Friday, May 18, 2012

Transcending Groundhog Day

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Some days I feel like I'm living my own version of Bill Murray's Groundhog Day. Not so much in the monotony of my daily grind, but rather its a vague impression that I will continue to re-live the same scenes over and over again until I learn to react differently. Some of these scenes involve crying kids, misplaced homework or gym shoes, or dinner time confrontations that begin with one of my children saying, That looks disgusting. Other scenes involve the drama and misunderstandings that come from interacting with other grown ups. But most often I believe it's the casual choices that I make that come back to bite me. I feel like tacking a sign to my bedroom wall that says "When is it going to sink in that the choices you made yesterday (or in the past) are the greatest determinant of what your life looks and feels like today." 

You woke up with indigestion? Maybe ice cream at midnight wasn't the smartest. 

Your check bounced again? Maybe you should've balanced your account before purchasing the Twilight Collectors Edition. 

Your neighbor is avoiding you? Maybe you should have apologized after mowing down her rose bush.

We all have days when we open our eyes to the morning sun and feel crabby for no good reason. And of course there are sneaky forces that sometimes work overtime to make it such, like alarm clocks that don't ring, cars that don't start, bumpers that get rear-ended, or three year old fiends who finger paint the tile with soggy Rice Krispies (Rice Krispies possess a startling resemblance to wall paper paste, in case you're wondering). But for me, those aren't the real culprits. Those are the speed bumps. Detours. Reasons to call you sister and vent. The stuff that really matters is the stuff that fills up your time and thoughts.

Last weekend I watched The Iron Lady, which I loved, loved, loved. I'm a sucker for historical dramas, and I also love movies about strong, influential women, and former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was definitely one of those.

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 This is my favorite of her many fabulous quotes:

Watch your thoughts for they become words. 
Watch your words for they become actions. 
Watch your actions for they become... habits. 
Watch your habits, for they become your character. 
And watch your character, for it becomes your destiny! 
What we think we become.

This week I'm working on not making the same mistakes eighteen times in a row. But in order to do that, I'm  first trying to keep my thoughts focused on the things that matter. I swear, the cautionary advice of that Margaret Thatcher lady will get inside your head and sprout a beanstalk if you let it. Better not fall asleep thinking about Cheetos! Better not wake up the next morning contemplating vengeful ways to teach your clumsy hair dresser a lesson she won't forget! Better not spend half the day trying to decide if your shoe color is blush or bashful!

Today wasn't a prize-winning day at our house, but I'm trying to put my thoughts and priorities back in order. I'm trying to use my time wisely and lay the ground work for better choices because I'm hoping, that is I'm planning on tomorrow being better!

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