I got in the car, mad and looking for a fight. Since it was just me and my temper on that ride, I smashed the buttons on my radio like that would solve all the injustices of my world. I needed angry music.

Hoping for Pink, but settling for the Beastie Boys, I slouched in my seat and scowled. As the Beastie Boys faded into Billy Idol and then slowed down into Billy Joel, I rolled my eyes. C’mon! Could nobody play some good mad songs? Don’t they know I’m throwing a tantrum here?

I took a deep breath. And another deep breath. I knew I was acting childish, but I didn’t care. It’s not fair! I did the right thing, I did what I’m supposed to. And am I rewarded, recognized, patted on the back? NO.

As a matter of fact, I was punished after doing all the right things. Barely, but still. That’s practically the opposite of being rewarded.


I pitched this fit after my weekly weigh-in, when, after a week of tracking all my food and working out four – FOUR! – times, I had a tiny gain. I went in to my meeting expecting a big loss. And as I saw the scale settle on that hateful number, I couldn’t help myself. I felt the tears spring to my eyes and my blood pressure soar, and then I heard my voice.

“But I did so goooood this week!”

Yes, I not only whined but I also did it with poor grammar. *sigh*


Much as I’d like to distance myself from that childish outburst, I can’t. That girl who whines about not getting what she wants, what she deserves, the brat who curses her non-satellite stereo playing easy listening songs at the moment she needs heavy metal – she’s me.

I might keep her hidden most of the time with my positive outlook and encouraging words, but she’s always there. And she’s ticked.

The day before my disastrous weigh-in, I argued with my husband. Nothing big, but nothing new, either. As we talked about our schedule and our budget, he made a comment justifying his job and its long hours, implying [in my mind] that I’m not appreciative of him.

After breathing deep for a minute or two, I reminded him that I am very grateful for his job and his dedication to working hard and providing for our family. And then I launched into a speech he should have memorized by now about how I’m not complaining and anyone else might complain and I want to complain but I don’t and have you noticed how awesome I am and why don’t you ever tell me how awesome I am!

I said to him, “I’m not asking for a trophy or anything, but some recognition would be nice.”

But you know what? I do want a trophy.

[And, yes, I did turn that conversation about him right around to me.]


I am highly motivated by recognition, and words of affirmation is my strongest love language. But I’ve been thinking lately that maybe I need to quit looking so hard for approval, take a break from longing for pats on the back. Because it seems like I spend a lot of time feeling frustrated or underappreciated (or, in the case of my weigh-in, totally ripped off), and that can’t be good.

I’ve even been thinking about this in relation to my One Word for 2012 (obey). Over the past several days, I’ve changed my prayer from, “Please give me the strength to obey” to “Please help me obey in love.” I’m realizing that I do a lot of “good” things out of fear or my need for approval and recognition, when really, I should be doing them out of love.


This isn’t really a fully formed realization; it’s more like a collection of random thoughts that kind of go together. I’m still working through it and figuring out where this tendency affects my life, when it’s okay and when it’s actually hurting me or holding me back.

By the way, when I got home after searching for some music to rage to in the car, I pulled up my Pink Pandora station. And the best it came up with was a little Evanescence, Sara Bareilles and Maroon 5. Who I like. But still, when I need angry music, I need angry music!

Are you motivated by recognition? Have you ever noticed a pattern of obeying out of fear instead of love? And what kind of music do you like when you’re mad?

What should you watch next?


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