Typically between mid-December and the end of February, I have a crisis of sorts. I begin to doubt every decision and want to throw in the towel on keeping house, teaching the kids, even making dinner. Knowing this, last night I was asking the Lord to bolster me up. I was starting to feel down and just wanted desperately to avoid the spiral I knew was coming. I opened my Bible to Sirach 30:14-25. Specifically, this is what leaped off the page at me:
- Do not give in to sadness, torment not yourself with brooding;
- Gladness of heart is the very life of man, cheerfulness prolongs his days.
- Distract yourself, renew your courage, drive resentment far away from you; For worry has brought death to many, nor is there aught to be gained from resentment.
- Envy and anger shorten one's life, worry brings on premature old age.*
Wow! So I sat and pondered this for awhile. Brooding is my middle name, worry is my vice of choice. Do I really want to be bitter, tormented, sad, resentful and die young? No way! That is not The Plan. Then I got to thinking, what does that mean in terms of my worth? I didn't find an answer last night, but I pondered it a bit today.
Today was the big Back to the Daily Grind Day - cracking open the school books, remembering I had a few papers to grade, making sure everyone did their reading or getting read to, being diligent about bedtimes, and figuring out how to get my business work done, too. A daunting task any day... and yet, after last night's reading and prayer, I was strangely ready for it. And can you guess what I did? After we got home from the park and had lunch, I sat down and played the piano. My children can count on one hand the number of times they've heard me play - I rarely take the time to sit down and practice. But today... today I played. I pulled out my favorite Christmas song (O Holy Night, for those with enquiring minds) and played it until it sounded halfway decent. And I loved every minute. I still got the schooling done. I made a great dinner. Kids got bathed and to bed on time. I've had time to write. And I got a bank statement printed out and ready for balancing tomorrow.
I learned today that I can take 15 or 20 minutes to sit down at the piano and just play. The house will not fall down, everyone will still eat, and things that need doing will still get done... and I will be happier. I am worth 15 minutes of music and happiness. As a bonus, my kids were blessed with my example and my joy... which in turn blessed me again. I'm worth a look of astonishment on my kids' faces when I do something unexpected.