Staying connected is a good thing. But I let myself get connected to the wrong things this week and woke up this morning (Saturday) feeling what my mother-in-law calls “whelmed-over.” How did it happen? How could I have kept it from happening? What do I do now?
It happened because I connected too much with my expectations of what I could accomplish and those expectations were unrealistic. In a word, pride. And I didn’t take enough time off to recharge. Pride again, with a little fear mixed in.
But realizing that something’s derailed is its own victory, because there’s always a fix for it by applying the opposite virtue. So what virtue can I put into play to untangle the wires?
First, I took a nap. Humility enables us to admit that the world can get along without us for half an hour. That untangles about a third of the wires right there. Then, I sat down to write about this disconnected connectedness. The virtue of friendliness, in this case writing a blog post, gets me out of the scramble of my head and makes a clear connection with you, my friends.
Next, I’m going to take a walk in the woods on this beautiful summer day. I can hear the trees rustling outside my window, see the fluffy clouds, and smell the wild onions from my neighbor’s new-mown lawn. Getting out in the sun and the green should bring on some gratitude and remind me that I didn’t create the world and I don’t keep it going.
Then, I’ll read something fun while I eat lunch. And pray for a while. Prayer — connection with God — is the ultimate untangler because hanging out with God restores me to the reality of his loving power and my need for that love….Joy!
P.S. I want to report how my Saturday actually went before posting this. I puttered around the house for a while before getting started with serious “down time.” But I finally did take that walk, do that reading, and connected one-on-one with God. And I watched two old movies in the evening instead of following my impulse to do more work. (The movies were whatever was on the Turner channel: America, America by Elia Kazan and The Shop Around the Corner with Jimmy Stewart. Both good!)
Even though my gmail stuck your note about ‘your very bad day’ in my spam folder, I ran to your site to see what was up! You have an ability to see your self very clearly and know what to do aboout it. Kudos to you.
Jini — Consider taking the seminar in September that I’m hatching — you’ll gain the knowledge, practice, and support to put the virtues into action more than ever before. Stay tuned for more details and thanks for your comment!
“Whelmed-over” – I LOVE this description. With four kids and an overdeveloped sense of volunteering, it is so very easy to overcommit and become overwhelmed (at the expense of family, friends, and many other things). Thank you for the reminder that we need to keep our values first and our connection to those values up front and center – so our choices and workloads fulfill what is most important to us.