Life. It is filled with highs and lows, the inevitable peaks and valleys. It is full of jobs and kids, and happiness, and joy, and sorrow. People are mean to you, people are nice to you – things work out and sometimes they don’t. We struggle, we work, we find success and we fail. In the big things – in the little things.
My life is no different. I live a very full and exciting existance in general, but the last 12 - 18 months have been especially demanding. Recently, I made a list of all ‘major’ events that have taken place for me in this past season…
- Left a job
- Started a new job
- Suffered heartbreak
- Watched as my mother was diagnosed with cancer and endured two surgeries
- Worried about my oldest daughter as I saw her fall deeper and deeper into a pit of depression and anxiety (see Loving Enough to Let Go)
- Decided to take that same daughter to a boarding school that was equipped to help us in this
- Started this blog
- Started writing two books
I’ve been back and forth to my daughter’s school more times than I can count – attempting to plan the trips around my ever increasing work schedule and caring for my other two children, the dog, the house and all that goes intoeveryday life and single parenting.
By the end of December last year, I found myself a little on edge – a bit agitated and not quite "me." Physically, things got a little quirky. For reasons unknown to man and science, my shoulder froze up which essentially means I am unable to lift my arm past about a 20 degree angle. As it happens, you really need the use of both arms to do things like get dressed and carry your purse. Doctors tell me it’s a 6 month recovery period. It hurts like hell and the clincher is – you have to keep using it or it will lock up even more. This was not looking good.
I started looking at my self-care routine - was I eating right? Getting enough sleep? Working out? All of those were in normal limits. But I executed a strategy of better self-care just in case.
Last week, I was pulled over on I95 while driving my daughter back to school. The officer asked why I was going 82 in a posted 65 speed zone. I looked him straight in the eye and told him I had no idea. He tried not to laugh while he took my license for the obligatory run through the system. When he returned, he said he wasn’t going to give me a ticket, but that I needed to sloooow doooown… I knew he was right – I needed to slow down.
Then I realized the critical factor – the pressures of life, work, and relationships were taking over and I wasn’t giving myself time to sit in my emotions and feel my feelings. This is easy to do – when people are counting on you – when you’re doing it mostly on your own. And especially when the feelings you need to feel aren’t the fun feelings – the comfortable ones.
It is hard to make time to let those feelings come out in the midst of all that is required of you as a single mom – or anyone really. But the feelings will present themselves somehow regardless – if not dealt with they will impact your health, your emotional state – the way you treat others.
Is life wearing on you? Take some time today to slow down and feel your feelings – I promise, it will help.
Let’s make it great.