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.

Ten Things I Learned from Purging My House

 

Decluttering our house can teach us lessons about ourselves. Here's what I learned through purging my house.Decluttering our house can teach us lessons about ourselves. Here's what I learned through purging my house.Decluttering our house can teach us lessons about ourselves. Here's what I learned through purging my house.Decluttering our house can teach us lessons about ourselves. Here's what I learned through purging my house.Who doesn’t like a tidy, clutter free, organized house?

My hand is in the air. And I bet yours is too.

Well I’ve been organizing and purging stuff from my house and it feels wonderful.

It also is looking better. Not always in the open and living spaces, but behind cupboard and closet doors. Book shelves.

And that is a good feeling. To open a closet door and see more of the white shelves. To pull open a bathroom drawer and see everything in one quick glance.

I started in my bathroom. That place where shampoo, body products, hair accessories, and beauty stuff accumulate. One large garbage sack later, all items left were just necessary products and nothing had an expired date.

Ironic how we think one day I may just wear that shade of lipstick. Years pass, and that day never comes.

Sorting, processing, throwing out and reorganizing our house is a lot like doing the same to our life. Not everything you come across is all bad and needs to go, nor is everything all good and needs to stay.

Somethings have served their purpose and now can be passed onto someone else (baby things). Somethings are expired (that jar of bright blue polish I never got around to wearing). Somethings you still need, and may always need (kitchen dishes), and somethings were only for a season (card making supplies).

10 things I learned from decluttering my house, plus decluttering tips:

 

1. We like to collect stuff. Get a few people living under the same roof and pretty soon that stuff is tasking up all available spaces, drawers, and horizontal surfaces. It is easier to bring stuff in than toss stuff out. So, don’t delay to long.  The longer we wait to organize and purge, the more stuff we will have to go through.

2. Life is about stages. And it seems each stage needs new and different equipment. What a baby needs are far different from what a teen needs. What a runner needs are not the same as a swimmer. Every stage and interest needs different stuff. When we have lots of stages and ages we need more stuff. But as time goes on, we can get rid of stuff from stages that have been outgrown or moved past.

3. Memories get attached to and tied up in our stuff. It is hard to see a box of baby clothes the kids wore and not walk down memory lane. I was surprised about how many good memories I came across as I was purging. Even silly stuff, like a can of sunscreen from a few years ago that we had taken on a trip conjured up some snapshot moments of that trip.

Decluttering our house can teach us lessons about ourselves. Here's what I learned through purging my house.4. A little bit of purging here and there makes a big dent. Occasionally I spent most of the day organizing and sorting and tossing, like the day I tackled my office. But even that day had interruptions and pauses, including a trip to drop a kid off, running errands, and visiting for an hour or two with a friend. Other days I had ten minutes and sorted through one drawer. An hour and a half turned into a bathroom purge. Half an hour translated into organizing a book-case. Over time, all add up to a lighter and more organized house.

5. Tastes change over time. That octagonal set of dishes I bought before I was married, the ones I haven’t used in years, well my tastes have changed. And that is alright. Get rid of things you no longer use, that no longer speak to you, or compliment your current tastes.

6. Hobbies and interests fall by the side. I have lots of card making supplies. Stamps, embossing powders, stickers, fancy paper, edging scissors, and pens of every color. But the last time I pulled all the stuff out to make cards in the last ten years was to make cards with some friends. I no longer have that desire anymore and am spending my crafting time doing other things. And that is all right. For years my daughter and I used those supplies. I had stamping birthday parties for her, and craft nights for her friends. But that stage is gone. Now someone else can use them. Don’t keep things you are no longer interested in or will do only every ten years. Pass the blessing along to others.

7. There is a reason we hold onto things. Maybe we were poor growing up. Maybe things represent security. Maybe we want to be prepared for anything or every possible situation. Maybe our stuff holds memories and we are holding onto those memories. Maybe we think we may become poor again and won’t be able to buy another, so we keep one and a spare. Maybe we are to overwhelmed to even tackle a small project. Maybe we hear our mother’s voice, or someone else’s and believe a lie about us or our stuff.

As I was cleaning, I thought about my reasons for keeping things. Like most things, it was a complicated reason of several things. First, I was poor growing up. I needed to keep and take of what I had because I wasn’t getting more. (I still have mechanical pencils that still work from my college days.) Back in my twenties, there was not a Walmart on nearly ever corner where you could buy things at a reasonable price. My first set of dishes and silverware were expensive. Now I can go to Walmart and buy a set of dishes for 4 for $20.00. I sometimes forget this and keep things I don’t really like or want, forgetting I can buy a new one at a reasonable price and in many more options than years ago. I grew up not wasting or getting rid of the one item, so I do better donating things to a charity, rather than tossing them.

As I am purging and sorting, I remind myself that I am no longer poor. That I can afford to replace items I don’t like or want. And that I don’t need to keep items I don’t like or want anymore. These truths help me be more ruthless. The truth is that most things are replaceable if I accidentally throw away something I may want in the future. (That unused punch bowl.)

As for things with memories, like that prom dress you wore in high school and still have and will never wear again, take a picture and toss the item. Now you can revisit those memories anytime you want.

Decluttering our house can teach us lessons about ourselves. Here's what I learned through purging my house.8. Things wear out and need to be replaced. Those sheets that are twenty years old and worn to 10-thread count need to be tossed. In fact, most linens have a life of less than 10 years. One lady, whose kids I used to babysit as a teen, had a wonderful idea. “Every ten years everyone needs a new wedding shower because all their items from their first one are now worn out and need replacing.” Nine years after my wedding the truth of her comment was reality. As you toss items, make a list of the items you need to replace. (You just may need to throw yourself your own shower!)

9. We need to toss out the old to make room for the new. To keep our houses from bulging, toss out something old so the new fits in. This works in our closet, drawers, and bookshelves. It also works in our lives. Get rid of the old lies and believe the truth. Get rid of those t-shirts from 15 years ago and get some that fit and look better. It is better to have fewer things that work, that we enjoy, that bring us happiness, and that we use, than a houseful of things we don’t.

Ask yourself: Does it serve a purpose? Does it remind me of memories? (Maybe you can take a picture and toss the item.) Is it something I use regularly enough to keep? If not, can I buy a new one or rent one if I latter need it? Does this create peace for me (like artwork) and make my place prettier? Do I really need this? Why am I holding onto this?

10. You will find surprises. Things you thought were lost will resurface. Things you didn’t even know you had, will be discovered. And things you had hidden and forgot about will be found. In a coffee table drawer, I found an unopened bar of chocolate that I had hidden about 6 years ago. Along with the novel I was reading at the time. Keep a sense of humor and wonder.

Purging and sorting our accumulated stuff within our spaces can be a happy walk down memory lane. It can also be hard and sad. It can be confronting the past and our beliefs in our self and life. It can be a surprise and a laugh.

Like in every other area of life, give yourself grace.

This is not a competition.

Our stuff does not determine our worth or our day.

No shame or guilt allowed. We are learning more about our self and our past through our accumulated stuff. And in the process, we are changing and becoming new people.

Decluttering our house can teach us lessons about ourselves. Here's what I learned through purging my house.

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

Theresa

 

PS. Want to see your clutter in a new light? And get a chuckle? Read Kathi Lipp’s post, Why Clutter is Like Every Bad Boyfriend You Ever Had


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 have you learned through de-cluttering?

Decluttering our house can teach us lessons about ourselves. Here's what I learned through purging my house.May link up at Jennifer Dukes Lee (#tellhisstory);  Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), Lori Schumaker (#Moments of Hope), Crystal Storms (#HeartEncouragement), Arabah Joy (#Grace & Truth).

Decluttering our house can teach us lessons about ourselves. Here's what I learned through purging my house.

Breathing Dust Bunnies

WP_20160617_20_05_22_ProSpring arrives and I think about giving the house a seriously good cleaning. Summer arrives and I think about it a little more.

I am vacuuming my kitchen floor, noticing that the edges of the wood floor peeking from the refrigerator shadow are getting a bit grimy. If I step back the length of a tall man, I can peek an inch under the fridge. Here the grime thickens and coagulates, catching and holding insects, small toys that have rolled under and had their momentum stopped instantaneously, as well as all manner of dirt, debris, and food particles.

I silently debate. Stop now and properly clean under the fridge, which has most definitely tiptoed past its annual underneath cleaning, maybe even two or three cleanings, or pretend that none of that gross stuff resides under my fridge and hope that no one will ever notice.

I chose the former and dream about the reward I will earn by completing this not so pleasant task that hovers significantly below scrubbing toilets on my scale of cleaning tasks. Maybe this year sainthood will be offered, or at the least, a pay raise added to my already tidy sum of zero I am currently pulling in as the one and only house-cleaner for the clan.

Now here is a tip I am sharing for absolutely free. If the floor under the refrigerator looks like it is decked out for Halloween because of all the debris littered cobwebs contained under its bowels, then the coils are also guaranteed to be just as dirty (hopefully minus the small toys). And in case you didn’t read the fine print on the refrigerator manual, (or if you actually did because your husband would have a pop quiz when he came home, like mine does) the dirty refrigerator coils need to be cleaned annually. Or in plain English—clean your fridge coils once a year for maximum performance (the refrigerator’s performance, not yours.)

So how do the coils get dirty? Air is drawn across the condenser coils during the cooling process. This movement of air collects dust and household debris.

Why clean the coils?  Dirty refrigerator coils reduce the refrigerator’s ability to maintain optimal temperatures or operate at maximum energy efficiency.

Hopefully you passed the pop quiz, but if not, don’t worry. Just remember that refrigerator coils are guaranteed to get dirty, gross, and grimy. No exceptions. Which pretty much is a downer, and leads to the unpleasant task of wrestling with the refrigerator and cleaning things you hoped never to clean again.

So what are your options? Clean the coils yourself, hire someone, bribe someone, ignore the coils, buy a new refrigerator when it gasps it’s last, or give up cold food.

I decided on option one.

The coils on most refrigerators are in the back of the unit or on the bottom, accessible behind the bottom grille. Some refrigerators have coils inside the compressor and therefore should never need cleaning. Believe me, this is an important tidbit I am tucking into my brain and remembering when I need to buy a new fridge.

First task is to unplug the refrigerator. Unfortunately, this involves pulling it away from the wall. Good luck on wrestling that monster forward, but if you get angry enough and mutter enough choice words, it eventually starts inching forward.

If you don’t want nightmares, don’t glance anywhere near floor height when you unplug the unit. Since this takes intense willpower, you will probably succumb and notice what has been hiding under your monster’s bottom. Small toys, pens, large scraps of food, small bits of food, dried and gelatinous liquid that was spilled months ago, a layer of dirt and grime that could win a prize in a science fair, ticket stubs, money, dice, rubber bands, pieces of paper and plastic, Styrofoam peanuts, dried bug carcasses, and enough dust bunnies to knit grandma a sweater.

After wearing my fingers an inch shorter by scrapping and scrubbing my extra dirty floor to a semblance of clean, I attacked the coils. I wrenched the front grill off below the doors, attached the smallest and thinnest vacuum attachment I had, and began sucking up the handfuls of dust and dirt from the first four inches of coils that I could reach.

Due to some sort of curse by the refrigerator fairy, the coils for my unit are approximately 2 inches off the floor. This seems like a fine enough location for them, until one needs to clean them. I have to lie on the floor, the side of my face pressed against the kitchen floor, so I can even see the first three inches of the coils.

While in this position, concentrating on ridding the coils of all grime and dust, I just hope and pray that my husband doesn’t sneak in behind me and scare me. This has happened in the past. Let’s just say, finding oneself standing on the kitchen counter or impaling oneself on a vacuum handle is not pleasant. It takes days for my husband to quit breaking out in spontaneous laughter. Or to quit muttering, “I seriously didn’t think you could jump so high.”

As my vacuum attachment can only reach the first 4 inches, I take a yardstick, cover it with an old black dress sock of my husband, and use it to dust the top and bottom of the coils that run north and south into the bowels of my unit. With each jab underneath, I have to vacuum the now white and dusty sock. Dust bunnies are clinging to that sock like a sweater on Velcro. I have also collected enough dust bunnies to knit grandpa a matching sweater.

Exhausted from pressing my face and body atop the floor, peering into the underneath of the refrigerator, and fishing out dust and dirt that is multiplying faster than flies on watermelon, I call it quits.

In the end, my floor and refrigerator coils are clean for another year.

I am sweaty, dirty, and need a good vacuum myself.

WP_20160401_15_37_07_Pro with textWoman wrestles monster refrigerator, woman barely wins.

And yet, I also have a sense of accomplishment. The kind that comes from tackling and completing something hard. It is a good feeling. A feeling I need to remember next week, in a month, or in three years when I am faced with another sticky, unpleasant task I in no way want to complete. It may be a struggle to start and finish an unpleasant task, but the end emotion and product feels like a celebration.

No, I wasn’t awarded sainthood, but I did get a pay raise. A whole sticky 32 cents pried from the sticky no-man’s land beneath the refrigerator.

 

Remember that sense of accomplishment that comes from completing hard things, especially when life presents you with unpleasant tasks you need to accomplish. What unpleasant things are you currently facing? Please share in the comment section.