Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you’ll ever regret.  -Groucho Marx

I had a wonderful opportunity to allow strife to take hold of a very lovely day. We’re at the incredible zoo looking forward to all the bountiful possibilities our zoo has to offer. We’ve planned this whole day out. Get there at 9am – √ Good parking spot – √ Tickets for the train, the sting rays, and the sea lion show – √,√ and √ We were ready to go! We’d see everything and do as much as possible. We’re going to eat lunch and then stay until the zoo closes so we can eat dinner in St. Louis. An absolutely fantastic day is ahead of us! Until I realized the “we” I’ve said several times was just “me”.

Don’t Let Others’ Actions Steal Your Peace

Not everyone wants to pet the stingrays. Okay, well then, we will pet the stingrays while you others watch. How can you not want to touch these amazing creatures!?! It’s close to the time for the sea lion show and while we are slurping down our $2 icees, we wait in the shade of a tree for 30 minutes until the show opens for seating and find a good spot in the shade of the tent. After a great show, we head to the herpetarium, which is not my favorite, but that’s okay because we’re getting to spend time together. Close to lunch time, I mention how we’ll eat lunch and then go see more animals since we had not really made it to any big animal areas. No one wants to eat lunch and dinner paying an outrageous amount of money. So, were we not on the same page? Had we not discussed the plans for today? Everyone begins to talk about how they are ready to leave anyway. Hold the phone. We’ve been at the zoo for 3 hours. We haven’t ridden the train. We haven’t seen anywhere near the amount of animals they have here. Now we are leaving. We can ride the train then get off where we parked to go home said no one in the plan Donna had. Ugh. The train line is ridiculously long and if we just walked two minutes to the other train stop, the line is shorter. No one wants to walk anymore. They’re tired, hot, and thirsty. Be prepared… Donna Explosion about to rupture. I have had enough. I knew I had some frustrated and angry words seeping from lips. I have to “go to the bathroom real quick” which brought me to a secret place I could pray. Lord, help me. I am about to go crazy! And He reminded me of, “Are you judging? Are you taking offense? Are you criticizing? Oh so, now you’re trying to debate me with “but they?” DON’T TRADE GOD’S BEST for the opportunity to criticize or judge someone.”

Instead of Being Wrathful, Be Thankful

I walked back and said, “You all were right. Leaving and going to eat is a better idea.” And by golly, the line miraculously began to move at a faster rate. And I said, “I am glad we are all together. I might have made everyone miserable doing what I wanted to do and I didn’t ask anyone what they wanted to do. Will you all forgive me?” And now this family of mine knows that I am not perfect and I do get angry, but I go to God for my strength. And Oh how amazing that day turned out for all of us.

Donna McDaniel

Donna McDaniel

Author, Mentor

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