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A Matter of Perspective

Never rake when you are angry...

Okay, let me explain. Last weekend my grandson was over visiting and he was going to help me out with some chores. One of those chores was raking up the leaves that had blown against my dog fence and accumulated there over last fall.

There was money involved, so I figured that together, he and my granddaughter would make short work of the leaves.

Well, that didn’t happen.

They came in after about 10-15 minutes saying they were all done.

Well, that isn’t exactly true. My granddaughter came in first and was crying—absolutely sobbing—because she couldn’t rake the entire yard by herself. I tried to convince her that I did not want her to rake the entire yard, just the area by the dog kennel.

She would not be convinced!

Then my grandson came in and told me he was done.

I went out to check and the kennel was a disaster! Leaves were everywhere except in piles.

I said, “What is going on? It looks worse than before?” I probably didn’t use those exact words (as my neighbors will attest to).

My grandson informed me that the leaves were frozen to the ground and he couldn’t get them to budge.

By this time I was pretty angry and went out to show the kids how to rake and move the leaves to the compost pile.

The next day I found out why people in not very good physical condition should not rake when they are angry!

I hurt in places that I didn’t know I had! My back and spine and shoulder hurt so bad on my right side that I thought I was not going to make it!

It still hurts almost a week later, although it is feeling better with a lot of stretching and hot showers!

I think if I had not gotten so worked up about the poor job that the kids had done in raking the area, I would not have hurt as much as I did.

Anger is not a friend of mine. With the pandemic, I have been angry a lot more than usual. I think it is because of the isolation, but I know that anger is something I have to work on. I don’t like being angry and yelling.

The famous poet Ralph Waldo Emerson said of anger, “For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind.”

I am fortunate that I can usually calm down quite quickly. It usually takes an apology from me, but I get over it. I don’t want to lose those moments of peace of mind.

Attorney Robert Green Ingersoll said, “Anger is a wind which blows out the lamp of the mind.”

Wow! Did he nail that one!?! I say, “Yes.”

I think when some people, myself included, get angry, we “lose our minds” at least temporarily.

I will be working on better control over my moods. I am beginning to understand when I need to cut back and when I can take on more. It isn’t always easy to know when to do these things, but I have been learning a lot this past year.

One of those things I have been learning is that if I express more gratitude, it doesn’t leave a lot of room for anger.

What are some things you are grateful for this week? Write them down or speak them aloud. Let that gratitude out! With the sun coming out and the days getting longer, there sure is a lot more to be grateful for! (At least in my humble opinion!)


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