Do You Ever Feel Unnoticed and Undervalued?

Recently I got in a funk.

A dark cloud hung over and throughout me. It seemed everything I did was failing, late, or not good enough.

I felt undervalued. Unnoticed.

I also felt my brain power was underused.

I mean, how much brain energy does it take to figure out when to start a load of wash when it needs to be done by X (okay, maybe that’s an algebra word problem, so that could take some brain power). Or what time should I jump in the car to chauffeur students for an after-school event ( another algebra question; they did say algebra would be used in life)? Or answer questions like, “Where are my socks?” Or decide what to make for dinner?

I was feeling the woe-is-me blues, and singing what-is-the-use tunes.

About this time, my teen son asked, “Mom aren’t you looking forward to retiring one day? Because I sure am.” And all I could think was, Retire? Are you kidding? Someone will always be asking, “What’s for dinner?”

I know, pretty pathetic.

But I think many of us have been here. Maybe we are hearing more complaining than appreciation. More what-were-you-thinking than thank-yous. Maybe we are going through a rough time. Maybe we are comparing ourselves to someone else who has a more exciting life (or at least seems to). Maybe our life is full of more slow zones and speed bumps than straight-aways and race tracks. Or maybe we are just tired or doing the same tasks day after day. After day. And we see no end in sight.

A young mother once confided. “I think my whole day revolves around food. I make breakfast. Cleanup breakfast, and then it is time to make lunch. I make lunch. Cleanup lunch, and it is time to make dinner. I make dinner. Cleanup dinner, and it is time to go to bed. Then get up and repeat. This happens day after day.”

Yup. Anyone relating? Excitement for our life has jumped out the window.

Our commitment for our current job of service to our current tribe is growing lukewarm.

Maybe it is not cooking and cleaning and the endless cycle of doing it again and again that’s got you down, maybe it is not being noticed at work. Maybe it is doing work that seems not even related to your degree. Maybe it is cleaning up your co-worker’s messes. Maybe it is watching others get credit and you get none. Maybe it is having a boss who undermines you. Maybe it’s working late without compensation.

Whatever the reason, there will be times we feel undervalued, invisible, and unappreciated.

There will be times we get tired of doing the same thing over and over. Tired of our current lot in life. Tired of being good old us.

It's not uncommon to sometimes feel undervalued and unappreciated in a relationship. Quit waiting for things to change. Take control and try these 11 tips to banish your blues.It's not uncommon to sometimes feel undervalued and unappreciated in a relationship. Quit waiting for things to change. Take control and try these 11 tips to banish your blues.It's not uncommon to sometimes feel undervalued and unappreciated in a relationship. Quit waiting for things to change. Take control and try these 11 tips to banish your blues.

So, what’s a woman to do?

I wish I could just demand, okay maybe decree, a bigger fuss be made over my efforts and the tasks I do all day. Flowers, chocolate, a two-week vacation, a thank you card, and a surprise party with flashing lights and dancing would be a good start.

But that isn’t happening.

I could whine, complain, and guilt those around me by reminding them of my worth and my priceless value to them. I could tell them to thank me, quit taking me for granted, and expect a lot less from me.

But that won’t make them or me happy. (Who wants a gift when you have to guilt someone into giving it to you.)

I could play the martyr role and remind everyone loudly through sighs and flippant or sarcastic comments that I deserve better and they are using me.

But goodness, that isn’t a win-win for all parties.

I could just do my own thing on my own time schedule and say hell to the rest.

But throwing a big fit doesn’t end well or make me or them feel good.

I could focus on everything that I perceive as wrong, on all the injustices and slights and circumstances I wish were changed, on how I wish reality really was, and on how discontented I was.

But that will only make me more miserable than before and send me into a fast-downward spiral. Guaranteed.

I suppose I could just go on strike, but that’s not fair. And what if they went on strike? What a mess we would have.

It's not uncommon to sometimes feel undervalued and unappreciated in a relationship. Quit waiting for things to change. Take control and try these 11 tips to banish your blues.

Remember you are in control.

I can’t say I didn’t do a little bit of some of the above, because I am human and I did, but then reality set in. I realized I could only change myself, not them. I could only change my attitude, not the situation.

In other words, I had a lot more control than I originally thought. I was not a victim, like I was making myself out to be in my mind. I had more control over the situation than I was thinking I had. And I had more control over myself and my choices than I was thinking I had.

I had to stop the downward spiral of a pity party. Yes, it seems silly to even admit I was feeling sorry for myself when I am so blessed, and lead an easy life compared to lots of other people (why do we never compare our self to someone less fortunate to us during a pity party?).

I realized I needed to change my thinking.

There wasn’t only one ahh moment. Or a 10-minute call-to-clarity moment. It happened over a time period.

First, I tried to Identify why I was discontent and in a bad, terrible, pity-me mood. Anybody heard of selfishness? Well, so had I. And I was smack deep in a knee-high pile of wanting to do my own thing on my own timeframe and a who-cares-about-some-other-people kind of attitude.

Unpretty things were in my mind. And they were coming out in my attitude and feelings.

I thought about my attitude. What was wrong with it? How was it unrealistic?

I thought about how I wanted it to be. How God wanted it to be.

As I put on my thinking cap in the car one day, while out doing errands, I remembered that Jesus came to live a life of service to others. He did what his parents wanted him to do. What his teacher wanted him to do. And always, what his father wanted to do. I am sure he didn’t always want to do what his parent’s asked. I am sure he didn’t always want to heal another person. Give another sermon. Stop the bickering of the disciples. Deal with the daily grind of living. Yet he cheerfully did.

We know he certainly didn’t want to do his last and biggest task, if at all possible. Yet he willingly did. Because he didn’t come to live for himself and do what he wanted to do. He didn’t come to gather accalades and praise. No, he came to fulfill the plan that had been set in motion before we were even created. He came to serve us and his father.

Wasn’t I called to imitate Jesus?

Well that train of thoughts put some things in perspective.

Then I talked to a trusted friend. Admitted my not so pure thoughts and attitude and she empathized with me. Encouraged me to keep up the good work. And pointed out ways I was appreciated and valued.

A few days later I was at church.

The text was about Jesus turning the water into wine at the wedding feast. His first miracle. And as the pastor was talking about how Jesus quietly and behind the scenes changed the water into wine, I realized he was not drawing attention to himself. He was not Instagraming the moment to let everyone know about his first miracle. He wasn’t having a disciple call the newspaper to do a write up. He didn’t even announce to the guests that this delicious and better wine was the result of his doing. No, he quietly and humbly served the guests, fulfilled his mother’s request, and saved the wedding feast.

It's not uncommon to sometimes feel undervalued and unappreciated in a relationship. Quit waiting for things to change. Take control and try these 11 tips to banish your blues.It's not uncommon to sometimes feel undervalued and unappreciated in a relationship. Quit waiting for things to change. Take control and try these 11 tips to banish your blues.It's not uncommon to sometimes feel undervalued and unappreciated in a relationship. Quit waiting for things to change. Take control and try these 11 tips to banish your blues.

Change what can be changed.

We may not be able to change our circumstances or situation, but we can always change our attitude.

Changing our attitude, will help us look at our circumstances and situation with new eyes. Changing our attitude will change our feelings and ultimately our life.

Others can’t fix you. You have to fix yourself. Your attitude.

There are a number of ways to change your attitude. Here are a few

1. Share your heart, feelings, and attitude with a trusted friend. Let them encourage you. Remind you of God’s truth. Pray for you. Listen to you.

2. Know that God always sees you, notices you, and calls you beloved. He appreciates and makes note of your hard work. And loves you fiercely, bad attitude and all.

3. Whether you realize it or not, your faithful example is spurring others to good works. It may feel like others don’t notice, but they do. And without your service, the world would be a dimmer place.

4. Tattoo on your heart that your value is not in what you do or don’t do, but in whose you are.

5. Imitate Christ, who came not be served, but to serve. He did it quietly without fanfare and with no expectations in return.

6. Take charge. People cannot read you mind. We need to tell them what we need and take steps to meet our needs. This may mean scheduling some fun things in life that recharge your soul. Saying no. Focusing on a fewer priorities. Readjusting your schedule and self-expectations. Giving yourself grace.

7. Ask for help. It’s not a sign of weakness, but of strength.

8. Change your perspective by counting your blessings. Instead of complaining about washing the dishes, realize you have dishes to wash. Instead of thinking you “have to” make dinner, realize you “get to” make dinner.

9. Pray. Ask to see your situation through God’s perspective, instead of your perspective. This transforms us and our attitude.

10. Get in community with others. Our enemy wants to isolate us and make us think no one understands us, loves us, or knows what we are feeling and experiencing. But this is false; you are only feeling the normal human range of emotions and others will understand. Find some community that does.

11. Learn from the experience and give yourself grace. Then next time it happens, it won’t take so long to identify your downward spiral and start rocketing up and back to balance again.

It's not uncommon to sometimes feel undervalued and unappreciated in a relationship. Quit waiting for things to change. Take control and try these 11 tips to banish your blues.

Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important.

Theresa

 


Having trouble enjoying life? Reconciling your current reality with how you wish life really was? Get a free PDF with 12 tips to help you enjoy your life right now. Subscribe and join the journey. You will also receive weekly encouragement and hope tied up with some humor. Because life is sweeter when we walk alongside one another.


Join the Discussion: How have you changed your attitude to change your life?

It's not uncommon to sometimes feel undervalued and unappreciated in a relationship. Quit waiting for things to change. Take control and try these 11 tips to banish your blues.May link up at Kelly Balarie (#purposeful faitht), Lori Schumaker (#Moments of Hope), Crystal Storms (#HeartEncouragement), Maree Dee (#Grace & Truth), and Kristin Hill Taylor (#porchstories).

It's not uncommon to sometimes feel undervalued and unappreciated in a relationship. Quit waiting for things to change. Take control and try these 11 tips to banish your blues.It's not uncommon to sometimes feel undervalued and unappreciated in a relationship. Quit waiting for things to change. Take control and try these 11 tips to banish your blues.

5 Tips for a Mostly Balanced Life

 

You can't have a perfectly balanced life, but you can have a life that is mostly balanced for you. Learn 5 tips to achieve your own mostly balanced life.You can't have a perfectly balanced life, but you can have a life that is mostly balanced for you. Learn 5 tips to achieve your own mostly balanced life.You can't have a perfectly balanced life, but you can have a life that is mostly balanced for you. Learn 5 tips to achieve your own mostly balanced life.You can't have a perfectly balanced life, but you can have a life that is mostly balanced for you. Learn 5 tips to achieve your own mostly balanced life.You can't have a perfectly balanced life, but you can have a life that is mostly balanced for you. Learn 5 tips to achieve your own mostly balanced life.Do you ever dream of a perfectly balanced life?

One where you are well-rested from self-care, well-dressed because the laundry has been completed and actually put away, and well-fed as dinner is tasty and on time. Family members are positive and problem free. Work is trouble-free. Your calendar and tasks are working like a well-oiled machine. No errands await. The radar screen registers level and problem free for the next several months.

This perfectly balanced life sounds pretty nice, doesn’t it?

Confession time. I wish I had a perfectly balanced life.

Both my hands are waving in the air like a twisting Tinker Toy.

I wouldn’t mind trying that kind of life. Trying to keep it for a while.

Maybe a long while.

My attitude has been known to get twisted in a snarly knot because I see no perfectly balanced life on my horizon. Or even in the distant future. And more confession. At my age, I was hoping that after putting in all that time and learning all those life lessons, my perfectly balanced life would have now arrived. And decided to stick around full-time.

But it hasn’t.

I also thought by now I would at least know how to organize and maintain a perfectly balanced life.

I am failing at that too.

If you are reading this post because you are looking for the blueprint to the perfectly balanced life or want to know what percentages you should categorize your life into, well then, I have another confession to make.

The perfectly balanced life does not exist.

Not for you. Not for me. Not for your friends.

I hate to be a party downer, but I just can’t lie to you.

The perfectly balanced life is an elusive myth, like the Loch Ness Monster, an alien baby president, or a unicorn herd living among the Antarctica penguins. Okay, maybe it is not quite that crazy, but it is as unattainable as having a perfect life. Raising the perfect child. Or becoming the perfect mom.

The truth is there is no perfect anything.

We like to think these things exist somewhere, and that maybe we can one day become one (or learn how to become one), but the truth is that they exist only in our imagination. Or on our goal board.

There is no perfectly balanced life.

So now you know the bad news. You can’t have a perfectly balanced life. But there is also some good news. You can have a life that is mostly balanced for you.

What you say?

Yes, you can have a life that is balanced for you and yours.

So how do you obtain this mostly balanced life?


You can't have a perfectly balanced life, but you can have a life that is mostly balanced for you. Learn 5 tips to achieve your own mostly balanced life.Keep these 5 steps in mind when finding balance in life (or how to achieve your mostly balanced life):

 

1. Decide what balance looks like for you (and your family). Quit looking for the right formula. The perfect pie chart that tells you how to divide your time and commitments. Because everyone’s mostly balanced life will look different.

Figure out your needs. A working mom’s life will look different from a home school mom’s life. Balance for a single person will be different from a married person. Figure out what self-care, friendship, commitments, responsibilities, work, play, and expectations are reasonable and healthy for you and your family. What tasks can you accomplish? What tasks can be delegated? What tasks can be hired out? What areas needs more focus, which areas needs less focus? Maybe you need to schedule more time for play and quit working so much. Or focus more on achieving your dreams and less time on Netflix.

Be realistic and honest. You may be able to organize the annual fun run this year, but not next year. So, before you say yes, and take on another task, make sure you are currently able to accomplish what you already have on your plate. Learning to say no will help keep your life more balanced.

Remember that as time moves forward, your balanced life will change, and you will move into new stages and opportunities. So, re-evaluate what balance looks like for you on a regular basis.

2. Everyone’s balanced life looks different, so no comparing or judging. We are all in different stages. Accomplishing different goals. Our families and lives are different. Just like there is no one approach that works with infants to get them to sleep through the night (otherwise there would not be 3, 486 theories on Dr. Google), there is no one system or pie chart that works best for everyone when trying to balance their life.

Some people’s lives will look similar to yours, and other people’s lives will make no sense to you. And that is alright.  Everyone is making choices and decisions based upon their family and situation.

One woman will have the time and skill to make her own cheese from scratch and then make fresh cheese appetizers to bring to the party. Don’t compare yourself to her or you will feel bad about your store-bought cheese platter. And you shouldn’t. Do what you are good at and what you have the time for. Don’t compare and then feel guilty about not doing it all.

But you say. I could make my own cheese from scratch and bring freshly made cheese appetizers to the party and feel better about myself. Yes, you could. But do you want to start playing that game of trying to keep up with every Sally Jane? And will doing that bring balance or unbalance to your life? It may wear you out and bring some looks of admiration from others and some bragging rights, but it certainly won’t make you a better person, increase your worth, or add balance.

You can't have a perfectly balanced life, but you can have a life that is mostly balanced for you. Learn 5 tips to achieve your own mostly balanced life.3. Know your triggers and limits. (And those of your family.) The more you know about yourself  and your family members, the easier it is to plan and maintain a mostly balanced life.

Maybe you have children that need time to unwind and just do nothing. We call them free nights at our house. My family thrives on free nights. Knowing this fact about us, I am careful about scheduling something every night and instead build in nights where nothing is going on.

4. Excelling in one area of life will cause you to fail in another area of life. If you focus on working late every night for two weeks, something will have to drop. Maybe it is making dinner. Tucking the little ones into bed. Going to book club. I am not sure what will get absorbed and put on hold, but something will.

Does that mean you shouldn’t work late? Commit to extra things? Never say yes to opportunities?

No. But let’s be realistic. Realize when you devote extra time to one area of your life, another area will shrink or disappear for a while. This is just going to happen. So, weigh your options.

You know the feeling when you arrive home from vacation and the next morning you feel overwhelmed with laundry, unpaid bills, unread mail, and the 392 other things clamoring to be done? It is because more attention was focused on play and relaxation and laundry and daily tasks were put on hold. Balance is wanting to be restored. It is now up to you whether you will focus on feeling like a failure because of the laundry or remember the success of your vacation.

Part of living a mostly balanced life is realizing these equations and not getting upset or surprised when they happen.

5. Quit trying to do it all. If you have bought into the idea that you can look like you just stepped from a fashion magazine, work full-time, attend all your children’s events, have a clean house, eat dinner as a family, volunteer at the food bank, keep up with your 25 girlfriends, make homemade lasagna for the potluck, decorate your house like a pro, and get 8 hours of sleep a night, than you have been hoodwinked.

No one can keep up a schedule like this for very long before falling down in exhaustion.

I know social media, magazines, and others are telling us that we can be all, do all, and accomplish all, but we can’t. We are flesh and blood and have only so much energy. So much time. We can’t keep adding things to our life and not face overwhelm or fail in another area of our life.

Lesson your stress and give yourself permission to lower your expectations to reality. You will be happier. Those around you will be happier. And you will be one step closer to your mostly balanced life.

I want you to remember this.

You can’t have a perfectly balanced life, but you can have a life that is mostly balanced for you.    

Let’s move closer to real balance.

Real life.

A livable, real life that contains boundaries, looks like us and our needs, acknowledges our limits, and is achievable.

You can't have a perfectly balanced life, but you can have a life that is mostly balanced for you. Learn 5 tips to achieve your own mostly balanced life.

Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important.

Theresa

 


If you need some weekly encouragement and hope, tied up with some humor? Subscribe and join the journey. Life is sweeter when we walk alongside one another.


Join the discussion: What helps you live a mostly balanced life?

You can't have a perfectly balanced life, but you can have a life that is mostly balanced for you. Learn 5 tips to achieve your own mostly balanced life.May link up at Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), Lori Schumaker (#Moments of Hope), Crystal Storms (#HeartEncouragement), Arabah Joy (#Grace & Truth).

You can't have a perfectly balanced life, but you can have a life that is mostly balanced for you. Learn 5 tips to achieve your own mostly balanced life.

Counting Blessings on a Card Table

Thanksgiving was a big deal at our house when I was growing up.

So naturally, when I married and started hosting my own, I continued the tradition.

Time and energy were put into planning the menu, decorating, cleaning the house, pulling out the best china and tablecloths. The night before I would bake at least four desserts. I wanted to present the best food and experience for the guests.

One year, I realized that while we had celebrated Thanksgiving with all kinds of family and friends, I had not spent a Thanksgiving with my dad for twenty-some years, mainly because my mom divorced him the same year I got married.

Now, this lack of spending Thanksgivings together was not because we never saw one another. He was a beloved member of our family and one of our favorites. Most every summer, he would drive 12 hours to come visit us for a month or two. And most every vacation we talked him into joining us.

We had many memories of my dad and us doing, going, and celebrating. None, though, involved Thanksgiving.

So, one night during our weekly two-hours chats, I suggested we come visit him over the  Thanksgiving holiday.

He protested, at first, saying it was a long way to drive for only a few days. He also reminded me that he lived in a small two-bedroom apartment.

When he heard I was serious, he started to get excited.

Now, my dad was a poor farm boy who grew into a humble hardworking man with simple tastes. He drove a 15- year old car and furnished his apartment from finds at the thrift store. Possessions were not important to him. Relationship and people were.

We squeezed in that first night, hubby and I sleeping in the extra bedroom, the two children on the living room floor.

Dad hovered over us, concerned for our comfort and the lack of space at his place. He even suggested a hotel room.

No; we had come to spend time with him.

I wanted this Thanksgiving to be special for my dad. I wanted to make delicious food he did not cook for himself as a bachelor. I wanted him to feel loved by us. I wanted to make up for all those Thanksgivings we had not shared together. But cooking breakfast in his small kitchen, with about two feet of workable counter space, I realized I was going to have to pare back my grand Thanksgiving plans.

Despite that small kitchen, I managed to bake a delicious turkey, cranberries, sweet potatoes, a vegetable, fruit salad, stuffing, and cobbler.

Dad’s kitchen table only sat two. So, when it came time for the grand feast, dad pulled out a plastic-topped card table with four matching chairs. Then he pulled up a kitchen chair. We set the table for five. No fine china. No tablecloth. No flowers. No fancy little butter dish or roll plates. But there was laughter, love, stories, and good will flowing in and out and around that small apartment.

We had a simpler Thanksgiving that year. Humbler food and surroundings, but it did not matter. Because if you had looked around that little living room and seen us sitting there at the card table with laden-down plates, laughing and eating, you would have seen the love. Felt the closeness. Seen the delight in my children’s eyes. Noticed the sparkle in my dad’s eyes at the joy of sharing this day and gift with us.

When it comes down to it, I usually stress and worry about Thanksgiving. What to cook? Who to invite? How to decorate? When the important thing is the atmosphere, the love, and the offering of the food itself to those who come to participate.

That was the last Thanksgiving I had with my dad. He died unexpectedly a few years later.

But like he did so often in life with his quiet and humble manner, he taught me that a simpler Thanksgiving in a tiny living room on a card table can be the best Thanksgiving of all.

This guest post first appeared at Her View From Home.