Some words need redefining I think. What exactly is resentment anyway? Is it the feeling you get when you are constantly doing things you have to do or feel you need to do instead of doing what you want to do? Well, aren't you choosing to do that? So why should you resent it? Is it just old Judeo-Christian guilt screwing it up for you? You would do what you want to do if you didn't feel guilty when you did, right? I am just not sure. I think I am a robot and whoever programmed me is a sadist. I do not feel I am any longer able to choose. I just march along.
Last Monday I took my dad to the Aldi store. They had lots of wonderful bargains as usual, but I could not buy anything since I don't get my pension check until next Wednesday, but I should not have resented marching around the store as my dad picked out his two cases of lemon lime pop and his cans of soup and his laundry soap and his toilet paper. After all, it is my lack of foresight and intelligent budgeting that causes me to be broke. That and continuing to be in the marriage I am in which I am in because I am lazy and weak. So I tried to not resent it. The shopping and having to drive my dad's car which doesn't have heated seats like mine does. He "hates" my car. (...he has said.) It was pretty cold and my husband had taken a spill in our drive way because of an almost invisible patch of black ice. My dad mentioned several times, as I steered him around the black ice patches in the Aldi parking lot, that he could not understand why Lou fell because there was apparently no ice and it wasn't even that cold. Later, I called him during the week and asked if he needed anything as I thought I might be going out. I was assured he was fine. Friday, when I checked in with him there was no answer. An always immediate cause for anxiety. Who knows if an 89 year old man might slip on a non-existent patch of ice? A few hours later, I was able to reach him and he said the ONLY time he was not near the phone was when he had to go out in the snow storm to try and unwind the Christmas lights I had left on his porch rail. (My Christmas lights are still under the snow as I speak.) My brother warned me not to bother with the lights, and I fought to suppress the unnecessary guilt feelings that assailed me. During our conversation, my dad mentioned that he had just gotten back from the store because he needed so much. (ONLY time?) This man has NEVER spent more than twenty dollars in the store at one time. And he feels it is better to waste dollars worth of gas to drive twelve miles each way, several times a week, than spend thirty or forty dollars at the least expensive store in the Universe in a single trip.
Sunday we took Chinese food over to my dad's for supper because I felt guilty for not visiting him more than once a week. These feelings are caused by the fact that I am the one that forced him and my sick mom to move North so I would not have to spend months on end in Florida during their illnesses. Silly me. Florida is so nice and warm. I talked my well-employed daughter Fran into paying for the Chinese food since I had done a lot of babysitting for her (again, MY CHOICE) and I was still awaiting the much anticipated pension check. (I miss my mom so much. She always asked us to bring Chinese over and she would pop for it. And she always enjoyed it so enthusiastically.) On the way into his home, because I had on my very warmest mittens, I finished unwinding the Christmas lights. I took them into the garage so the snow would drain away before storage. Dad came out after I did that to inform me that the storage box was on the porch (full of snow). I feel it is almost impossible for me to prepare dinner and take it over there as I have been doing because it is just too bleeping exhausting and it hurts like hell to wash all those dishes at the low little handicap sink in his kitchen. I bought a bottle of Palmolive liquid soap to do the dishes with every Sunday, but the past two Sundays, the bottle has been hidden (And I DID search for it) and I have been forced to wash all the dishes with the totally bubble free soap he buys at Aldi. It hurts his feelings if I criticize his choices. The dishcloth is another boring tale... Whine whine whine. All these boring attempts to justify my feelings.
Before we left to go to my dad's I called him to ask if he wanted me to stop at the store for anything he might need. He replied that he needed so much he would have to go to the store himself. Later I noticed the note on the counter and he needed three items. After Fran and I cleaned up after dinner, I asked dad if it would be okay if I took him to the store on Tuesday or Wednesday because I was not sure I would be able to get out Monday. I said, "You could go yourself but I don't think you should drive in this weather". It was snowing at this time, and we already had a ten inch accumulation. He replied that the snow was not so bad. His son Pete had gotten way more. (It must be up to their kitchen windows...) Then as I was walking out of the room, he said to my husband, "I can always eat cereal for three meals a day..." Fran drank water with her dinner and Louie drank the one beer in the fridge and Ben and I split the one can of lemon-lime pop we were offered when we requested that.
Where are those feelings of Joy a good helpful Christian should be feeling?