Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Grumpy, Grumpy, Grumpy

Do you ever have one of those days? You know the ones. Where nothing quite suits. Where everything is just a little off. Where your grumpy self wins out over your more pleasant self.

I'm having one of those days. Maybe it's the weather. Maybe I could blame it on the dog. Maybe it's an accumulation of things. But this is one of those days. Truth be told, I've been having one of those days for a few days now.

I have a vague memory of reading a post some time ago titled When Your Happy Gets Bumped. I really wish I could find that post! I think I need to read it again! Although I can't say I have ever described my grumpiness quite that way, I like the sound of that.  It sounds much nicer to say that my happy just got bumped that to admit that I'm a grouch!

But lately it seems that my grumpy self has shown up much too frequently. This morning as I was writing in my prayer journal, as I looked back a few pages to notice how God had answered my prayers, I found an entry that went something like this:  Lord, my irritable self has shown up again today and I need help.

I really don't like my grumpy self very much. I could probably rationalize all day about how I have earned the right to be a little grumpy. Chronic pain can do that to a person. As can the daily frustrations of stroke recovery.  But that's no excuse for making everybody around me miserable with my grumpiness.

I could blame it on the weather. I could blame it on politicians. I could say I didn't get enough sleep. I could complain for all sorts of reasons. But what's the point of that?  The pain persists. Nothing is accomplished by my grumpiness.

It's really all a matter of focus, isn't it? Focusing on problems and pain, on weather, on political correctness, only leads to more grumpiness.

So, with sincere apologies to all who have been victims of my grumpiness, I'm making a diligent, conscious, intentional effort today to refocus. To think about something else. Maybe you need to do that, too. We all have "issues" in our lives that can drag us down, that can make us a bit (or a lot!) grumpy. We all have frustrations. We all have things to deal with that are confusing or wearying or annoying. We can't wish those things away, or make them disappear just by the power of our positive thinking.

We may not be able to change circumstances. But, we can change our attitude! And that can change just by what we choose to focus our attention on.

"Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."  (Philippians 4:8 ESV, emphasis mine)

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