A Step Back

Despite the seemingly optimistic and contemplative tone of yesterday’s post, I have to honestly let you know that the day was a complete stress-filled disaster.

The post itself took hours (off and on) to write and was a real struggle. I knew what I wanted to say, but the words were elusive and difficult to arrange in any sense of order. I’m still not sure that I got it right, but it is what it is and I (hopefully) got the point across. Or maybe not, and that’s okay.

Anxiety and depression are lifelong companions and sometimes we spend more time together that I’d like. I feel like today was the worst day I’ve had in months and months and that is something to be grateful for.

Yesterday, I woke up slightly anxious and ready to get everything in my life in order.

That would be a difficult accomplishment for just about anyone under any circumstances, but in my life right now, it’s an impossibility.

We started a kitchen redo in early spring. We are still waiting on one of the cabinets we ordered to come in. Said cabinet has arrived twice thus far. Once with doors instead of drawers and once assembled incorrectly so that when installed, you couldn’t actually open the bottom drawer. I’ve been patient(ish) because I understand that the world is operating under extenuating circumstances. Nevertheless, much of my kitchen stuff is stacked on counter-tops and in boxes as we wait.

I’ve got one daughter partially moved out into her new cottage on our property.

I’ve got another daughter working at our house and storing some of her family’s belongings her while waiting for their new house to be completed. She has her kitchen cabinets.

My son is moving back in temporarily.

There is stuff everywhere stored in front of other stuff on top of even more stuff.

We’re putting in new flooring as soon as the kitchen is done. Flooring for the whole house is stacked under all the other stuff.

Oh yea, we still need to tile and paint the kitchen as soon as…the cabinet gets installed. The tile and paint are under everything else…somewhere.

I’ve been handling it all just fine until today, when it started feeling like some nightmarish Jenga game threatening to come down on top of me.

As the day progressed I got more and more anxious and functioned less and less.

Like the world around me appears to be doing, I just kept speeding up trying to catch up. The faster I went, the less I accomplished.

The less I accomplished, the more frustrated I got.

The more frustrated I got, the faster I tried to go.

No wonder I was having so much trouble writing yesterday’s post and struggling so hard to calm down and deal with my anxiety.

My actions were a complete contradiction of the message I was trying to convey.

If I had stopped or even slowed down enough to breathe and center myself, I would have been able to recognize the ridiculousness of the whole situation.

Maybe I could have even laughed at myself or cried some tears of release and saved myself…

I could have intentionally hit the pause button…maybe just realized that it was a good day to stop and not try so hard.

Old habits are difficult to break and easy to fall back on. Old patterns give a false sense of comfort. They don’t require as much effort or intention.

The pattern I got stuck in yesterday is a familiar one.

It’s like hopping on a carnival ride.

There’s excitement at first about how fast you are going (how much energy and motivation you have to get things accomplished).

But then you start to get tired of the ups and downs and you start feeling nauseous from the constant acceleration.

Then, you realize you have given up control over the ride. You can’t stop it or get off of it. It’s taken on a life of its own – a perpetual motion machine.

You start wondering if you could just jump off, but there’s the worry about the landing…

How I wish that I had taken a step back yesterday morning – and not gotten on the ride.

Yesterday’s story is written.

Today there is grace and a new beginning.

Peace.

Blessings on your efforts today.

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