Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Bad Advice

Today is the 43rd anniversary of mine and Mr. J’s first date. It was a blind date that I didn’t want to go on and so I got unready thinking I was being spiteful to the friend who was making me go. Needless to say, the friend didn’t suffer in the least. But I came home that night and cried because I was sure he’d never ask me out again. However, miracles happen (that’s a whole different story!) and he asked me out the next day and the next and the next and before I knew it I was engaged and everyone was giving me marriage advice.

The advice I got the most often sounded so profound: “Don’t ever go to bed on an argument.” So when we got married, and had disagreements we remembered the advice and tried to work out our problems before we went to bed. What a MISTAKE! Both Mr. J and I get grumpy and ornery when we are tired and trying to solve problems late at night before we could go to bed was ridiculous. We’d be up half the night and never come to anything close to resolution.

After several years we got wise, (I know I’m a slow learner!) disregarded the terrible advice, and just went to bed. Miraculously 90% of the time the next morning we found the problem had somehow disappeared while we slept. The other 10% of the time we were able to solve the problem quickly because our minds were clear and alert.

The amazing thing to me is that a few years later I found this very principle taught by Nephi. After Nephi has the beautiful vision of the Tree of Life, he returns to the family camp and finds his brothers fighting. He knows he needs to help solve the problem, but he is exhausted from the experience he has just had. So instead of trying to jump in and solve the problem in his tired state, he tells us “after I had received strength I spake unto my brethren” (1 Nephi 15:6).

Now that’s the advice I should have been given. Trying to solve problems with children or spouses or anyone when you are tired or hungry or out of sorts doesn’t work. Like Nephi we need to wait until we have the strength to deal with the problem. That isn’t always possible, but when it is—do it!


Connie said...

Yep, I wholeheartedly agree with solving problems when you are of the right mind and spirit...as you say if you are hungry, tired out of sorts... the problems always get bigger!

Wendi said...

Thanks, Sherrie. You're the first person that I've ever known who agrees with me on this! Sleep is one of the best cures for trouble in my life. Even the best people struggle when they're tired.

Are you getting geared up for your celebration next month?! So far my mom and I are planning to go see two movies together--one just before my birthday and one after hers (when she returns from seeing her new grandson). This will be fun because I RARELY ever see a movie in the theater. Yay for us! :)

Jenny said...

We tried to follow the first advise too. Never worked. I would end up crying the whole time and be so tied up in knots I wouldn't be able to sleep.
Now Jon just sends me to bed and we talk about it in the morning, or I realize that the problem in the first place was that I was tired and ornery.
Thanks for pointing out Nephi's teachings on this too! I love your insights.

Sara said...

Hip Hip Horray! I love that you found this in the scriptures also. I knew from the beginning that I would be swamped with advice and to take all with a grain of salt. Don't go to bed angry is one I had to let slide because most of the time I was able to let it go while I was asleep!
P.S. I would love to be a follower but I've found I needed to let go of a few of my vices and computer time is now limited. Therefore I only do the bare minimum in blog reading and try to play more with my kids. Happy Birthday and Birthmonth!

SuSu said...

Now that is great advice! I've always felt that most everything is clearer and better after a good nights rest!

shannan said...

I love it!