When you can’t get out of your own way…

…there *may* be a reason why.

Backing up to Monday…

I teach a 6am and 7am class at barre n9ne. (whee!)
I then rush my butt home to shower, dry my hair and get dressed for work. Grab my work bag plus my gym bag (since I teach a 7pm class too!) and my lunch bag and out the door I go, if I’m lucky I can get out the door by 8:40. This Monday? I wasn’t out the door until closer to 8:50.
<ugh>
I wasted precious minutes on the ride home from the studio (it’s a 5 min ride at MOST) stuck behind a dump truck.
Then the outfit I had in mind wasn’t working so I had to think quick and grab something else. (preferably something *not* wrinkled).
Finally out the door and damn did I need coffee in the worst way. So I spent the extra minutes hitting Starbucks to grab some coffee, all while kicking myself for not setting the percolator up while I was getting ready.
<ugh>
Scramble back into the car and zip towards the highway. And once again, find myself stuck behind some guy who thought it was a good idea to take the on-ramp to the highway at a cool 15 mph.
Swearing under my breath, sweating, and growing more frazzled by the second, I was so annoyed. <—I’m sure you can imagine these scene…
And thought: I just can’t get out of my own way today.

…and that’s when it hit me: this is a test. His test.

You see, just this past Sunday, I listened to one of Joel Osteen’s devotionals (by now you know we love listening to his sermons that we DVR to listen to while we eat breakfast on Sunday mornings…) and the message was around the ‘tests’ God routinely puts in front of us. And by ‘tests’ I don’t necessarily mean giant tests like job loss, a death in the family, serious illness or financial woes, but those little tests that push us to get out of our own way, recognize the test and use it as a means of shaking off a bad habit or personality ‘flaw.’

In Monday’s case? This was a test of my patience. Y’know that trait I don’t happen to possess a heck of a lot of.? Yeah. That.

And in that moment, when I pulled back and recognized that all those little ‘can’t get out of my own way’ moments were mini-tests to force me to dig deep to find patience, I suddenly felt relieved. It was almost like God saying “see?? I told you, so.” (in a very nice way, of course) And  before I knew it, started to look at my commute as less of that mad dash to get to work ‘on time’ but instead, I started to look at it as my ‘me’ time to reset my mind, to switch gears from fitness instructor to PR/Marketing pro, and to get ready to rock Monday like nobody’s business.

It was that message — a message that seemed relatively minor when I first heard it on Sunday morning — that made all the difference for me on Monday. It reminded me that patience, while scarce most of the time, is something I need to find a way to harness, no matter how frustrated I can get, particularly when things are not in my control.

****

And you know what? I’ve already put that learning to the test tonight, in fact. The hubs is battling a cold (dear God, please not the flu!) that hit him like a ton of bricks last night. So after taking care of him last night, making him his favorite dinner and putting him to bed nice and early, I had a feeling tonight would require much of the same. I left work with the intent to hit the grocery store for all the ingredients for chicken soup…plus ice cream for dessert (his favorite). As soon as I hit the highway — bam: gridlock. Argh. For a moment I was seriously annoyed. Of ALL nights, I thought to myself (and b*tchily texted to my sis). But as we rolled along, and I remembered that test from earlier in the week, I took a deep breath and shifted my focus. I turned off the radio and opened the window a bit for some fresh air and just let my mind wander. My ‘me’ time…right?

So now I’m sitting here, belly full of chicken soup, the hubs next to me in his jammies and appearing much perkier now that he’s had chicken soup and some extra cuddles from the wifey and you know what? The scramble to the store, the mad dash to get the soup cooking, our lunches made for tomorrow and my gym bag packed again and none of that matters now.

It was worth it — for this moment, where Scott so lovingly looked at me after dinner, his eyes all watery from sneezing and blowing his nose, and said “I have the best wifey in the world.” 

…and suddenly, nothing else mattered. ❤

Source: weheartit.com via Jess on Pinterest

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18 thoughts on “When you can’t get out of your own way…

  1. I laughed reading about all the scrabbling you were doing I HATE that feeling of uber rushed stressy-ness!! And um, yeah, you totally bitchily texted me 😉 hehe. glad you owned up!! And glad you were good wifey and made soup and had an awesome night! XO

    • I haaaate that stressy stress feeling so much. I need to learn to just roll with it better, I haven’t quite figured that part out yet. But I’m trying…that counts for something right?? (and yes, I DID bitchily text you, sorry about that)

  2. Girlfriend I loved this post – because I had the exact same moment this week!!! I too listened to Joel (Mom loves him, as you know) and then today I got bombarded by meetings and work and drama and ALMOST got all stressed and skipped lunch. Then I said “no, test test test….breathe…microwave soup and move this meeting to tomorrow – you can do this!”. I ended up stuck at work 2 hours later than I wanted which meant I skipped the gym but ya know what? I can do a double workout tomorrow. TFFR in the AM with some awesome hip chick named Jess and gym after.
    Testing….1….2…..3….. 😉
    XO!!

  3. I have to giggle at this…because I can picture myself in the car having to deal with the same issues and know the scenes are pretty much one in the same (how many times have we’ve agreed we’re so much alike?) I’m such a when it comes to other drivers who don’t know that “yield” doesn’t mean “stop” and the list goes on…the traffic/driving in MA is SO different than down here. There’s no such thing as stopping at a red light, no such thing as going the speed limit (eh hem, SLOWER than the speed limit), and everyone stops, like literally stops, to make a right turn.

    I need to stop. Hahaha.

    Sometimes you just have to stop and take a second to remind yourself of the wonderful lessons He teaches us.

    PS: I love that Scott, even sick, can make it all better for you. 😉

  4. Joel is amazing. What a beautiful message.

    The sooner you realize you are not in control, the sooner you can accept and be OK with everything.

    How cute is Scott! You are indeed a fantastic wifey!

  5. Can I double, TRIPLE like this post?! Because I do. Scratch the like, I LOVE this. I love that you had the wisdom to recognize and listen to the ‘test’. I have been working and praying for this wisdom. Some days it comes easily, others a big fat FAIL. But progress? It’s there. This post helps remind me to strive for it. Thanks love.

    • It is NOT easy to 1) recognize the test and 2) to actually listen. I’m still working on the listening part, I will admit — but this was a good starting point, I will say 🙂

      And you’re always welcome lovey! xo!

  6. Omg Jess, you totally read my mind. I 100% resonate with this in every way. I had a similar “in my own way/scrambling” situation the other day. I woke up on the wrong side of the bed and was just in a “funk.” I THEN found out I got THE INTERVIEW for the company I was day-dreaming about and it was THAT DAY.

    Instead of prepping and organizing and getting ready hours in advance (like I should have) I procrastinated and caught up on blogging and writing and played on my mac. And then due to the rushing I FREAKED out when I couldn’t find my wallet. It was missing. So I (so un-rationally) tore apart the entire apartment (I’m telling you cushions everywhere, stuff scattered) and it was still no where to be found. I called Starbucks, where I was the night before, not there either.

    In the middle of my sweaty, awful breakdown I asked for peace. I said “you’ll get through this Rachel.” The next 30 seconds I found my wallet. Where was it? Hidden in my purse all along. Even though I had a “test” I nailed the interview and realized none of that “crap” matters in the long run if you’re able to let. it. go. (which I did.)

    Love your story Jess!

  7. This sounds exactly like how my morning goes every time that I go into the office. Somehow I always manage to get stuck behind the slowest drivers on the freeway. I definitely need to learn to be more patient!

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