Self-imposed Emotional Stress...

I have been extremely fortunate in that I am 51 years old and I have yet to experience any of the dreaded hormonal symptoms of my age (except the few times when I've been really stressed out). I don't have hot flashes. I have occasional nights when I wake up and can't go back to sleep, but they are just now and then occurrences. Most nights I sleep. And with every passing year, hope increases that I might just sail right through this dreaded "change of life" phase and not even notice much difference. (Well, I can hope. Right?)

But then there are mornings like today that do seem to be happening a little more often.

I am normally out of bed every morning the minute I hear John close his closet doors, which is shortly after 6:00. My usual routine is to bounce into the kitchen, hang out with him for a few minutes before he leaves and kiss him good-bye at the door. Although I'm more of an afternoon person than a morning person, I don't normally feel like I want to stay in bed.

However, there have been several mornings lately when I just don't want to get out of bed. I feel like a slug. And today is one of those days. I told John a few minutes ago that I feel like I could just spend the whole day in bed and I wondered if it could be hormonal. He informed me that this is a pattern he's observed; every time I'm feeling a lot of emotional stress and putting more on myself emotionally than I should, it affects me physically. I said I didn't think I was doing that. I don't feel like I have more "on me" than I can handle. And he said, "Trust me, dear. I know what I'm talking about. You put more on yourself emotionally than anyone else expects of you."

I know he's right. Although it is not that I have any more stress than anyone else. In fact, I have less stress than a lot of people. It's my own expectations and the emotional stress I impose on myself. I don't know how to change that about myself, though. My sister-in-law, Lillian, said something very sweet to me recently. She said, "No matter how much you do, you never feel like you're doing enough." I appreciated her saying that because she was telling me that I am the only one who feels that way.

I don't know how to change the way I'm wired. I was telling Chris and Cheryl yesterday that I would love to have my emotional wiring switched out. Come to think of it, I have always felt that way. But I guess it's not about how we're wired, since we are all flawed ... just in different ways.

I know the answer is to rely more fully on God's grace. And it's really strange, but reminding myself of that just gave me an instant emotional boost. I think I suddenly feel like exercising.


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