This morning, like so many mornings of my life, I flew off the handle. Yelled and screamed. Raged on my innocent little 8-year-old daughter. Totally acted like a goddamn fool. Why?
Well, my excuses this morning ranged from “because this apartment is a fucking disaster!” to “since when does read-in day at school mean blankets and pillows? it’s not a fucking slumber party for shit sake!” Yes, I said those awful things to my kid. No, it was not an isolated incident. Yes, I might could possibly benefit from some psychological/anger management type of help. Now go play in traffic while I finish this blog post.
When we finally got into the car and my blood pressure leveled out, I felt that familiar slam of guilt on my heart. The kind that makes me want to stop breathing because I’ve been such a terrible person. An awful mother. A poor excuse for human being. Then came the rolling apologies..
“I’m so sorry for yelling at you. I’m not mad at you, I’m mad at me. I’m just mad and screaming feels right at the time and it’s not BECAUSE of you even though it is AROUND you, do you know what I mean? If I could just wake up earlier in the morning I wouldn’t feel so stressed and be so mean. I need to be a more responsible person. I should never say things like that to you. I’m so, so, so sorry. Are you okay?”
She assured me that she was fine, not emotionally scarred, and in fact – wanted to HELP ME. Little J offered to do whatever she could to help make me feel better in the mornings. Excuse me while I cry for a minute… I don’t deserve my own daughter.
After leaving her with smiles and kisses at school, I thought a lot about what transpired this morning. I realized that the reason I got so pissed off was partly because of the state of my apartment. Which really isn’t that bad, comparatively speaking, but there are some things strewn about here and there. A stack of unwrapped gifts and boxes of wrapping parts and pieces near the tree. Blankets all over the hallway floor from Little J’s attempts to find one to bring to school today. Sink full of dirty dishes because I didn’t feel like doing them last night and didn’t have time to do them this morning. Clean clothes explosions in both bedrooms from a huge laundry push but no follow through this week.
The other reason I was in a rage was because of Christmas. I got to thinking how there are still so many gifts for Little J that we need to get. How we’re not buying a couple of the more expensive “big” gifts that she requested. One of those being an iPod touch that she has requested for birthdays and Christmases for 3 years now. How the paper snowflakes we made are sitting in a pile on the fish tank instead of hanging from the ceiling. How we haven’t baked cookies. How our Christmas cards are in my bag here at work unfinished and not even close to being mailed.
Why do those things make me feel like I’ve totally failed Christmas this year? Failing Christmas isn’t even possible, I completely made that up in my mind as a way to punish myself for not living up to arbitrary standards that I’ve set.
I’ve read many articles and blogs telling me that I don’t need to be perfect, that a Pinterest life is not actually for real, and that less is more when it comes to Holidays and the important things…. yet I am still twisting myself into a disastrous ball of stress and maliciousness because of… what?!
I have a kid that loves me and is happy, despite my shortcomings (which is not a joke about my height, but she loves that I’m short too). I have a husband that would bend over backwards to make me smile. I have a mother who, even though she is dealing with crazy shit in her life, still makes sure that my little family is taken care of. I have so many things to be thankful for, yet I take them all for granted because somehow I’ve convinced myself that none of it is enough. That I should be living better, doing better, looking better, having more.
So I drove to work this morning seeking a little peace. Trying to search inside of my deranged mental state for a sliver of hope. Reassurance that it is all good. That what I’m doing is enough. And you know what I found? Nothing.
Not because I need to decorate better, bake more or dress nicer. It’s because I need to be happier. I cannot continue to wake up in the morning already pissed off at the world and waiting for the first thing to go wrong. Instead I should be waking up, happy to be alive and housed and fed with a hot shower and two wonderful people to kiss every morning.
Because aren’t those the important things?
What I learned on my drive to work this morning is that I am the only person causing myself to be so fucking miserable all the time. That I’m never going to feel better if I don’t make it a priority to be better. Somehow I have to find some rose-colored glasses, because the blood-red ones are getting old. I can’t walk around acting like the world is out to get me anymore. I’m too old to be acting so foolishly. Especially in front of my kid.
So I’m wondering… is there an app for that? For peace? A little pop up reminder every 30 minutes or so to “take a deep breath and be happy instead of a bitch” would be SO HELPFUL!!!!!!!!!
Let me know if you find it, that’s what I’m asking Santa for this year.