According to an inspirational quote I saw on the ‘gram, life is full of peaks and valleys. And we can obviously assume that this is the truth because we are seemingly living through a time where everything you read on Google/Instagram is straight up facts. Truth-bombs if you will.
But I can relate to this one. Peaks and valleys, eh? You’re up and then you’re down. Life is going well one minute and challenging you the next- I’d say it’s a fairly good metaphor, no?
I haven’t wanted to write or do anything remotely beneficial for myself in a long, long time. Meal prep? HA. If you’re lucky. I even ordered those meal kit boxes to kick myself into shape and I kid you not, majority of them went bad. Exercise? Forget that noise. I’d much rather catch up on whatever I missed on social media than even attempt to move this aging body. I DID attempt a post-turkey-dinner-push-up a couple weeks back and I’m happy to report that I’m still feeling it today, as I haven’t engaged any of those core muscles and in probably, oh I’d say, 6 months.
Like I mean I am the most unmotivated I have been in a long time and as angry as I am at myself, I also forgive myself. This vessel of a body has been through a lot, both physically and mentally. The pandemic has exhausted us all, but I’ve found it’s been extra pressing on my soul when it comes to parenting. Trying to keep a brood of kids happy and motivated through a rampage virus and now a war on humanity has its stressful moments. As someone who is no stranger to anxiety, I knowingly have the right tools in my belt but have a hard time figuring out when to use them. I know I need to use the wrench, but I can’t remember what the wrench looks like.
For me, anxiety can look silent. I’m able to function (most days) and appear normal. Often, I don’t even recognize I’m in an anxious state until my watch reminds me to breathe and it’s only in that moment that I realize I’m holding my breath. I’m adjusting to a new job and it has its challenging moments that weigh on me, like navigating an inconsistent schedule on top of the kids school and extra curriculars. I am beyond grateful to have my parents and boyfriend’s help, but I’m realizing more each day that I need to get on top of my routine and organization like never before. It feels overwhelming, but my life is calling to me in a new way and I legitimately need to evolve into my best possible self.
And the first thing I need to do is get out of this dark valley.
What does this look like for me? I’m not entirely sure but I think it begins with simplicity. Like, I’m talking drinking warm lemon water in the morning kind of simplicity. Going to bed earlier and waking up a touch earlier. Fueling my body with proper nutrition and practicing yoga. I mean, I’m currently sitting here, 2 coffees deep, watching Halloween movies (‘tis the season, witches) but I threw the kids bedding in the wash before anything and starting to knock things off my list, one-by-one. Simple.
The valleys always hit me blindly. Things just kind of get to me and it typically comes after I bite off more than I can chew. It’s easier for me to do more and put my energy on back burner- I feel useful and we all know that feels better than useless.
I fell victim to the victim mentality a few months ago and just let it run its course, rather than taking my control back. And instead of punishing myself for not waking up sooner, I’m validating my past trauma and being understanding with my brain and its way of processing life. How easy it has been to be angry at my life! Yes, I have made some less-than-ideal decisions that have landed me in some situations but I’ve also made some really great decisions to get me to where I am. I’m in a better place than I was but I still need to grow and do better. Am I angry that I don’t truly get a day off while my kids father can just pretend they don’t exist and abandon all responsibility? Yup. Am I even more angry that I have to work harder and smarter than the average because this all falls on my shoulders? Double yes. But, I’m tired of my excuses. With my support system, its doable. We can truly get things done.
I’m still waiting for the day when I don’t feel the pressure to please everyone except myself, but that will come in time. It was always safer for me to please others before myself and as a mother, I make sure my kids needs’ are met first. It goes without saying that this pandemic has been extremely challenging on parents as we coast through unchartered waters, not knowing if we can dodge that massive iceberg. I’m not sure I can escape those valleys and that’s just the perfect metaphor for acknowledging that things are bound to go wrong and it’s okay to burnout.
This latest burnout was full of the usual symptoms:
Unhealthy food decisions;
Mindless scrolling through social media;
Incessant need for validation;
And just wanting to do nothing.
I feel like I wasted so much time and energy, just dwelling on things I can’t control. I didn’t feel like I had it in me to do better and gave in to a negative self-fulfilling prophecy. BS, I know- but it’s common. I am normal… for the most part. Hehe.
I do have to thank this rainy and stormy Monday for giving me the reminder that things need to be washed away in order to see their true beauty. I am thankful that my desire to be better is stronger than succumbing to my current negative state and happy that I have the general knowledge to know when to kick my own butt. And we do that through simplicity.
So today, I’m putting my shoes back on and starting to climb up that fierce mountain. I’m drinking my water and coming up with a master plan to organize my new life so that every day seems a bit easier. Because that’s my next step on this journey- how to become organized after being a hot mess for 35 years. 😉