As you know, for the last week and a half our family has been on the road. We drove from Kansas City to St. George to Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon to Denver and home again. It was definitely the longest road trip of our lives. I'll be recapping our trip later this week (spoiler alert- we had a great time!), but today I'm going to fess up to something I learned about myself while we were gone.
Traveling puts you in very different circumstances than living life at home, and those circumstances are often very out of your control. It's so much harder to stick to a schedule and be on time places. Kids behave differently, kids get sick and plans have to be flexible. While we were on the road I CONSTANTLY found myself doing the very things that I judge other people on. Every. single. day. I was turning to Soren and saying "Oh, I'm so ashamed! I just did the exact same thing that I judge other people on!" I'm judgey and now I know it.
For example, when people come in town to visit, it drives me crazy when I don't hear from them and when the plans aren't concrete. I get frustrated when plans change and we have to work around them. Often plans even fall through. Well, guess who did a terrible job contacting anyone we were planning on visiting with while on our trip? And guess who changed plans on those same people five times and was still late? Oh, me.
Also crying or sick kids. I know it's terrible, but when other people have inconsolable, crying kids- I get annoyed. Not on the outside, but inside. Well guess who showed up at Soren's family gathering the first day with an inconsolable AND sick child? Oh, me. Knox got sick the first day we arrived in St. George and was so upset and sick I had to just take him back the hotel and miss the first two days of our vacation. I was that mom with a crying kid and who didn't even come to visit with family because her kid was sick.
And I know there were more, but the last example that comes to mind is spacing on responsibilities at home. At church I teach Sunday school every week for the four year old. And I think it's really irresponsible when other teachers don't get substitutes for their classes while they are gone. It bugs me. Well guess who forgot to get a substitute for her class until church had already started on the Sunday morning while they were gone? Oh, me. I had to scramble and my friends had to step in and sub for me with no notice. They were so nice about it and I know deep down inside that if the situations were reversed- I would not have felt nice about being corralled into subbing.
I definitely learned that you can't be judgey and feel semi-okay about it unless you can keep up the same standards yourself. And this entire trip I found myself unable to keep up with the standards I'd been unknowingly holding other people to. It was such a tough thing to realize! First it was annoying to see that I couldn't even stick to my own expectations, and second it felt awful to realize how harsh I am on people around me.
I'm sorry to all of my friends, family and acquaintances for being so judgey in the past, I still love you! And I think I've learned my lesson. We all need compassion and understanding because we are all doing our best. Things rarely go as planned for anyone- so the best thing we can do is assume the best and be willing to help those around us. That is exactly what I hoped everyone we saw on our trip would do for me in all of those circumstances. And they did! I'm so grateful for friends and family that showed me love and understanding instead of judging. I'm sorry I've been a hypocrite friends. Thanks for being better than me.
Have you found yourself in a similar situation? How do you let go and just show love?