Just wanted to share something helpful…
So, the last few days, I’ve been acting like there’s a “Biggest, Crankiest, Bitch-of-the-Year” Contest that I’m trying to win.
I wake up cranky.
Feel cranky during the day.
And pretty much go to bed cranky when everyone is sighing with relief that I’m finally quiet.
Things are falling out of my mouth, straight from my brain — no filter.
I actually said to my husband, who stuffed a really bright orange beach towel into a gap in our front window where all the cold air is coming in and freezing our butts off,
“We are NOT white trash so don’t be stuffing ugly towels into our front window for all the neighbors to see.”
He raised his eyebrows at me and pointed at me, “Don’t you start.” And walked out of the room.
(Now, I have to explain to my children what ‘White Trash’ means and how I need my mouth, and my judgments, washed out with soap.)
It’s hasn’t been pretty.
My husband keeps sending me e-mails, in the way that a trainer throws steaks from far away to feed a hungry lion. He addresses them,
“Dear Mrs. Cranky-Pants…”
None of us are having fun.
I keep looking for reasons.
I walk around grabbing my boobs to see if they’re full,
looking at my calendar to see if my period’s coming soon.
Heck, even my husband is looking at my calendar to see if my period’s coming soon.
I’ve even wondered if (gulp) I’m pregnant.
I’m looking for something to justify what a weenie I’ve been.
More reasons fill my brain, since my date book says I’m (hopefully) still a week away from my cycle starting…
Is it my whole food Gong? Where I’ve taken away all of my processed foods — and maybe, my processed feelings too?
Is Mercury in retrograde?
Is it the holiday season?
Or the last several weeks of dealing with an intense subject at our sons’ school where my youngest has been hurt twice in two weeks’ time by another child.
Is it just all of that?
We’re all looking for some cause of the unusual sassiness and some sign for when alien-Stacey is going to leave and the kind, loving Stacey will return.
So, I conclude: I must be cooped up in the house. I need to go somewhere. Get a change of pace.
And I come up with the bright idea:
Let’s go to Costco.
On a Sunday.
And forgetting that Costco is not the French word for ‘spa’, we go.
In an effort to get some things done and give me a change of scenery — and I end up doing okay in the store.
but I forgot to eat (and I’m doing whole foods, not Costco-sample foods)
and didn’t have any water in my purse, so everything in my body felt like the Sahara.
And my 12 year-old pretty much talked my ear off
at high speed
the entire time I was trying to weave through tons of carts and people stopping in the middle of the aisles and staring up into to the air for no apparent reason
for 90 minutes.
And all of that, by the time we got through the checkout line, equalled a minor nervous breakdown once I got in the car with my family.
After a tense drive home, we put away the groceries and they left. Like in the cartoons, when there would be dust trails because they moved so fast.
While the boys were out playing hoops with their dad, I had time to sit down and feel guilty. So, after 20 minutes, I sent a text:
“I need a redeeming moment with you all. How about we let the kids open up one of their Christmas presents and then, play with them.”
One of the presents was a new Apples to Apples Junior game. That one always makes me smile and all of us laugh.
It was a plan.
After they came home and showered, we settled into some fun. I dealt the first round, thanked them for all giving me another chance, and promptly fell asleep on the couch with the cards in my hand.
And all the world sighed with relief.
So…here’s what I want to share as I’m up in the middle of the night and have had about 5 hours of sleep to give me some perspective:
We all have imperfect moments. We all have times of not being our best or highest self. Where the inner troll, inner dictator, and inner neurotic stop taking turns and all come out at the same time.
It happens. Even to the best of us.
Being hard on yourself and swimming in a sea of regret isn’t going to make it better.
But being honest will. Honest confessions clear the deck by stating the obvious:
“I am being so sassafrassy right now and none of you deserve it.”
And you can leave off “except for your father” even though you really, really, really want to blame him in that impulsive, Tourette’s way, like you did when you went through 60 hours of back labor for your first born…
And you say to your children,
“I don’t know what’s going on right now, but I’m sorry. This isn’t your fault, this is my issue and I’m going to take care of it and make it right.”
Even though you know they’re being extra crazy-making, noisy, and frustrating — you have to admit: Your reaction falls into the category of ‘The-Punishment-Not-Fitting-the-Crime.’
So own it.
And finally you say,
“Thank you for your patience.” Even though some of them, especially the big, hairy one you married, isn’t being particularly patient, you say it anyway. It’s a way to acknowledge the fact that no one has cut you up into tiny pieces and left you in a paper bag along the highway like you deserve, and to invite them to continue being patient in case you have a lapse of sanity, in let’s say, five minutes.
If this season is closing in tight, for whatever reason — hormones or husbands or the holidays — remember this:
be kind to yourself
get out in nature
eat every 2-3 hours
drink enough healing water
And whatever you do,
send somebody else to do the Costco run.
For more love, humor, and truth pick up my book: You’re Not Crazy and You’re Not Alone on Amazon.