Yep, Urkel really did do that. I grew up watching ABC's Friday night line up, aka, TGIF and shows rotated out every few years but one of the ones I loved was Family Matters. There were a ton of hilarious moments, teachable moments and heartbreaking moments during it's nine year run but there is one episode in particular that really stuck with me and has helped me out a lot.
3, 2, 1. 1, 2, 3...
The episode titled, Driving Carl Crazy (season 4, episode 3) sees Carl becoming increasing agitated by Urkel, he ends up needing to go to the doctors for his stress, high blood pressure and headaches. It is while at the doctors (but not actually the doctor) Carl hears a poem of sorts that is meant to help control his temper.
What the Heck is Bothering Me?
Throughout the episode Urkel does Urkel things and Carl's new poem is actually working! I'm not here to give spoilers so I won't go into further detail about the episode but I do want to talk about Carl's poem.
The Life Motto I Learned From Family Matters
3 - 2 - 1. 1 - 2- 3. What the heck is bothering me? This is meant to be said by Carl when he could feel his stress increasing so he could take a step back, breathe and in turn not loose his temper. As a mother of two I have found myself needing to do exactly this. There are times when I get angry because things are piling on and I'll get frustrated at my toddler for not listening so I'll raise my voice or even yell at her. it isn't exactly her fault that I'm feeling stressed out at that moment (even if she isn't listening to me) and when I do get angry at her and I release the stress by getting loud it never helps, it never makes me feel better, I just end up feeling worse because I yelled at my toddler.
It's a while ago now, but one day this little rhyme occurred to me randomly. I haven't watched an episode of Family Matters in YEARS but there it was, 3-2-1, 1-2-3, what the heck is bothering me?
I decided it was worth a shot to see if this poem could help reduce my stress or clam down enough to think rationally and to my surprise it worked. The first time I tried it I thought it in my head and took a few deep breaths. The next time I got annoyed (which may or may not have been the same day or the next day, it happens frequently if I'm being honest) I said it out loud. I found it was fun to say so I kept repeating it and because I was using grand gestures with my hands and lowering my voice in a funny way, my toddler started cracking up which made me laugh and totally calmed me down.
It isn't practical in all situations and sometimes it doesn't work but for little things I've found that thinking or saying 3-2-1, 1-2-3, what the heck is bothering me?, will make me stop and think about if what I'm getting stressed over is really worth the stress. For example, there were times when my toddler is crying because the shirt she wants to wear is in the washer or because I gave her the specific cup and drink she asked for (toddlers are weird) at the same time the baby is crying because she needs to be changed or fed and I would get stressed out. Now I can take a few breaths, say Carl's motto figure out that there isn't anything bothering me and not lose my cool. I know when I'm stressed my toddler gets stressed and soon my baby will also be able to pick up on that stress and really that is a lot of stress to have in a household. It starts with me, and these days I have Family Matters to thank for calm and cool demeanor (most days).
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