Sunday, March 27, 2011

Exercise #11: Living Optimistically

The next time you encounter some nuisance or frustration, ask yourself, "How might this be helping me?"  If it makes it any easier, turn to an imaginary friend and say, "Pollyanna, what do you think?"  Be totally unrealistic if that's what it takes to free you up to laugh instead of fret. 
It is really easy to be cranky about having church at 9 am.  Getting 6 people not only fed and dressed and out the door, but bathed and in church-appropriate attire with hair combed and toting everything we'll need (diaper bag, tithing, scriptures, crayons and paper, *ahem* snacks *ahem*, etc.) is no easy task.  Especially when we spent a whole year last year, when we had church at 1 pm, using Sunday mornings to get everyone bathed, prepare lessons, iron dress shirts, etc. 

But as difficult as it can be, there are some perks to having church at 9 am.  One is that it forces me to really prepare for the Sabbath.  I have to have clothes ironed, and lessons prepped ahead of time (it really helps to have kids bathed the night before, too!), so then I don't end up spending half the day on Sunday getting ready for it to be Sunday.  Instead, once we get past the mad dash to get out the door, I can really focus on feeling the Spirit.  It starts the day off right and sets the tone for the rest of the day.

That is the second perk: there is a "rest of the day" when we get home from church!  We get home at noon and feed the kids lunch, put them down for a nap (hooray for the Sunday "family nap!"), and even after a nap there's time to prepare dinner, visit family or go for a walk.  Choir practice is after church instead of before so I feel like I can go (when I remember, I totally spaced it today!), and I don't feel like I'm leaving Adam in a lurch to get kids ready.  I have to say, despite how crazy it is getting everyone up and off to church at 9 am, I really think it's my favorite block schedule. 

Even still, it is crazy in the morning, and this morning I slept through my alarm!  We had an Elders' Quorum party last night, so the kids didn't get baths, but we thought that would be okay, we'd just take the little kids in the shower with us and it would all work out.  And last night I decided that our clothes weren't too wrinkly so I'd skip ironing this week...except Max's clothes weren't in his closet, so I figured I'd just pull them out of the clean laundry in the morning, and they turned out to be very wrinkly....  I'm sure you can imagine the panic I felt when I woke up and realized I had an hour to feed, bathe, and dress everyone.  And blow dry my hair.  And Katie's.  And pack the bag.  And go over the hymns for Relief Society.  Ack! 

Somehow, I managed to keep my cool this morning.  I guess I was just being optimistic: at least we could all go to church this week, so I didn't have to scramble with sick kids like we have so much recently.  If we didn't make it on time, at least we got there before the sacrament.  So Isaiah and Max didn't get their hair combed, but at least they had their hair cut this week, so it didn't look frightening.  Lily didn't get fed before we left, but she slept just late enough that it wasn't a huge deal to wait to feed her at church, and I didn't even have to miss the sacrament.  And being cheerful despite how stressful it could have been rubbed off: the kids weren't even fighting as they got into the van.  We were backing out of the garage before the bickering started, which is a huge improvement for our Sunday morning. 

Next week: Adjusting Expectations


Cameron and Nonie said...

I might have to try being super optimistic next week. I love 9 am church just so we get it done, but I have to be super prepared because I'm a one man show in the morning and nothing says panic like knowing if everything doesn't go according to plan, I have no back up. Let's just say it's a work in progress. I think I'll definitely have to be more optimistic with regards to laundry and a few other dirty words that I find myself disliking. Thanks for the pick-me-up. I needed that.

The Yoder's Four said...

Sundays are a struggle no matter what time church starts...but 9:00 is a KILLER for me! I don't know how you do it!