the one about showing up

I know it's been a while since I've written. I've talked about these phases before...the ones when I am so overwhelmed by thoughts and to-do's and dreams and regrets and everything all at once that I just quit things for a while.

I tend to shut down for a little bit, collect myself, refocus, and deal with only what needs to be addressed. Everything else takes a ride in the back seat for a bit until I can catch my breath.

And now that I've reset myself, I've got something that I need to confess.

This blog is nothing if it is not honest, so...here goes.

I drank a cup of shit water and didn't die.

Yes, it's true.

You're in the presence of a real, life bionic super human.

A few weeks ago, in an attempt to not drink as much Diet Coke, I got an ice cold water in a foam cup from McDonald's. It was so refreshing. I had left it out overnight in the baby's room slash my office, and I remembered it was there the following afternoon. 

Too lazy to actually go to the kitchen to get a new cup of water, I simply walked into the "noffice" (nursery office) and grabbed the cup off my desk and took a big swig.

Swished it around a little in my mouth.

Seconds later, I was perplexed.

Why, oh why, did my refreshing sip of water, taste what I would imagine sewage to taste like?

Meh. I swallowed it.

When I went to the sink to dump out the seemingly "expired" water (I'm no scientist), I was met with the most horrific sight.

A dirty baby wipe, swimming in light brown, poopy water.

I gagged.

I nearly cried.

I brushed my teeth immediately.

Twice.

I knew exactly what had happened. 

My husband has a bad habit of stuffing trash (including dirty diapers and wipes) in cups and other vessels he just finds laying around the house. He thinks he will remember to throw them away later, but he doesn't.

Clearly.

So, unbeknownst to me, I drank out of my husband's latest trash bin. 

I love my children, truly I do, but tasting their fecal matter was nothing I ever wanted to accomplish in life.

But what can I say? I'm an overachiever.

I couldn't help but lay awake in bed that night, wondering if being a stay at home mom was for me. 

I also compulsively Googled deadly illnesses contracted by drinking feces, but that's for another post.

And no. It wasn't this shitcident (see what I did there?) that forced me into a few weeks of solitary. It was merely a culminating event, following several days of deep contemplation about what I was doing with my life.

And if you believe in signs and all that...I'd say ingesting one of my daughter's waste slushies was a big, red, flashing, beeping sign that I should renew my teacher's license immediately. Like, yesterday.

For the two weeks following this pivotal day in my life, I was just straight depressed.  Then grumpy. Then some more depression, followed by a bit more grumpy.

Was this what my life had become? A Fear Factor-America's Funniest Videos mashup? I have a college degree! I have big plans and big dreams that don't involve learning to sing the Doc McStuffins theme song in 7 different accents! I used get emails that required a well-worded, timely response!

I was important.

And then it hit me. 

I was important? Why do I no longer feel important? Was my career the only thing that defined me as important? 

Am I no longer valued, needed, or held to high standards because I no longer teach full-time? 

Are my successes not to be counted, simply because they don't look like the successes of other people?

Am I really nearly 31 years old and still trying to compare myself to others?

So, after several days of sulking, telling my husband I needed to go back to teaching, and convincing myself I was worthless, I decided to give myself a kick in the ass and snap out of it. 

My daughters are watching my every move and listening to my every word. 

I asked myself what I would tell my children if they were feeling the way I was feeling, and I gave myself a good ol' fashioned pep talk.

There are many kinds of important. It takes all the kinds. Not everyone can be the same kind of important. That would be boring and useless. We need everyone to be their own important so that all the jobs get done and everyone knows their place in this world.

There are four seasons in a year, but there are about a gazillion seasons of life. Some are happily or sadly short. Others are blissfully or painfully long. Some seasons are exciting and fun and enjoyable. Others are tiring, depressing, and uncertain. Accept that nothing lasts forever and seasons change...sometimes without warning.

Success is relative and personal. Don't measure your successes against the successes of others. Success is how you feel about your accomplishments and not about how others notice or recognize them. Yes, it feels good to be praised outwardly, but that is nothing compared to how it feels to be proud inwardly. Do what makes you feel proud inside, and you have achieved success.

You are valued. You are loved. You are expected to show up. Even when you don't want to-- you are expected to wake up each day and embrace your role. Some are required to show up in a dress suit and stilettos. You are required to show up at least wearing pants. This does not make you less of a person. 

And on the bad days, because there will always be bad days, remember that you drank a shit slushie and did not die. Surely, you can handle just about anything. 







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