Raise your hand if you’re reading this while working out. Or waiting for your dental appointment. Or going through your endless inbox. Or keeping an eye on your kids at the park. Or breastfeeding.
Anyone not raising their hands? Didn’t think so.
Now raise your hand if you’ve had “one of those days” recently. You know, the ones where you honestly want to call it a day and hope tomorrow is better. Been there? Me too. But it’s still light out and as long as the sun is up, we’re up. Right? Right! Back to the to-do list, right? Wrong.
I had one of those days recently.
I won’t get into all of the details but I’ll tell you it involved trying to get my 2-year-old to the ER.
And my car battery light going on… while en route.
In 5 o’clock traffic.
In the Bay Area.
And I’m diabetic.
And 7.5 months pregnant.
That’s when you, like me, go into fight or flight mode. We do what needs to be done and we don’t stop.
Within 24 hours of that very scary afternoon, my daughter was back home, my car was in the shop, and I was cleaning house in prep for the party we were hosting the next day. Oh did I mention that? Yeah.
So after organizing to have my car towed, getting a rental, getting my kiddo to take her antibiotics, and taking glucose tabs to keep my sugars up while doing these top-of-the-list must-dos, I started scrubbing. And dusting. And prepping. I then threw on a dress and opened the door to the 20+ baby shower guests there to see me “glow.”
People lie to pregnant women. Did you know that? All day I was getting really sweet compliments about how I was glowing but I gotta tell ya, I wasn’t glowing. I was steaming. I was glaring (at my husband, who had no idea). I was pursing my lips and gritting my teeth.
Don’t get me wrong, I felt incredibly loved and supported that day. I did. I couldn’t be more grateful. It was a beautiful celebration.
But the following day, after getting the last load of laundry going, I sat down for a second with the plan to start catching up on email.
Then it happened.
I took the deep breath that I think I’d been holding in since the whole ordeal three days earlier happened. Three days of saying it’ll be okay. Three days of smiling when I needed to scream. Three days of pushing on and getting through when I really needed to take a deep breath.
I never stopped breathing, no. But I hadn’t taken a deep breath.
To be honest, I think I had just been talking; sharing the excitement of welcoming our next child and thanking friends for visiting. But finally, with no one else in the house and my laptop inches away, I held back from grabbing it. I couldn’t. I was at the point where all I could do was sit down and shut up. Seriously.
And let me tell you – it was fabulous. Overwhelming, and fabulous. It was only when I stopped talking and stopped moving, that I realized the tightness I couldn’t pinpoint (anger, irritation, moodiness) was actually built up tension.
I hadn’t taken one moment to FEEL after what we’d gone through. To admit to myself that I was scared. And insecure. And feeling unequipped. I honestly hadn’t come to terms with any of that until I literally sat down and shut the hell up.
So, Penelopes, as you take on each day and make it your bitch, remember you don’t have to.
Not every day.
Some days, realize that day was a bitch. Call it what it is and then sit down and shut up. It’s the only way you can really get yourself back on track. We don’t like to slow down. We don’t like to leave anything undone but if we push too hard too often, we become undone.
Every once in a while, when you can’t figure out why you’re feeling the way you do, sit down and shut the hell up. I mean that in the nicest way possible.
But seriously… Shh.