So, I started the day planning to write another note to self: thoughts for a day when I’d woken up feeling a bit cranky, crampy, and off. As it’s now after 9pm, I’ll give you the short version of those thoughts.
1) There is no “there” when I’ll always wake up feeling perfectly awesome (so I’m going to keep letting that old and unhelpful story go) — off days are going to keep happening and it’s okay + I’m okay.
2) Do my morning self-care. Just do it. It ALWAYS helps, at least a little bit, to screw my head back in place and start lifting the “life has/I have gone to the crapper” fog.
BONUS: If I get a moment during the day, sit down and close my eyes for a few minutes (take a nap if it works out). Rest/nap = Robin reset.
Okay, so those initial thoughts aside, the real learning from today was about being busy.
Between trialing new dance and gymnastics classes for my kids, getting in a grocery run (we were out of bananas for smoothies — the horror!), getting my son to/from school, and kindergarten homework (laugh if you want — days when we get a bonus homework bag are no joke; this is the second one we’ve had this week and it’s Tuesday), today was fuller/busier than usual.
I didn’t mind the fullness. It actually helped me get out of my morning funk + my kids enjoyed their classes, especially my daughter (she had the chance to take a bonus class and was bouncing up and down with excitement). However, I had a sudden smack in the face moment in the afternoon when I realized I was trying to cram in one too many things — and that it was something I had done to myself (and it was having a rather crappy impact on me, my kids, and the day).
What happened: In the 45 minutes after my daughter’s first dance class and before we had to pick up my son from school, I thought we could squeeze in the grocery run (we were out of bananas!!!!). So we hustled over to the store, busted through the aisles, found a short checkout line, and then headed out the door. We made it home with 7 minutes to spare before we needed to walk to the school — sweet! I figured I could pee and get the groceries put away (at least the frozen stuff).
I *knew* my little girl was getting hungry. We had pasta in the fridge she’d already asked for. It would have taken me 2 minutes to warm and pack it up so we could have taken it with us. Did I do that? No. Instead, I maniacally decided to try and put everything away, including 6 new bars of soap that I like to take out of their outer wrapper before stacking in the vanity. Could the soap have waited until we got back? Umm…yeah. They weren’t going anywhere. Did I know this? Yes, I did. And yet I started to unwrap them.
Anyway, fast forward 3 minutes and we’re running out the door without pasta in hand. My little girl is starting to cry. I’d grabbed an apple, but she wasn’t interested. I ended up carrying her all the way to the school, speed walking the entire way. I arrived with tired arms, feeling rushed, frustrated with her (and myself), and generally crappy inside. And then it struck me — the busyness and resulting rushed feelings/frustration at the world were something I’d created, and trying to do one more thing had absolutely not been worth it (and I didn’t even end up getting the soap put away because the packaging was taking extra time to get off).
Good grief, how many times have I felt this rushed feeling in my life? How often have I hurried around, feeling frustrated, and not even enjoying much about the day? More than I’d care to admit.
Sometimes it’s been the old FOMO (fear of missing out) that shrieks in my head: “You’ll miss out if you don’t do that thing and that thing and that thing…!!!”. Other times it’s probably more habit — I’ve been so used to rushing that I forget to consider that maybe I don’t need to. And yes, I do think we as a society seem to prize busyness (whether useful or not), face-time, and the like.
As I heard, saw, and felt my little girl crying in my arms today, I knew it wasn’t worth it. That’s not how I want to live. If I do end up missing out on something because I’ve taken one thing OFF my list — so be it. The thing is, when I’m rushing around, much of the time I’m not even mentally present to what I AM doing (or it doesn’t get done well and then I have to redo it). So what’s the point of doing more if I’m not even fully there for what I’m doing in the first place? I might as well not even be doing it. So yeah, I’m going to take it off in the first place and show up for what I am doing. That feels so much better for me (and everyone around me).
And yes, I’m sure I’ll find myself doing one too many things a zillion more times. However, I’m going to try and remember today and how it felt to see that I’d created the busyness, the “must do right now — rush, rush, rush!!” that resulted in my little girl’s tears and my inner chaos. I don’t have to go in that direction. And this isn’t to beat myself up or anything. Heck, I’m remembering more and more I’m human. Rather, as I see how much better it feels and life is to make choices that feel good, I want to make choices that feel good more and more. I feel so much better and the day is so much more fun.
I leave you with 2 of my favorite moments of today: the heart my son made me this morning (he proudly took the photo too) and my little girl ready for hip hop in her new “balleter” skirt.