Learning to Give Myself Grace

IMG_3595It was one of those mornings around here.  I know it is Friday, but Lord knows it felt like a Monday.  For some reason everyone was dragging and everything just felt harder than it should have.  My husband had an early appointment at work, so our schedule was a bit skewed.  There was dog drama over getting my aging, ailing terrier to eat his heartworm/flea pill and accompanying full meal of kibble.  I needed to walk into the school office to register my kids for the After School Program, but had only brought one application home to fill out.  My best intentions were to get in a swim first thing and start my day off right, but we were already running late.  And did I mention it was raining?  But not just raining, raining in torrential downpours.

In my swimsuit and an outer outfit I ran out the door for the school run.  We plowed through the water driving to school.  Maybe, just maybe, I could get every task accomplished on my pre-set timeline.  But of course there was a wait in the school office and then they were down to their last application for ASP.  Can I wait for them to make a copy?  Oh, wait the copier isn’t working right.  Sorry.

Thankfully they decided to just give me the last application which I thanked them for and then sprinted out to my car.  A quick look at the time told me there was no way I’d make it to the pool before lap swim hour ended.  I huffed at myself and then shifted gears into errand mode and starting listing in my head all the items I needed to pick up today….prescriptions, a few groceries, gas and a American Girl DVD I promised my daughter we’d watch together tonight.  I had planned to go to Kroger for the items, but as I drove by I could hardly even see the store for the rain, so Publix seemed like a better option as they have an an indoor Redbox.  Good plan, except for their Redbox was already out of Sage Paints the Sky because apparently every ten year old girl in town has been trying to rent it for the last two months.  Now I’m wondering “Why didn’t you check this out on the computer before you left the house?” and “What was I even thinking, my scripts are at the Kroger pharmacy!?!”  After crawling back up 96 in the flooding waters one more time (but hey, at least I’ve still got on my swimsuit), I arrive at Kroger.

I decide to get gas first as my fuel light has been on this entire journey, but then after starting the process of pumping gas realize that I would have gotten a better discount on my gas had I bought the prescriptions first.  At this point my frustration level with myself began to rise like the waters and I started grumbling, “If only you’d gotten up when the alarm first went off instead of snoozing you wouldn’t be behind now” and “You really should look into treatment for adult ADD.”  Then the frustration outright overflowed and I heard myself say, “You just can’t do anything right, can you?”

At this point warning alarms started going off in my head and I stopped cold.  You see, I made a promise to myself a while back that I wouldn’t talk to myself in such harsh, ugly ways anymore.  I wouldn’t dare speak to a friend that way, so why should it be okay to speak that way to myself?  It’s true that I might not have made the best choices first thing this morning.   Maybe I could have been more organized and better prepared.  But I had tried.  And maybe, just maybe I was expecting too much on a rainy Friday morning.  Maybe I could choose to back off a little and give myself some grace.  After all no one was dying from my mistakes.  I hadn’t had a wreck in the rain, or run out of gas and would probably accomplish most of my tasks before the day was over.  Even if I missed one, the world wouldn’t end.

So I took a deep breath, let out a sigh and pressed on.  I picked up the groceries and some little Caesar’s dog food for my picky pooch to take his pill with.  I know he’s going to die in the not so distant future and no pill I give him will stop that, so he might as well enjoy life as best he can while he can.   My mood lightened up so much that when finally got to the pharmacy section of Kroger and saw it didn’t open for fifteen more minutes I just blew it off and decided to lap the store one more time.  I’d probably remember some more items my distracted brain had forgotten to write on the list and could check to see if my favorite frozen dessert was on sale, since that would be a really nice thing to do for myself on a day like today.  Because sometimes Giving Ourselves Grace is about the best thing we can check off on our to do list isn’t it?

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