Mama said there’d be days like this

This day started off on the wrong foot, both literally and figuratively. Keep going. I am still line drying the clothes and hoping that the dryer savings will counterbalance the air conditioning running magnificently in order to keep everyone cool and asleep at night. You make it through this. When I am done hanging the clothes, I need to do the carpets – they have gone too long without being vacuumed. You will feel better when that is done. The vacuum cleaner felt kind of heavy, so I went to replace the bag, it was stuffed to the max and probably on the verge of bursting. Caught it just in time, you certainly have replacements under the kitchen sink. When I reached for what I thought was the replacement bag, I upended a bag containing replacement lightbulbs and shattered a few. Not the end of the world, you need to sweep them up. Then I saw that the bottle of bleach I had stored under the sink must have ruptured – and the leak has slowly eaten away at the bottom of the cabinet. This is the point where that kind and neutral voice disappeared.

There will be days like this. It is not a sign that the universe hates me and I need to remember that. Because we all know it is so very easy to give up when you are hitting wall after wall. If I eat something sugary I will feel better, or if I buy something, or take a pill, or work out again or restrict my calories, or lose my sh*t… Pick your poison, we all have our go-to unhealthy behavior that has been abused in an effort to self-soothe. Or we could not, we could see that sometimes for no apparent reason things just go wrong.

I can easily tell when my kids need me to step up my kindness and compassion and most times I am able to deliver. But for some reason when I need my grace for myself the most, I just can’t seem to summon it. So I will have to smother it. Smothering is a term some kids have for the unique love given to them by some mothers. Not to be confused with helicopter parenting where a mother wants to oversee all aspects of their child’s life, smothering lends itself mostly in the area mood elevation.

My own mother is certainly capable of smothering. When faced with multiple trials and tribulations of her own, she will still troubleshoot for us kids. Though she might not have advice on how to fix the hole under the sink, she will attempt to reboot her child so that she is better equipped to take on the situation as seen here: “Gah! Mom, the fill-in-the-blank broke”! “When is the last time you had a glass of water”? “What, oh, I don’t know – but the-” “Get a glass of ice water and drink it”. “Oh my gosh, the kids just fill-in-the-blank-with –something-destructive-and-possibly-well-usually-expensive-and-labor-intensive-to-fix”! “Is your hair out of your face and off your neck, you will feel so much better if it is”? “No, I mean, yes, I mean, what am I going to do about fill-in-the-blank-with –something-destructive-and-possibly-well-usually-expensive-and-labor-intensive-to-fix (this is said as I scoop my hair into a ponytail)”?!

Though it might seem annoying of invasive to tell your grown daughter that she likely needs more rest or a shower or something to eat, it also sounds like love to me. It sounds a lot like rooting for me. It sounds like someone who has faith that it all will work out in the end. It sounds surprising familiar – like the voice I use when I need to calm down and deal with the task at hand.

My problems may seem like first world problems, but we aren’t strangers to the big ones too; death, addiction, mental health issues, joblessness, divorce, homelessness, sickness, hopelessness, it hasn’t skipped our family. We are going to have days where we feel completely in synch with all of the goodness the world is capable of holding. Then there will days like today when it would be super convenient to wail WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYY MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE?! This self-pity is allowed for a short, sweet, indulgent minute. Then we need to brush ourselves off and get a glass of water, pulling our hair out of our faces and dealing with whatever comes our way.


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