Ever have one of those days…you know which kind of day I’m talking about. The kind where you feel anxious, you are trying really hard not to lose it all day, the kind where you do what you are supposed to do and still it’s not working? You make a big effort to keep your head up, to minimize your discomforts, you open your heart to possibilities of change even though it’s painful, and yet there is no obvious sign of progress? Yeah, one of those days.
As I sat with my discomforts of listening to my toddler cry it out at nap time because he was more than exhausted and yet fighting his nap, I tried to drown it out with my IPOD on the elliptical. But it was more than I could bear, so I gave in and picked Baby Zen up. He was standing in his crib and his voice shaky. ”Hi, Mama. Hi, Mama. Hi, Mama” was all he kept saying.
I felt my willpower giving in not only to my need for nap time routine, but to my quiet time need and I listened to my body. It was telling me, “it’s ok, babe. You’re just having a off day. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Maybe you can get a nap in later.” I picked up my baby and we played hide and seek instead.
As the day progressed, the Spirited Warrior came home from Kindergarten and never stopped talking. He was non-stop. I jumped into the shower and my heart and soul cried out for a time out. I told Hubs that I needed some chill time. Baby Zen was finally napping, so he took Spirited Warrior into the family room and played games with him while I crawled into my bed in the middle of the day and pulled the covers over my head. I laid there and slowly slipped into a little sleep, but woke quickly to the guilt! The guilt for resting!
The dinnertime routine was a mess and ended with me feeling disheveled and disorganized. I could barely sit for two bites without someone needing something from the other side of the kitchen or out of the fridge.
I had the nagging feeling like I needed to drink a gallon of water or I wanted to bake chocolate chip cookies and end my sorrows there. I decided to be open to the nagging, empty, icky feeling and sit with it instead.
Empty is better than injured. Open is better than shut down. Irritated was better than medicating with food. But open is vulnerable, irritated isn’t usually quiet, and empty, well…it’s longing for a hug or something to fill the space.
I told Hubs how I was feeling. He didn’t have anything to give. He didn’t want to “talk me off the ledge” and instead shared his perspective of the day. It wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t flattering. It wasn’t helpful…or so I thought.
Until I realized, I heard everything I was hoping to hear from him from my own Self. “It’s ok, babe. You’re just having an off day. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Maybe you can get a nap in later.”
It wasn’t a day where my husband was a good listener or supported me with a nice, long hug. But it was a day where I remembered I can be a good listener to me.