-lot, surely-I'm-crazy days, all they see is a beautiful mom. It only is a disaster from my vantage point; I'm all grace under pressure to those on the outside.
And if I'm the only one who knows it's a disaster, than it's probably not a big deal at all.
Which leads to grace under pressure...on the inside.