Saturday, November 19, 2011

Benched in Substitution

I’m babysitting. Before the parents stepped out to be able to breathe for a minute and enjoy a glimpse of their pre-children married lives, I asked the usual questions about bedtime routines, etc. The pair left, and I, as I often do, played the role of the substitute. The kids were angels, and didn’t play any of the age-old “but my mom lets us…” tricks. The 24-month old little boy snuggled right up to me in a cozy patchwork blanket as we watched the end of Toy Story 3. The two girls prattled around, offering me make-believe plates of pizza and grilled cheese because they were being waitresses. The pizza was delicious.

When it was time for bed, we brushed teeth and read stories. Bedtime can sometimes be a dramatic event, but this one went rather smoothly. The lights were out and kids were in bed by 8 p.m. Now I sit.

I don’t feel like watching T.V. so I’m left with the unavoidable bad idea that is my brain. Yes, thinking can be a bad idea. When people have too much time on their hands, they’re left to their own device of thinking. When people have nothing better to do than to dwell on their own lives and happenings, it makes things seem far more dramatic and amplified.

For instance, I’m stuck thinking about the limbo I’ve been caught in for over a year. Loving someone, but knowing I shouldn’t, and trying to move on when nothing seems to be able to quite fill that space. I can’t seem to shake it, no matter how many times I change locations, or hobbies. No matter how many new amazing friends I make, somehow I feel like no one will ever be the same. I’ll admit, that way of thinking seems severely absolutist and extreme, but like I said, I’m just feeding and augmenting my situation by thinking about it too much. I can readily confess that is a big part of mine, and a lot of other people’s problem.

I’m not one to over-think things. I definitely analyze anything, everything, and everyone, but not over-think. I’ve never been one to be consumed in my own issues, chanting, “woe is me” to myself. I’ve always felt bad for those people, because if they just got a hobby or stopped being so self-consumed, things wouldn’t seem so bad! Not to minimize people’s problems, which are often very real, but attitude makes a huge difference. Dwelling just adds fuel to the fire. Pick yourself up, remember the good, and move on with life. I keep telling myself: “Search diligently, pray always and be believing, and all things shall work together for your good…” D&C 90:24. Or, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

As I sit on this sectional couch, listening only to the sound of the ticking of the clock and my fingers on this keyboard, I’m not going to let myself dwell. Dwelling doesn’t fix the problems. In fact, dwelling frustrates things and makes them seem worse and more complicated than they really are. Instead of thinking about how impossible situations are or seem, I’m going to remember that if I try to be the best person I can be, then everything will be as it should. Things have a way of working out.

Just some thoughts. C:

By the way, the weather was stunning today, and on a completely different note, I got to clean the Temple today. This is the second time that I've had the opportunity to do this, and I really do see it as a blessing. I find it kind of humbling to be able to clean the Lord's house.