I've got the patience of a starving monkey in a house of bananas. I am easily unsettled ~ when this old man glared me down today for accidentally squealing my tires at an intersection I cussed him out for about 15 miles. He had continued along his
crabby jerkface way and here I am was, literally calling him every name I could think of while daydreaming about how I should've rolled my window down and fired off an incredibly witty insult while triumphantly blazing off in my Chevy Malibu of Glory.
The chaos doesn't end with strangers. I cried last night because I couldn't get the lamp plug to reach the outlet. I'm not talking a short, whiny little cry. I mean I let 'er loose. I did that horrifically ugly cry, with the snot and puff and red and sobbing. Aaron asked if he should grab an extension cord from the garage.
A normal response? Oh sure honey, please do. That would be such a big help. Thanks!
JenJen response? Well do you WANT to go get the extension cord? Because if you don't WANT to go get it and help your WIFE who is just trying to get some WORK done after working ALL DAY.....THEN BY ALL MEANS, JUST KEEP SITTING THERE PLAYING VIDEO GAMES.
Reaaaaal nice, Jen.
I've had three different people, all people I deeply care about, go nuts on me recently for my behavior, my choices, my attitude, my words, my lack of words, my thought process, and my reactions. One right after another, I've been taking their words, absorbing them, and trying to turn myself around. Trying to keep a cool head and be realistic. Trying to remember these people care about me and deserve love and kindness. I know all these things - am very aware I need to be more positive - and yet I can't seem to shake myself out of this rut. It's not them, it's me.
You see, I'm a bit burned out. Everyone goes through it and I have no right to complain. I put myself in this situation, starting a new business while working my full-time job. Dedicating myself to new clients during the holiday season. Choosing to put effort and time into writing instead of relaxing, exercising, or taking time for my family and friends. I'm losing a battle at all times. If I don't write, I get behind during my critical start-up phase. If I don't spend time with my kids I become more detached from them than I already am. If I don't make time for my relationships, be it my marriage, my family, or my friends, the same thing happens. If I don't make time to sleep or just sit and be still, I turn into a huge B. Guess which priority is sitting dead-last right now?
Like so many other things in life, few can truly empathize until they experience it themselves...and even then, everyone reacts to life differently. Someone else could live my life and consider it the easiest thing they've ever done. After all, I have a roof over my head, money coming in, beautiful kids, a patient spouse. I have so many wonderful things. So why can't I break out of this negativity? Why is that old man's mean ugly mug still bothering the crap out of me right now?
I think the answer lies in a Disney story. DON'T STOP READING!!
I promise this will be good. Just hear me out.
I saw the movie Frozen with my big girl. Story of two sisters, one with magical ice powers....the big sister, Elsa, harms her younger sister with her magical powers by accident one day when they are very young. Elsa is forced to hide her powers. She isolates herself from those she loves, especially her little sister. She makes the choice to stay away from everyone because of the harm she can cause...because of her fears. One day, many years after the accident, Elsa and her sister get into an argument. Elsa's powers are set loose. The town is terrified. Elsa flees.
She finds herself at the top of a snowy mountain, all alone, and she just goes nuts. She completely lets her guard down and her powers swirl around her in snow and ice and wind and glittering crystals. She builds herself an ice castle while singing "Let it Go"....
....and while I won't ruin the ending for those who haven't seen it, I will disclose she eventually learns to harness her powers for good instead of being afraid of them. She learns to love herself and luckily, her sister loves her just the way she is and they go back to being a family.
So here's my thought....be the Elsa after she's let it go. I'm so wrapped up in my stress...I'm focused on my guilt for being stressed out and my guilt for not fitting everything in, not doing everything at 100%. I'm pushing myself farther into negativity each day....my confidence is shaky and my self-esteem is experiencing technical difficulties....not because I think I suck at writing, but because I think I suck at everything else. I cannot balance it all. People are getting mad at me. I'm hurting those who love me. I totally suck.
No wonder that grumpy old man pissed me off so much. Misery loves company and boy, do I ever love to be company to misery these days.
It's absolutely time to let it go. It's not them. It's me.
I can't control people's perceptions of my actions any more than I can control the number of hours in a day. Can I tell you a secret? Something I didn't need a Disney movie to tell me?
Those who are meant to stick around, will. They will love you for who you are. They will call you out for being a B, but then offer their help. Give you a hug. Let you know they love you anyway and it's ok. They will not always understand and that's alright, very few people can. Let it go. Don't expect them to get it. Don't expect anyone to emphasize ... you'll end up second-guessing yourself.
By the time I figure out how to balance my life I'm fairly certain I'll be dead. Balance = you're dead, Jen. It's just not in my nature to be de-stressed for long periods of time....I always have a number of things on my to-do list, both realistically and figuratively. I'm a royal B sometimes. I need to explain myself sometimes. I need to let it go when my explanations fall on deaf ears. It's not everyone else I need to worry about all the time. It's me. I need to worry about me.
For all my fellow stressed B's:
~ Recognize time is fluid and this period of anxiety will undoubtedly be replaced with something else a few weeks from now.
~ Try to be cool, but when you lose it, apologize and move on. Those who love you will forgive you and those who can't aren't worth it.
~ Go to bed five minutes early. Spend five minute staring at the wall. Get up from your desk and walk two and a half minutes in one direction, then walk back. Just do it. Five minutes a day. Do it.
~ If you can't live your life according to far-reaching cliches like "you only live once" and "live every day to the fullest"....don't feel bad. Sometimes it's a Thinking With Beautiful Perspective day. Sometimes it's a Sweating the Small Stuff day.
~ Acknowledge and remember those who stay by your side. When you break out of this funk you will have the opportunity to be there for them. Don't waste it. Like I said....not many know how to empathize. Be one of the few without having to join the Marines.
~ Accept yourself. So you're a B right now. Could be worse. Don't try to please everyone, just try to get yourself where you need to be. One step at a time. One day at a time. Until you're there.
Much love, readers. Make your weekend as happy as you want it to be.