When You're Not Killin' it
Returning from vacation is difficult, especially when your 1.5 hour plane ride turns into an 11 hour travel nightmare. I'm not complaining, but I will leave you with these three words: Spirit Airlines sucks.
But really, it seems like the return to the "real world" is always accentuated by a number of problems. Life never gives you a gradual, "let's ease back into this thing together," kind of generosity. Instead, it's full of neglected emails, surprise bills, and problems that you hoped would magically resolve themselves in your absence.
My attitude is far more dependent on my circumstances than I'd like to admit. When things are going well for me, I find it easy to be optimistic and self-assured. On the flip side, my emotions like to camp out in anxiety-land when I feel overwhelmed or unable to control my circumstances. While I realize that most people can relate to this principle, those of us who have a high need for achievement and are very performance driven feel the yo-yo effect of this pendulum more than others.
So today, I decided to take the time to think about the differences in my attitude when I feel on top of the world vs. when I feel like I'm not killin' it. Most of us feel at peace during exceptionally good seasons of life or vacation periods, when we get a chance to reset and reflect. During these moments, I notice three distinct changes in my attitude:
I love better
Self-doubt breeds self-centerdness. I find myself consumed with my problems and my struggles when things aren't going to plan. However, when things are flowing smoothly, I'm a much better spouse, friend, and listener to the people in my life. I don't feel the need to purge my problems on others, and I'm able to give more of myself to those around me.
I connect the dots
In the same vein, I find myself noticing ways in which God has provided throughout the good times and bad when there's no drama or stress vying for my attention. It's easier for me to look at the "bigger picture" and see how life is always full of ups and downs, and we can't ever get comfortable in the same place for too long.
I don't fall prey to the thief of comparison
As I was mulling over the idea for this post, I received an email from Lara Casey's blog about the lies we believe and the temptation to compare ourselves to others when we don't feel like "the best". One of my favorite excerpts from her post was:
I’ve been believing the lie that God isn’t faithful. I don’t say it, but I sure am acting like it lately. How easily I forget what He has done! I certainly don’t think I’ve listened as much as I should, or that I’ve done much right, but my friend encouraged me to see that His ways are always better than mine, and His ways lead to new life.
I like the person I am when I choose to live unconsumed by my circumstances and more consumed with the purpose for which I was created. As much as I hate to admit it, I know that circumstances will always change, and I have to choose whether or not to allow my emotions to move with that roller coaster or remain constant.
Think about the way you live when you're on vacation, free of stress and distractions. How can we bring a little more of that into our day-to-day routine?
Photo credit: Lara Casey Media