160 days of not yelling, 205 days to go
160 days of not yelling, 205 days of loving more to go!
Dear “Yeah, yeah, yeah I’ll get to it when I have more time mentality,”
You are a pain in the a*s. Sure at the moment when I turn to you and employ you, you are a life saver. You make my to-do list seem smaller. But the thing is time passes. And I still use you for the same things over and over again. And guess what? Those things never get done. Sure some of those things don’t need to get done and so it’s cool. But the other things, they either need to get done or are important enough that they just keep nagging and nagging and nagging until they are done. Tonight’s post is one of those nagging things. So tonight I say, take a hike “yeah yeah yeah I’ll get it done mentality!” I’m going to write a post I’ve thought about for oh, four weeks or more. It won’t be perfect. It won’t be edited. It won’t be everything I want it to be. But it will be written. And off my mind.
The Orange Rhino
160 days of not yelling. 205 days of LOVING MORE to go.
Did anyone notice that change on the blog? On my Facebook posts a few weeks back? That I stopped writing 160 days of not yelling, 205 to go? That I changed the counter on the right to also say days of LOVING MORE to go? Don’t worry, I am not offended if you didn’t! I had huge, gigantic plans to write about it. The change that is. And then life got in the way of my blogging plans these last 6 weeks. And so the “yeah, yeah, yeah I’ll get to it mentality” took over and I never told you all about the change.
But I wanted to. Because to me, it’s a BIG important change. And my post last night reminded me about it. So tonight, I write about the change. Or at least I’ll try to.
Every time I wrote my days remaining, 205 to go, it felt like an annoying task. A burden. An unachieveable objective. Totally un-inspiring. What is inspiring though is the thought of Loving my boys MORE. I am often shocked, why I do not know, that my favorite posts all have the same conclusion. That at the heart of this challenge, that what the Orange Rhino Challenge is really all about is love. And loving my boys more.
After I wrote last night’s post I laughed to myself. Actually, no, after I pressed publish I thought “oh sh*t” why did I share that? I seem like such an over achiever talking about wanting to love my kids more. And what the heck does that mean anyways? Did I not love them before the challenge? Of course I loved them before The Orange Rhino Challenge. It’s just that I didn’t always show it and I especially didn’t show my love to my boys in the moments when I used to yell, I mean really yell. Those moments were full of such anger and meanness that they could make my sons question my love. Truly.
So when I say I want to love my sons more what I mean is I want those moments of anger and meanness to be gone and instead replaced with the unconditional love I spoke of yesterday. I have loved my boys since before I even held them. And I love them more than I ever could imagine. And yet, as silly as it sounds, I know I have the capacity to love them even more. Because the opportunity to get rid of those truly ugly yelling moments exists – and I can replace it with more patience, love, and understanding if not forgiveness.
Any moment that I don’t yell, I choose love. I choose to put aside all the negative feelings I have at that moment and instead dig deep to find the feelings of love that I have for my child. Oddly enough, when I stop and look for love when all I feel is anger – whether I look for it in my child’s sweet face, or in a picture in the house, or in a mental image of my son building with legos instead of dumping them – I actually start to feel better. I start to love again, to love more, at that moment and the anger subsides. Corny? Yes. But does it work? Yes yes yes.
So the bottom line in all my rambling tonight is this: Any moment that I don’t yell, I love my child more. So whether it is 365 days, 36 days, 3 days or just one moment when I don’t yell, I have loved my child more and that is inspiring to me.
My 5 and 3/4 year old said to me today:
“Mom, how many more days to you have to go?”
“200 or something.”
“WOW. That’s a lot. You should have picked a smaller number. A smaller challenge. You’re silly.”
Yeah, maybe so. But I want to love you more kiddo, I can love you more, I will love you more….