Today was one of those days.
We went to the zoo. (Note, brother carrying his sister's coat and sister saying "get me out of this flippin' contraption, there are animals to squeal at!!)
We did have fun, we had a lot of fun. The kids wore themselves out and they both love the zoo now. M was never a zoo kid, but in the last year he's started to love it. E is a total zoo kid because there are Animals! With fur! And they are cute! Her favourite is the warthog, I swear. She goes nuts when she sees him.
It would have been perfect if it weren't for ALL THE OTHER PEOPLE. I don't mind the kids running around, it's just some of those parents. The lady yelling at her son because he wasn't pushing the stroller right ("you just about ran into that lady!") who five minutes later nearly ran over E with her crazy stroller-pushing-while-dragging-kid maneuvers.
I did feel bad for the one mother who was trying to jam her stroller up a hill and thought she was ramming it over a bump, until she realized that the reason it wouldn't go forward was her child's leg was caught against a fence. Yeah, that sucked for her, I did feel bad.
And the people who STOP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD or, in the middle of an exhibit without pulling over to the side. What is with that? You are not the only person in the zoo today.
But the zoo was fun for the kids. It was a bit chilly off and on, about 6 degrees celsius. Even I needed a nap when I came home.
But the judgy feeling was still there.
I was watching a show, one of those reality shows where contestants try to lose weight. (It's called X-Weighted, I tried out for it once, but was rejected because there wasn't enough conflict in my life!) This woman is stressing about going back to work after her maternity leave (which in Canada is one year).
She's crying and saying "I don't know how people do it! I don't want to leave my baby!" Which translates to me as "all you other women must be heartless". Which, let's face it, probably wasn't what she meant.
But my inner judge said "suck it up princess".
Which I find really sad! I find it sad that when I'm in uber-PMS, judgy mode because it means that my capacity to love anything and anyone is compromised. And my capacity to receive love is compromised.
So this is what I do:
I clear my mind and pray, asking that the spirit of strife leave me.
I imagine the person I'm judging is sitting in a room with me and it's just them and me... then I try to imagine the words I'm thinking actually coming out of my mouth. I imagine what their face would look like if they heard those words.
I ask forgiveness in my heart for thinking those things. (There but by the grace of God go I.)
I receive the forgiveness (crucial step!!) and I move on.
It can be hard to stop being judgy. I think I mentioned earlier that I was diagnosed with Premenstrual dysphoric disorder or PMDD a few months ago. I take a daily dose of vitamins. Or, rather, I am supposed to. But sometimes I forget. Luckily I have a job that has the side benefit of just enough stress to remind me each day to take my Happy Pills.
But more than a physical reason, being judgmental (well, I call it judgy because it sounds nicer!) can be a habit. And I don't want it to be MY habit any more. The first step is stopping the words from coming out of my mouth. The second step is stopping them from forming in my brain.
I'm a work in progress.