After 30+ days, I yelled.
Then I yelled two days after that. Then the next day. Then two after that, etc.
It has been hard to get back on the goal train.
The complacency began to get to me and I'm back on. I decided to give myself a reward each yell-free month I go.
Each day I do make it through without hollering, I notice an immediate difference, even if the difference is only in how I can feel love for my kids more easily and think of them as a treasure instead of thinking of them as being a list of to-dos.
So I persevere.
I was just thinking about the word catechism. And then I thought about my cat. Hence the title, because I am not going to now write a doctrinal manual on cat ownership.
Catechism, which I always thought was pronounced: catch-ae-ism, is Catholic. I am not. But I am now...a cat owner.
I would like to apologize for any grief or irritation or obvious nose-snuffling expressed around the cats of any of my friends. I have never liked cats. They make me very sick BUT my KIDS like cats and my HUSBAND likes cats and I think I have the soul of a cat and so...
I got a kitten for my birthday. Her name is Imogen and I looooooove her. On Friday, I'm going to the allergist to begin the journey of teaching my body get along with her as well. In other words, I'm going to go the route of immunology (ie shots, shots and years of shots). All for a cat? No! For my kids, yes, but I also have terrible seasonal allergies and this will, allegedly, solve these issuses! Yay!
She has been a lot of fun. She's got a lot of personality, really loving and playful (which sometimes gets her into trouble. She seems really happy, exploring and bounding around in our yard.
I've built her a scratching post, working on some more toys for her and I'm in charge of feeding her every day. I had know idea that owning my own pet would make me so sillyhappy.
I started over on the no-yelling thing. I've been leaving comments on the Orange Rhino (the girl with the bright idea) FB page. I'm involved and committed.
Since my little mess-up, I have plunged forward and if I make it through today, I will have completed 25 days of not yelling at my kids. Bryce's behavior has gotten so much worse, but now I feel like I can hear his needs now that I'm placing them above my own. For me, I think, yelling was just the opening credits, maybe the climactic scene, of the parenting pity party I've allowed myself to have when things don't go my way.
I have since got Bryce on the no-yelling bandwagon. He's working it out and is far from where I'd hoped he'd be, but he's mellowing a bit and taking more responsibility for his reactions. He's getting quicker at coming to me for help on a solution instead of just blasting a sibling for being hurtful, bossy or uncooperative.
I've read my scriptures every day for 35 days. I'm finally longing to read them, longing to learn. It's been nice to reacquainted with each other. It's been 16 years this month since I entered the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah which turned the Book of Mormon into my best friend for the next 18 months. A natural result is that I'm praying as an individual more regularly and feel more at peace. These things have been great blessings.
I have crafted something every day since I started. I've written poems, worked on afghans, built a cat scratching post, made friendship bracelets, built lines on my family tree (yes, I counted genealogy) and worked on a scrapbook page.
This is what I love best:
I feel like each day is filled with more purpose than I've has for a looooooong time. True purpose that is shaping me and making me better. I feel more positive. This is not to say I don't feel stress. I've felt a lot of it as I have wrestled with the natural man and with three kids who are trying to adjust to the new me. All those same family struggles are still there, but I feel like the Lord is right along side me, instead of blocked off, relegated to the proverbial sporting-event bench, by me, while I try to play the game alone.
I blew it today.
I yelled at Bryce to get out of the car.
There's a lot of pressure to send your kids flying like Mercury out of the car when we drop off at school in the morning.
I lost 10 days of no yelling and sent my boy off to school with my harsh sentence ringing in his ears.
On all accounts: dang.
It sucks to start over again. I wanted to count it as a little oops, but how I felt afterward (and the rest of the day), just didn't seem to be write. I erased all the days I'd gained so far, but it's the honest accounting of the thing.
I'm caught up with the idea of 365 days. Of being able to do anything, every day, for a whole year.
It began with my husband sending me a link to The Orange Rhino. This is the blog of a mommy that was tired of the negativity of yelling at her kids. Many of us out there would cringe if our husbands sent us a parenting article, but this is one turned me instantly onto the idea, the empowerment of, not only NOT yelling, but of accomplishing a good, good thing for an entire year.
Then, I decided that if I put this hand in hand with another of something I want to have more a part of my life, READING THE SCRIPTURES EVERY DAY, then these two goals cannot help but help each other!
So I did it. I made myself a double-chart and I use a pencil to fill it out.
So far, I'm seven days in and seven days are filled in on the handy-dandy 365 day chart.
Yesterday got a bit intense, as did my voice as I talked to my children, so I thought I'd better check the Rhino site this morning to see what she had down as the definition of yelling. It's here. Well, I've been pushing the limits so I need to reign myself more, but I am SO up for this challenge and so excited.
I've seen Bryce responding better to me in general and I know more improvements are on their way. Another awesome result is that I am also praying more. It's so nice to have a goal with real desire behind it, one where I feel like I can ask the Lord to take me hand and help me through this.
Yes! Yes! Yes!
Now, this may like a bad idea, but I've also run into Make Something 365 & Get Unstuck and I think I'm going to add this challenge to my challenges. You choose a theme or a medium and make something every day.
I'm going to choose for my theme the Emily Dickinson poem:
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,
And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.
I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.
Alright, then. Here I go. I am weak of will and well, just weak, but I know the promises of the Lord when it comes to helping us with that which is good and right. I think these goals, especially the not yelling and scripture reading are truly good and right.
Awesome. One foot after another. One day at a time.