Here’s a Friday tip for you.
Fix what you can fix.
Remember that there are fixable problems. We are smart people who can figure out solutions to things that aggravate us.
Except when we can’t. Like when it involves other people who we, ultimately, cannot control. Or a task that we just hate and can’t un-hate. In that case- fix what you can fix.
Here’s my example: my house. I love it! Sometimes, though, I resent it because it needs to be cleaned. I could throw money at it and hire someone to do it for me, but that’s not really a great week in and week out solution, budget-wise. So as I sat in my living room this morning it occurred to me to fix what I could fix.
My resentment about cleaning is heightened because the cleaning requires me to move a bunch of crap around to clean under it. I cannot vacuum until the floor is picked up. I can’t wipe down the counters until the stuff on them is put away. See?
Fixing what I can fix meant I went around with two grocery bags and filled one with stuff for Goodwill and one with trash. I cannot totally fix that I dislike cleaning, but I can fix that the flat surfaces are filled with stuff, and that makes cleaning a hassle. I’ll never have to clean around that stuff again! Fix what you can fix. Cleaning was somewhat more bearable.
Another example: the morning walk to school. Our boys go to school a few blocks away and I walk them there three mornings a week. I had started to dread the walk because my littlest one wanted to come along, which meant herding three kids along the sidewalk to school. Number two wanted to push number four in the stroller, which meant I was half watching him to make sure he didn’t accidentally go too fast and turn the stroller on its side, or- you know- push her into traffic. Also I was trying to get number three to hurry because he’s a slow poke walker. Lastly, the cold temps were killing me.
Fix what you can fix: leave the stroller at home and- magic- number four doesn’t want to come along on the morning walk anymore. No more stroller monitoring. Buy a cheap coat that comes down almost to my knees and feel much warmer.
I’m still trying to get number three to walk faster, but I’ve eliminated two other consistent sources of joy-killing. So it’s not so bad. I don’t dread the morning walk anymore.
Fix what you can fix.