Getting Personal on my Frustrations, the Serenity Prayer & Romanticizing “What-Ifs”

Hi, friends. Today’s post explores a few things on my mind, and it incorporates some whining, some philosophizing, some taking responsibility…you name it. 😉

Dealing With Frustration

I have been vulnerable with the emotional struggles I face. I have written posts on petty pity parties and getting out of the pit. As a wheelchair user, my limited abilities cause me to have less control of my life–running errands is an ordeal, I can’t clean or exercise or anything to the extent I would like, etc. My living situation exacerbates my frustration. In a house where I live upstairs and everything is downstairs, so many things lie outside of my control from what I eat to when I can leave the house, etc.

I know that I come off as a strong and joyful person, and most days, I do feel that way. But, despite my faith and determination and ambition, I’m still just a person. Some days are hard, y’all. As I write the rough draft to this post, I’m having “one of those days.” Typing out my feelings is already taking its therapeutic effect, though.

There’s something I’ve been pondering for the last hour that is helping me get back to a can-do attitude–the serenity prayer.

The Wisdom of the Serenity Prayer

The serenity prayer is famous for its straight-forward yet profound wisdom:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.

It’s easy to get so caught up in a storm of emotions that I flush rationality down the drain. If I can try to think clearly in the midst of the blues, I can stop wading in my misery and start finding solutions to my problems–if not all then at least some.

Some of my complaints, like needing help up and down the stairs to reach my car, are inflexible. I do not have access to a full kitchen. I cannot control when my laundry gets done. I get bogged down by the things I can’t control. However…

I do have a fridge and a microwave, so I can pay my boyfriend who works at a grocery store to buy healthy fresh and frozen meal options. I can clean and straighten up some things from a seated position (and relentlessly pester my family to help with things like vaccuuming). I can pay a friend to help me clean my car. [Update: I convinced my dad to wash my car by saying it could be his birthday present to me. And we’re going to start using a cleaning service. Yay!]

Being Realistic

Realistically, I will always have problems. I want to move to a one-level house, but while it’s hard to see right now, I’m sure that living on my own will have a different set of frustrations. Right now, I wish I could cook more vs. eating drive-thru, but who knows–maybe I won’t have the time or the motivation once I have the freedom to do so. I ponder how I would never have a dirty car if I were able-bodied, but maybe I would–not every able-bodied person in the world has a clean car.

I guess this is what I’m getting around to: musing on “what-ifs” usually involves romanticization, while feeling sorry for one’s self tends to involve the opposite–thinking things are worse than they really are.

We take for granted the good things we currently have while imagining that life would be perfect with a few tweaks to our circumstances. We all have reasons to be thankful, and life will never be perfect.

Lord, help me see things clearly to appreciate my blessings and find ways to address my complaints rather than letting them suck me bone-dry of gratitude. Help me trust that You will work all things to the good.

Thanks for reading my ramblings. I’m off to do a home workout then straighten up my bathroom in the hopes of inducing some “feel-good” hormones along with some cathartic feelings of accomplishment. [Update: I worked out, which did help, but I didn’t clean. Alas, I want a clean home in theory but tend to procrastinate when the rubber meets the road.]

What are you frustrated about in your life? Let’s commiserate in the comments. Also, I’d really appreciate some healthy meal suggestions that are doable with a fridge and microwave.

38 comments

  1. Much love dear Lily! I understand the frustration of not being able to do all you want to do. My van is filthy too. I’m feeling down about not being able to exercise which has led to a big weight gain recently. Nothing fits anymore and there’s no money to buy clothes. I’m thinking of you dear girl. It’s hard but God is using all these trials for our good. Blessings.🤗❤

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I understand feeling frustrated. It get frustrated too when fatigue hits hard and I have to cancel plans, or pain is bad and I can’t do things I want or need to do. I try to remember it will not always be this way, but only in this life. In heaven there won’t be any chronic illness and after the resurrection we will have glorified bodies.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I like fresh fruit, Greek yogurt and nut parfaits. I use a wine glass for them. The bottom layer is yogurt, then a layer of blueberries, another layer of yogurt and a layer of nuts (I like bakers walnuts and pecans, they aren’t salty and you can buy them finely chopped) and then another layer of yogurt and another layer of your choice of fruit and so forth. As a treat I top it of with some whipped cream in a can. Delicious.
    I also like to do wraps. I usually use whole wheat tortillas for those and some high quality deli meats and cheeses, lots of veggies of various kinds and I’m really into Green Goddess dressing and Greek Cucumber dressing for these. You can also use pita pocket bread and just stuff the goodies into the bread.
    Now this is decadent, Lilly. It’s not healthy at all, but it’s good when you’re craving something filling and cheesy…And guess what? It’s a prison recipe. Ha!
    Okay. You need fritos, Cheese Whiz, a can of roast beef, a can of chili with beans (I like Wolf brand chili) and some fresh chopped chilies if you like some heat–you can zap them in the microwave. So you mix the ingredients together, sans the fritos, in a big bowl. Put in the microwave a cook it till its warmed all the way through. You have to zap it for about 3 minutes, then take it out and stir it, and zap it again until you get the desired consistency. It should be like a thick sticky gravy. Then you put it over the fritos. You can top it off with fresh chopped scallions if you like. Delicious.
    –Pam

    Liked by 2 people

  4. You actually are talking about a frustration I have about homes and accessibility. It’s humbling but also scary to realize that I am a bad accident or a chronic condition away from needing help up or down the stairs.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Awww, Lily, this post was so great — you are ALLOWED to complain! (though, I have to say, this was hardly complaining!!). I also enjoy having a clean living space, and enjoy the process of cleaning but that’s one thing that being chronically ill the past few years has wiped out and so it is nice to have other people do it for you and I find I still have the same satisfaction feelings whether I ‘did it myself’ or not! The frustration is that my living space is often not as ‘tidy’ as I’d like it to be and I don’t always have the energy to clean it myself.
    As for meal suggestions — I have pared my diet WAY down and I am surprised at how simply one can eat and be satisfied. I don’t really ‘cook’ a lot, and am pondering getting a George Foreman grill or some type of portable grill to use for the small meals we now make at our house. A simple grilled chicken breast and a sliced cucumber, with salt, is often my lunch, with maybe some fruit for dessert. Pieces of cheese or yogurt are nice healthy snacks to have around as well–and require zero to no prep work! I have been known to eat cottage cheese and some tomatoes or other garden vegetables for a light meal as well in the summer!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Beloved Lily, it’s so hard living with restrictions of some sort. When my family and I migrated to this country almost 2 decades ago, for many years we lived with restrictions. Wanting to do so much but was so limited. Having to start all over again. I remember my dad would go to work for a car wash all week and came home with $40 – but God, girl. We all have so many crosses to bear and by no stretch is it easy – our Father remains faithful to give us strength though. I love the serenity prayer – it gives perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love how you said, “We take for granted the good things we have.” Sometimes I have to remind myself how blessed I really am, especially when I find myself comparing our situation to the situation of my friends. My husband and I still have our adult special-needs son living with us, and our other two children live 10 hours away, in opposite directions. Most of our friends are busy with their lives and families that live nearby. Anyway, reminding myself of our many blessings and of God’s goodness is always helpful to me.
    As for food, frozen veggies and meat patties – like angus beef patties, or salmon or fish – are always easy and healthy to prepare in the microwave. Frozen riced cauliflower can be dressed up in so many ways when you toss in some cheese, other veggies, canned green chilies, etc. You could also cook hamburger in the microwave, and season it with taco seasoning, etc. Lettuce wraps with that meat, or with any other meat (tuna, canned chicken, etc.), is yummy!
    Blessings to you. Sorry for the long comment. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Lily–you are the light of Jesus even when you are frustrated and down. You are human just like the rest of us and God embraces us in the up and the downs. You still remain one of the most uncomplaining person even with this post. Allow others to help you otherwise you are denying them the opportunity to be a blessing as well as being blessed. I love you dearly, my sister in Christ, and know these are continuous frustrations for you. We do learn from our trials and most of all we learn to trust in our loving and living God even more through his faithfulness. Look for those God is using to assist and love you in the ups and downs.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Great thoughts, Lily. I loved the practicality and honesty of this post. I know how therapeutic it can be to write out your struggles and frustrations, so it’s encouraging to read your thoughts. I can be such a “what-if” person too. So often I complain that if this or that were different in my life then I could do this or make my life better in that way and everything would be perfect, but then maybe the situation actually does change, but I don’t make any effort to really do what I said I would. I can so easily take things for granted and get sucked into a romanticizing mindset, instead of being grateful for what I do have and doing everything in my power to live my life to the fullest. There’s always a reason to be thankful and always something I can do right now to change my life and others’ lives for the better instead of waiting for the perfect circumstances and perfect life that doesn’t exist in reality. I think sometimes we need a reality check on what a purposeful life truly is from God’s perspective.
    I’m not great at thinking up creative meals, but one thing that pops into my head for healthy and microwaveable is kale chips. Healthy and delicious with salt and a drizzle of olive oil or dipped in hummus. I guess that’s more of a snack than a meal but anyway… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Appreciate your thoughtful comment, Heather. You hit the nail on the head, especially with this sentence–“There’s always a reason to be thankful and always something I can do right now to change my life and others’ lives for the better instead of waiting for the perfect circumstances and perfect life that doesn’t exist in reality.” Thanks for the snack suggestion, too. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. 1- Speak up. Make your wishes known so others have a chance of pleasing you. Do not expect anyone to just KNOW.
    2- You are loved and appreciated by your family. We will fall short sometimes, but do not mistake that for lack of caring.
    3- Appreciate things that ARE done for you. It is easy to focus on the negative, but notice the love that comes to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do appreciate everything you do for me, but it is hard not to have control (I know you understand that, since you were the parent who drove their own car behind the bus on a field trip). It is good to share the vulnerable moments with others so that people know they are not alone in facing struggles in life.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Lily my sweet Lily, I can only imagine what you go through each and every day. Yes you are human! For a fact we all are and we all have times of frustrations and the blues.. It’s our Human Nature as David McCaully would say. I know I see you probably at your best but it’s ok to feel blue once in a while as long as you don’t dwell on it. And I know you don”t. I found as always “Just A Little Talk with Jesus makes it right” It always lifts my spirits. Keeping you in my Prayers and hopeing one day you can find that one level home you want. Take care and as always keep your chin up. Love Deb

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Love this, Lily! It’s so easy like you said to focus on what we don’t have. We think, “if only this” would make it better. But there are always new obstacles to work around. I will say, often God shows me how the past was used to help me prepare for what is next in-store. Really appreciate your transparency! I hope it speaks to others ❤ Been thinking of you!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Great post! Love that we can share frustrations and praises comfortably here on WordPress, God has given us the opportunity to encourage one another this way!

    …So if it makes you feel a teensy bit better—my car is always filthy on the outside, can’t seem to keep up on it!! Dirty dishes seem to show up by the dozens lately! And laundry I wish took care of itself ….So see we’re in it together!!

    Thank you for quoting the serenity prayer, I hadn’t thought of it in years!!
    Praying for you friend!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Alicia! I also love the atmosphere on WP where we can encourage each other with our not-so-good moments–unlike most social media where we only project highlight reels of our lives. 😉

      Like

  14. I’m not a microwave person, so I cannot help in that department. However, I think there is a variety of salads you can prepare without needing to cook anything.

    There will always be frustrations in life. We are humans and we always crave more. Nothing is ever good enough. Make the best of what you have.

    Like

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