When it’s not you, it’s me

It’s going to be different.

That’s what I think every time change is on the horizon. It’s what I thought a few months ago when I was survival parenting, barely hanging on to sanity by a thread.

Once we’re moved, things will be different.

Now we’re moved. And things aren’t all that different. I’m still frustrated with my kids. I’m yelling more than I’d like. I’m overwhelmed by housework, in serious need of some “me time.”

Where I'd like to spend my "me" time

Where I’d like to spend my “me” time

Once Izzy goes to school, I think, things will be different. It’ll just be me and Corban for the day.

Things will be different.

I’m detecting a pattern here.

I’m pushing through to the next thing, whatever it is, on the promise that once I’m there things will be different in a good way. Yet, when I get there, it’s more of the same.

The common denominator: me.

Circumstances will change. Settings will change. Schedules will change. And all along I’ve been hoping that those changes will be the elusive thing I’m looking for to make life better.

The problem is this: I’m no different in each of these changes. The same frustrations I felt earlier this year I carried with me to our new house. And just because I’ll be less one child come fall doesn’t meant I won’t still be overwhelmed.

I don’t want to keep living as if the next thing to come will be the better thing. I don’t want to say my marriage will be better when the kids are grown because I’ve seen marriages dissolve after that. I don’t want to think that life will be easier when both kids are in school and I’ll have more time to write because I know I can procrastinate with the best of them. I don’t want to hope that by the end of my life I’ll be a better person than I am today without making any effort to change. <Click to tweet>

I’m in danger of becoming bitter about life. Of missing the joy in each day because I think tomorrow, or the next day, or the next year has more potential for joy than right now.

How can these adorable guys not bring joy?

How can these adorable guys not bring joy?

I recently finished reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp and I’m feebly attempting to list 1,000 joys I find in the everyday. Maybe I’ll make it by the end of the year. I hope to be changed by the intentional looking for reasons to say “thank you, God.”

It’s a start. I need to change. Not just my setting or my circumstances but me. From the inside out.

Because when I’m honest with God about my life, the old break-up cliche fits: It’s not You; it’s me.

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