7.24.2006

Monday Discouragements


The common societal stigma of Mondays is negative; most view Mondays as the mere beginning of yet another long week. I think Mondays can be viewed in a few different ways; one can either see Mondays as a blah beginning to a blah week, as just another day in the succession of weeks, or as a chance to recommit and start over. I think you can connect taking the sacrament on Sundays to starting over on Mondays, but this is a thought that is difficult in execution.

I've lately come to the realization that change is a conscious decision, a "duh" realization I know but a crucial realization all the same. You have to choose to react differently; you don't just change because you want to. I think is something I've always known, but I haven't always realized it's true meaning of putting everything into my own power and capabilities. Something I've been having problems with lately is how to handle myself when John and Sarah start screaming and fighting and yelling at each other, completely shattering any kind of peaceful spirit in the home. Thier quarreling extends past themselves and affects Mom and Dad and Emily and me. Emily is probably the best at ignoring them and rarely reacting, and I am probably the worst. I am one of the most impatient people I know and so you can imagine how well I deal with the uncontrollable chaos of younger sibling tantrums.

As I left the house this morning to the dulcet tones of tantruming siblings I thought "Good grief, I'm sure glad I don't have to listen to this all day. I'm glad I have to work today," definitely not a feeling I want dominating my thoughts. I want to get along with John and Sarah and I want to be not only thier sister but thier friend, yet I find it so difficult to react well. They are either screaming at each other or being uncontrollably wild, both of which result in disruption, fighting, and widespread tension. Their fighting interrupts movies, family dinners, car rides, lackadaisical Saturday mornings, and more. I realize I can't change them, that I only have control over my own reactions. I realize that changing how I react will be a hard change and will definitely have to be a conscious one, but I don't know how to make this a more permanent change. Sometimes I have days when I handle myself really well and then I have other days when I lose it, allowing them to dictate my mood and attitude.

John and Sarah both are like night and day, black and white, Jekyll and Hyde, sweet and sour. Sometimes they are so amiable and helpful and then in a second they turn and are the complete antithesis of whatever they were before. I need some advice for how to change my attitude toward my younger siblings. Keep in mind, I am a very impatient person and when John and Sarah are so contentious, my tolerance level plummets. So, calling all siblings younger and older: how can I maintain a more constant attitude and keep my mood and spirits up despite heavy opposition and contention? How can I not react in such a negative way? I need your help!

6 comments:

roastbeefstew said...

i just go off on my own and listen to music or find something to work on or do. sorry for the sibling troubles.

Anonymous said...

Siblings can be tricky- I myself and EXTREMELY inpatient - not just with siblings but pretty much with everyone. I have always been short fused but the problem with that, is that it makes you extremely hard to be around- no one wants to spend time with people who light off when irritated all the time. It is sooo hard for me to remember to stay calm and bite my tongue when I feel like screaming. But the Bible does say that a kind word turns aways anger. The Bible not only refers to kind words but patience itself multiple times- both kindness and patience along with gentleness and meekness are listed in Galatians as the Fruits of the Spirit. So while you talk about changing your actions try to keep these attributes in mind and say a little prayer for patience. It has worked for me- my change was finally coming to the realization that I couldn't do it by my strength alone and that I needed the Savior's help.
"Pray without ceasing" and "bring everything before the Lord your God"

jt said...

I'm sorry I don't have much to offer since I have always been the pffender as the youngest on the family. My only advice would be to try and get away from them and do your own thing or see if you can be a moderator between them. Is that even possible?

claire said...

ah, a plight I am well familiar with. It sounds to me as if you are well on your way to your goal by just trying to be patient as much as you can. So I say you should keep on trying. You won't do it as quickly as you want (I mean, Rome wasn't built in a day, MAYBE two but not one), but you'll get better as time goes on and you try to apply your desired patience in these less than pleasatn situations.
If worse comes to worse, and you just can't stand it, try to find a way to remove yourself from the situation. Listen to music, read a book, etc. This gives you time to yourself so that you can calm down and think things over. You can decide how you want to handle the situation and maybe even about how you can make it better.
Remember, you can choose how you react to the situation and how you look at it. Try to find the positive in it; like "well, at least they're not the speghetti noodles at each other"
It's difficult, yes, but a worthwhile goal.

dpw said...

Wow--what can I say? Not reacting to John and Sarah is a daily struggle for me. And all I can say is that some days are better than others. One thing I have come to realize: I am always sorry when I react in anger. I am never sorry when I do not. Like you said, I can't control their actions towards each other, I can only control my own reactions--a daily, hourly, minute-by-minute effort for me.

michelle said...

I'm not sure if I have any good advice to give, only that you'll be way ahead of the game if you can learn how to have patience now! Otherwise, your children will surely teach it to you. :)

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