Updated: Aug 24
Knowing something was off by the way he intensely turned the screwdriver – I asked again, “Are you okay?”
If you know my husband you know he is the most laid back, even-tempered guy around. If he is upset about something, he may mention it to me alone. Then the next day it’s over.
Most times I try my best to work it out within the day, but certain things seem to linger until I have a day where the pot boils over. Silence is my weapon of choice on those days – mainly due to the racquet ball game going on in my brain. I’ll run the mental list of offenses, offenders, and every little thing I can think of that is unfair on a continuous loop.
He took out his frustration on the furniture project in front of him. I laughed. Not due to the fact he was upset, but it reminded me of a couple of days prior where a shopping cart took the heat for me. If the most even-tempered guy I know takes out his frustration on occasion, I’m not as bad-off as I thought.
Everyone has bad days. For some unknown reason I hold myself to a higher level. Bad days leave me feeling guilty, selfish and ungrateful. I feel as if I’ve disappointed God. I know my bad day is nothing compared to other’s bad days.
And this thought alone just leaves me with more guilt.
Things had been stewing for a while and the wheels on the shopping cart drifted on the waxed floor each corner I rounded. It entertained my one-year-old as he laughed the faster I pounded the tile. The thoughts flooded in strong.
Abruptly stopping at the wrong way sign on the floor, I sighed heavily.
Are we ever going to get back to normal?
Before I even turned onto the second aisle, I griped about a strained relationship with a family member. I’ve been praying. I’ve been holding out for positive changes, but… I’m still waiting.
Rounding the next corner, now attentive to the social distancing arrows, I ran through a long list of everything that is going wrong right now. I’m not sure I was attempting to talk to God, but I know all too well He hears my thoughts.
This made me feel more guilt.
The list kept going as I walked through the store, grabbing items I needed. Making a mental note of all of the items that are still out of stock. Adding this to the disgruntled list.
The bullets of unfair, why me, how will I handle – everything – all of it is JUST. NOT. GOOD.
Not good I tell you.
Making our way to the deli, a clerk tried to high-five my baby with his gloves on. Normally, not an issue. But given the whole virus thing, I gritted my teeth while being pleasant. Good thing the mask hides certain facial expressions.
And I am not a germaphobe. I normally love chatting about my boy and high-fives.
But. Hello, pandemic!
I was throwing a fit. Internally, but still a fit.
It was the adult equivalent of a toddler temper tantrum. I refrained from throwing myself on the floor and thrashing around. But I get it. I completely understand why toddlers throw themselves down.
I wrestle with these fit inducing thoughts for so long until I can't handle it anymore. So, I throw a mental temper tantrum periodically and get it over with.
The grocery store served as the couch in the therapist’s office.
Grabbing the milk, I kept going with the list of woes. Why does he act this way? Why doesn’t she want to come around more? You can’t expect others to be like you, I reminded myself.
How am I supposed to add another responsibility to the daily activities? There’s already work, the kids, chores, taekwondo, fixing meals and fetching snacks. Then add the grocery shopping and other errands.
This week was just rough, I told myself. Next week will be better. The cute high-fiving toddler won’t have sleep regression. I won’t say goodbye to a best friend as she moves away. It will stop raining. Finally. Things will start to get back to normal. Right?
Are we ever going to get back to normal?
I listed off all the things we were missing out on.
Concerts, oh how I miss concerts.
Playdates at gyms and parks.
Going to a restaurant without a mask and a bottle of sanitizer.
I miss talking to strangers. For goodness sakes, I miss meeting new people! And seeing their faces!
I swiped my card and then I heard the rain coming down. The sliding glass doors opened and I paused staring at the downpour – remembering how far away I parked.
It was raining. Again.
I backed up against the concrete wall and turned the cart so my son could watch it rain. We weren’t in a hurry. Not too many places to go on a rainy day.
I took off my mask and so did the elderly lady sitting on the bench. I could see her face and she could see mine. We chatted about the curly haired toddler watching the rain. We both talked about the rain and wondered if it was ever going to stop – going on seven days straight at this point. Then she asked if I would like to borrow her umbrella.
Politely declining the offer as I could see the sun starting to shine on the other side of the parking lot.
I’m in no hurry.
We talked some more.
And just like that, I had met a new person. I saw her face and her expressions. I noticed her pretty smile and her laugh lines. Then she offered me her umbrella with no worry about me touching it. You know – the virus thing and germs.
Our conversation had stopped the perpetual mental ramblings of all things wrong.
The drip off the roof hit me as I headed towards the car. The rain had stopped and the sun was shining. I loaded the groceries in the trunk and buckled the little guy in the car seat.
Turning the ignition, I smiled.
Thanks for the wink.
I call them God winks. You know the little slivers of coincidental happenings – glimpses of heavenly realms.
I knew He was listening even when I wasn’t intentionally talking to Him. Probably shaking His head while listening. But still… listening.
And my extremely insignificant problems – considering the grand scheme of things – well they still matter to Him.
All things matter to Him.
Your things matter to Him.
You matter to Him.