The golden rule: or Who Made This Mess Anyway?

I often find Mondays difficult. For most people Monday means going back to work and they find that  hard. For me Monday is difficult because I often have it off.

At work my duties are clear and uncomplicated. Of course helping customers can be a challenge and take energy or several measures of kindness, but it’s also pretty straight forward for me. Make the customer happy by making them a good drink and being as pleasant as possible while they’re in your presence. Rinse the left over milk out of the pitchers. Wipe the counter and rinse the rag you used to wipe the counter. Give the appropriate change (number given by the cash register). Smile. Say ‘thank you’.  Grind some coffee. Write on a cup. Hit the button to pull espresso shots and watch to make sure they come out with good time and color. Etc.
Not so painful.

At home my belongings and to-do list seems as flexible, messy and confusing as my head… or maybe that’s backward. Whatever the order, I think they are linked.

So today I’m “taking care of business”. When I went to the free clinic the other day I realized something pretty important. I don’t really take care of myself. I mean, sure I put in the necessary work- food when my stomach hurts, bed when it’s night, shower, wash my clothes. I’ve even been working out for the past several months. I think these are good steps forward. But I have a ways to go and things to learn.
My ankle is a glaring example. The only reason I’m having trouble with it right now is because I did not take care of it back in December. Taking care of myself isn’t so fun. It throws off my schedule. A schedule which is fairly flexible but also tied drastically to my friends and the people around me.
I don’t think that taking care of myself means ignoring my loved ones but I do need to take a few breaths in the morning and seek God about my priorities. He can take care of so much and, as usual, I just need to ask Him to know what part I should play and where.

Today I will sort these papers, throw some things away, ice my ankle, maybe work out if I can do it with that massive ankle-immobilizing boot on, talk to God.

What about you? Do you find work or home harder? Do you take care of yourself or do you spend most of your time worrying about other people or distracted by entertainment? Have you ever wondered at the phrase “love your neighbor as yourself”? What if you treat others better than you treat yourself?
What do you think?

6 thoughts on “The golden rule: or Who Made This Mess Anyway?”

  1. This post made me think a lot . . . I’m definitely one of those people who would rather take care of everyone else than focus on my own stuff. Good questions at the end. I need to think about what my answers would/should be.

    1. Talking to a friend about this recently, I had the thought “Is your helping this other person causing you mental anguish or harm?” or “Do you actually have what you want to give them?” ie. energy, time, money, hope. Do you fill up before giving out or are you trying to pour out from a dry cup?
      Sometimes I think we do others (and ourselves!) more harm than good when we try to give to them when we ourselves are empty.

      And if you’re empty where do you go to get filled up?

      I’m not speaking all of this directly at you, Linz because I don’t know your situations… I’m mostly asking these questions to myself and now you since you commented 🙂
      Thanks for commenting!

      1. No, I understand, and your questions help me think through this. It’s true . . . sometimes I’m trying to give from a dry cup. It doesn’t work very well. 😛 I usually tell myself that if I were walking closely enough with Jesus, it wouldn’t be an issue. He would always keep my cup full. Is that a wrong understanding of what Jesus does?

        1. I think, for me, listening is key. When I wake up in the morning am I just jumping up and running head first into social stuff or am I taking time to say “Hi God! What’s up?”
          I think keeping the cup full is a bit of a mystery and also a bit of a day to day thing- it’s not the same on any given day. Some days it’s just right for me to go and go and give and give and other days the right thing is to take an extra nap and a longer way home in the car by myself.

          It helps a lot if I’m not motivated by guilt or fear but my heart is listening.

          Thanks for interacting with me about this… sometimes it’s easier to think through things when I get to put words to them with others.

  2. Thanks for this great post, Peggy. I just read a Demotivator that said,
    “Monday is what Sunday puked up” : )

    For Linz and the post, there was a senior lady in our Nashville church who had picked up the Sunday School attendance sheets for 30 years, every week, without missing one. What a commitment!

    However, when the new youth minister saw this, he said, “So, when was she getting fill up?” Yes, she gave, but she also missed 30 years of Sunday School.

    That story allows me to be a little more selfish with my time with God and others who fill me up “so that” I can then give to others out of what I’ve been given.

    1. Good thoughts. Sometimes, though, people get their filling from other things. Sunday School matters to me and is some of “my” time, but I also get joy from helping people and that joy fills my cup as well. I guess the key is finding a balance. And, I’m horrible at that. lol.

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