Thursday, August 14, 2008

An Epiphany of Sorts

The other day I had an epiphany of sorts. Most of you who know me recognize that I can be quite the pessimist, always looking on the glum side of things. I really do apologize for that. It's a personality quirk that I've been trying to rid myself of for years now, with no success. Sometimes I start seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, but, alas, the tunnel always returns and leaves me feeling hopeless once again.

My husband and I went to a party for his work the other day. Many of you know that in the past several years, since buying a house, he has had a wretched commute to his store, which is one of the reasons we moved in with my parents and rented out our house. The current store he is at is much closer to our house than the one before, so when we (hopefully) move back, the commute won't be so bad. Also, his work hours can be quite deplorable--sometimes working night shifts for seven days straight, coming home after 1 am, sometimes as late as 3:30 am when we were in our house.

I don't have any acquaintances who are in a similar situation. Friends of mine whose husbands are gone for long hours are often that way because they are still in school, usually graduate school of some sort (law or dental, most often), and they have a light at the end of the tunnel (there's that tunnel again!). Even if their dear ones are gone long hours, they most often don't have an hour commute at 1:30 a.m. through foot deep puddles on rural roads during the rainy season. They really can't completely understand my struggle.

On Wednesday night, though, as I sat talking with one of the other manager's wives, I learned that she was in a very similar boat that I have been in. They live out where our house is and her husband works at the store mine used to work at. He has the weird hours and the long drive, and she stays home with their kids and has to cope with it all. Yet she was unexpectedly upbeat.

It was then that I had my epiphany. If she's so happy going through the same struggle as me, but she doesn't even have the everlasting gospel light that I have, why can't I be happy? And not just her, but there are a lot of people who don't have the gospel, who have worse struggles than me, yet they still find ways to cope and live on. Makes me feel guilty for being such a negative poop.

So now I have my work cut out for me. The natural optimist (my husband is one of these) doesn't have to work so hard at being happy because they come by it naturally. For me, happiness is a huge effort that leaves me feeling very drained. It's hard work. My very nature is to look at the worst case scenario and then, if I can live with that, I'm okay. I'm not quite sure how to turn this around, since, as I mentioned before, I've been trying for a very long time with little success. But now I really know I need to try harder.


swedemom said...

It's hard being in that tunnel. I know how it feels, the uncertainty, the fear, the worries. I have spent a year feeling like I was completely in the dark. I wish I would have had an epiphany like yours earlier. Would have saved me a lot of stress.

I've been working on meditation where I envisage things that make me happy. I also have been trying to do things that bring me joy consistently. And one other thing that is wonderful are the psalms.

Devin & Ruthann said...

I've never had as rough of circumstances as you with your husband working far away and weird hours and having to take care of kids, but I have felt pretty sorry for myself before. It can be really hard to get over.

Pray to Heavenly Father to help you be more optimistic:) He'll do it.

BYU Hottie said...

What a great epiphany! I hope it still comes to mind from time to time (as my own epiphanies do to me).
And I love your "negative poop" comment. :)


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