March 5, 2010

pick your battles

That was one of the first pieces of advice my mother-in-law ever gave me. It was in answer to the question, how do you make your marriage work?
She and my father-in-law, like my parents, have been married since the beginning of time. Well, over 25 years. A long time.

Personally, I think that's great advice. And it rings in my ears during pivotal moments.
Like the other day when Daniel cleaned out his car (if you walked by his car in a parking lot you would've thought someone lived in that thing--and had been for years), I walked into the laundry room to find that he had transferred most of his earthly belongings (which had been in his car) into the laundry room.
Does he think I never come in here or something? 
I pondered for a moment just how I was going to sarcastically and obnoxiously bring this up to him.
But then it happened.

Pick your battles. This really is not a big deal. Why would I start a thing over this?

And then I picked up the mess, put everything in its respective place around the house, and threw away what trash there was.

And I think it was worth it. I'm all about keeping peace in my home, you know.

I've applied this principle in many areas of my life (probably not enough places), and it extends even to the dogs.

Bathing my dogs is a battle. It disrupts peace in the home. It causes hurt feelings and angry words. And it is messy.

It is a battle I often choose not to choose.

But it was bad. I mean, they were really really stinky. So stinky that when they tried to cuddle with me I pushed them away.

Last night I decided the battle was worth it. I picked that battle.

They were unhappy.


But when you love someone you have to fight the tough battles sometimes. 

Because in the end, you know the ones you love will be happier and healthier because you were willing to fight for them. And you realize...'s probably better for the relationship if you don't dry heave every time they try to get close to you.

1 comment:

  1. They look like they are glaring at you! How funny.