Have you ever chosen or agreed to something and later wondered what the heck you got yourself into? I have a couple of fun stories to explain my point.
My dear cousin’s dryer wasn’t working. I mean, it technically was, but the knob had broken off and they were using pliers to turn it on. The post was slowly being stripped so the pliers were less reliable and they needed to do something. She decided to tackle the job. A few YouTube videos later and she was pretty confident she could handle the repair. She grabbed a drill and all the tools she identified in the videos by sight (she didn’t know their names) and set to work.
She needed to change the drill bit. Dismantle the back of the dryer. Work with this, that, and the other fiddly bits and hopefully be able to turn it on. What looked like a fairly simple job on the video slowly turned into a five-hour trial in patience through adversity. She then decided to take a break and called a repairman the next morning. When he wouldn’t be able to come for two days, she bravely dove into more videos and hoped to fix it before he came – saving him the service call. In the meantime, he was a backup if she didn’t succeed.
Several times throughout the experience she asked herself, “What have I done? I didn’t think it would be this big of a deal.” 😬
Another friend decided to touch up a little paint spot on the bathroom wall before running out for a vacation. Grab the old paint can and a quick hit then back to packing…only to grab bathroom supplies and find it was touched up with the wrong shade of white. One quick fix speedily turned into a repaint of the entire bathroom and hours lost in frustration.
We all do it. These projects may not all be home improvements, either.
Perhaps it’s having someone move in thinking a roommate will be fun and helpful – only to find out you have different lifestyles and expectations for cleanliness, communication, or a myriad of other things. Maybe you’re the caretaker of a loved one. You thought it wouldn’t be a big deal, they’re mostly self-sufficient, but over time, the constant mantle begins to weigh on you and you find you’re in need of your own support group. Maybe you took a promotion that came with added responsibilities and a raise. The requirements meant you’d need to stretch a little and you think you’ll be able to rise to the challenge. The reality is the stretch is too much and starts to affect your personal life. Less time to enjoy the things you love and self-care slips down the priority list along with so many other things.
There are times in life we agree to do something. We wholeheartedly intend to follow through and accomplish whatever it is and yet…when we really get into it we find out there is a whole lot more to the action than we were ever aware. Agreeing to it means you have no one to blame, which can put us in a miserable mood, feeling as though there is no light or end in sight. Our upset can come out at those we work with, live with, and love dearest.
If you find yourself in one of those spaces, I pray you find some support to help you out. In the meantime, here are a few questions you can use to help analyze a past experience and perhaps make it easier the next time you find yourself challenged:
What did you agree to?
Was there anything you could have done to better understand the challenges before you? Were there conversations you could have had? Or research you could have done?
If you’re in this situation right now, ask yourself, “What CAN I do to make things better? What small step can I take today to make my situation better?” Move away from stuck and frustrated and towards a positive, supportive solution.