I’m too embarrassed to show you a before picture of my refrigerator and really, do you care to see it? This post is going to start serious and end with, well, about why I decided to stop shoving everything into my refrigerator.
I think I unconsciously live in fear of something happening and I won’t be prepared. And when I say something happening, I mean, anything that creates chaos/confusion/emotional distress. Example, my child gets the stomach flu and I am out of laundry soap. So I tend to stock up on laundry soap. But there are also the more intense situations. Any military wife can figure out what I’m talking about. We get 72 hours notice in an emergency to prepare for sudden deployments and that is IF you are lucky. And then when they are deployed there is all the repressed worrying. Of course you are now a “single” mom so there is no back-up. The day your husband leaves for 6 months is the day your child gets the stomach flu and you are out of laundry soap and the washing machine breaks and the car doesn’t start and you lose your debit card. This is not an exaggeration. Do I hear an “Amen”? I’ve only been addressing the tangible situations here, there are other far worse issues.
If we were all robots we would function at optimal efficiency regardless of the downsides of life. Throw emotions into it and it’s far more challenging…just ask Mister Spock. We live our lives, if we are lucky, amassing wisdom to be better tomorrow. We read books, exercise, meditate, go to church, try to eat better, etc… all to get an edge up.
As my husband evolved in his military career I was strongly encouraged to take multiple classes to stock my emotional toolbox up so I would be a more efficient role model for junior service member’s spouses. I have two 4 inch binders. I’ve taken personality tests, conflict management classes, written mission statements (plural), had pre and post preparedness deployment counseling, resiliency training, communication training, problem solving training. For pete’s sake I read the 7 Habits of Highly Successful People and sharpened my own damn saw.
All of it works together, as one of my instructors explained, for our emotional toolboxes. If the “car” metaphorically speaking, breaks, do you have the tools to fix it? On a good day I feel like I’m walking around with a $1200 shiny red Craftsman Industrial Tool Chest. You know, the smug days when the house is clean, the laundry is sort of done, the kitchen is stocked, my to do list is organized, my family is healthy, and I’m tackling head on my life in a proactive way. Really easy when the sun is shining, isn’t it?
But today it’s not so sunny. The house is a mess, the cupboards were bare, the laundry is building, one of the boys is sick, I’m sick, my little cat and constant companion of 15 1/2 years is in her last weeks, my house is going up for sale in a few days, my husband is in the thick of it with studying, papers, and exams, we are moving and blah blah blah….bunch of whining…except for the little cat part. But oh the emotions that go with all of this…some of it stupid, some of it not.
I feel as if something not so nice is coming and I’m fighting to get the stupid toolbox unlocked. So I went to Walmart and I bought organizers for my refrigerator–because that will make it all better. (Read with sarcasm.) In my quest to be on top of my game at all times I drink green smoothies (sometimes pink) everyday. If I’m healthy and fresh then I can tackle anything right? And if my refrigerator is clearly stocked with the fuel I need and I can find it before it goes all green and slimy–then when things get really harried I will be prepared, right? And when things are really really hectic there will be a system in place to help me navigate better. I can eyeball the refrigerator and know in split seconds what we have to work with and what we need–just like that.
So I decided to stop shoving everything into my refrigerator today so tomorrow I’ll be more prepared.