Quiet. Silence. All I can hear is the irritating thumping of our unbalanced washing machine above my head and the buzz of our refrigerator. But no voices. No child calling
my name me Docta’ Jones all morning long. Seriously. I. Am. Not. Kidding. My boys think they are hilarious and I’d laugh if I wasn’t so irritated. Okay, I laughed a little. They are pretty funny. But my patience wanes and my tolerance for their zaniness is subpar. I’m nervous about today.
Yesterday was a Chocolate Covered Swedish Fish kind of day. The kind of day where you don’t eat breakfast and then it’s suddenly lunch but you don’t want to take the time to bother so you tear open the candy bag. Knowing that this is the beginning of the end. The end of the bag that is — because today is a struggling with discomfort sort of day and you choose to abandon all self control. Even after you have a stomachache. You simply move on to the Chocolate Covered Gummy Bears.
I’m not sure if there is a life lesson in any of this. Probably. And I think it goes beyond, “STAY AWAY FROM THE SWEDISH FISH!” I am curious about the shift of self-care — when I tend to one part of myself, other parts fall by the wayside. I attribute it to a lack of time; I’m really struggling with my time management these days and this causes me great discomfort. I’m writing more and working on my blog but because of this I procrastinate with my training and forget to start dinner on time. Things are unfinished and it’s stuff like this that leaves me feeling fragmented and disorganized.
I want everything done, completed, perfect. Which is impossible. But I want order like a lost desert explorer wants water. It hurts I want it so badly. And I truly understand this — I’m struggling to make order in my internal world and because of this, I want my external world neat and tidy with a beautiful bow. If there’s external order, the internal stuff will feel more manageable.
In the past I’d have done this — I’d have driven myself into the ground, working myself to exhaustion, trying to get my house perfect. And then you know what? It would last about 3 seconds. Maybe 5. After that, those
maniacs Whole Children would walk into the house and … you know … live in it … and I’d fall into a heap on the floor sobbing with defeat. So I can’t really go down that road of working for external perfection. I have to work on doing a little bit at a time. Knowing that nothing is ever finished. If I throw a load of laundry into the washer two minutes later I’ll find a pile of dirty clothes squirreled in a corner. I cannot drive myself to exhaustion. I have to work for balance.
Life takes work. And a hell of a lot of compassion and self-care. Yesterday I ate the damn Swedish Fish. I gave myself a stomachache but I didn’t spiral down the shame and vulnerability drain; I just teetered on the edge. And while doing so, I tried to notice it all. The stomachache. The longing for order. The lure of the crazy hat. And the choices I was making throughout the day. Maybe today will be an M&M day. Or maybe not. Maybe I won’t want to make my stomach ache, but I will anyway — because that physical discomfort feels more manageable than my internal and external chaos.
I keep reminding myself to be loving and curious about my actions. If I can do this, I won’t get stuck in judgment and self-criticism. I can just take note and ask, “Why am I reaching for the candy? What am I trying to shove down and avoid? What do I really need right now? How can I take care of myself?” If I ask those questions, I may actually get some honest answers. Answers that allow me to grow and become more self-aware. Maybe after I’ve listened, I’ll choose the candy anyway, but at least I’ll know why and I can feel like I’m making a choice rather than simply reacting and avoiding. I will have created an internal world of self-awareness and accountability.
Listening with an open heart and leaning in to self-love are so important. We have to want this for ourselves. It’s not easy. We’re human after all. But I think we can do it. I do.
Categories: Tri-Umphant Living