I slipped and went to Disneyland, even though my back was hurting and the drive was long, and even though the weather report said rain and my tolerance for wetness is low. I wanted to be a good mom, a good wife, and not the kind of good mom and good wife that I am, but a better one, a different one. One that likes a road trip and one that likes places like Disneyland, even in the rain.
So that was the slip: I forgot that when I try to be different or better than I am, more intrepid, more “fun”, more whatever, the Universe reminds me how bad a plan that is.
I can pull it off for a while. But then I get grouchy, anxious, sad, angry, restless, irritable, and discontent, in a noticeable way. Which is no fun for anyone.
And so the day went okay but by mid-afternoon I was hitting my wall, the big wall where I turn into a bitchy/sad pumpkin. And what I said to Mike was, “I think we should go soon because it’s going to take us a while to get home and I don’t want to be home at midnight because it’s a school night.”
And what he said was, “We’ll be home way before midnight. This next ride will be awesome!”
And so I stood there, a little panic-y, a lot cold, in the rain, waiting for one more ride, trying to be enthusiastic and fun-loving, feeling full of dread without knowing exactly why.
And the why was revealed, when we got home at 8:30pm, after Ax had a nice long pre-bed nap in the car, and my patience was zero and I felt like I needed a drink, though I didn’t have one. And also today, feeling so exhausted and hurting in my body that I just wish I could take something — anything — to not feel this way. And knowing no drink or pill is an appropriate choice for me. That I don’t get to do stuff, or rather, I get to not do stuff that puts me in this state of feeling completely burnt out anymore.
Acceptance is the answer, again. Acceptance that I don’t do well with physical discomfort, or pain. And that car rides give me pain. And I don’t do well with rain, or theme parks, or plans that mess with my routine.
Today I am a person who likes to live simply, close to home, going to bed early, in my bed, waking up early, in my home, having my morning time rituals such as they are and putting one foot in front of the other one day at a time.
That is the current recipe for peace in this life and this head of mine and that is the best ride I could ever imagine. Peace. That is the wife my husband gets, the mom my son gets, and the me I get. I need to learn to love myself as I am so I can trust that they do too.
And so next time, loving myself as I am, I will not talk about school nights and argue about traffic with Mike when I need to leave a place because I’m done. I’ll simply say, “My love, I’m maxed out. You and Ax can stay but I gotta go to a cafe and stare into space now while drinking tea, or better yet let’s all quit while we’re ahead and get the heck out of here.”
And they’ll come or not but I’ll be taking care of me, and being honest, which I know is ultimately better for them than going on rides that aren’t good for me. I’m gonna keep going.