It's OK to be a mess every now and then.
Things can pile up on you. Somewhere in the background you know it, but you are slammed right into the next thing, so you don’t have time to consider how big the pile is. Next thing you know, you are bawling at the dentist office because your insurance might not pay for the little procedure – a procedure you can afford. And the office staff is so worried about you they all agree it will be done for free.
Just make her stop crying.
Oh my good gracious! I hate being foolish, and then I hate being prideful about being foolish every once in awhile. I want to be patient and good and wise and kind. All the time. I don’t want to be the poor crazy lady.
Of course, that’s surface me talking. What deep me wants is to be the kind of person David Brooks describes so well in his book The Road to Character (highly recommend):
“They just seem delighted by the flawed people around them… They make you feel funnier and smarter when you speak with them.”
Yes, yes, yes. I do hope that is how people feel when they are around me.
Back to my tears – there’s no excuse for my stress when there are 9 year olds being prostituted in Rio and Syrian refugees starving in the desert and sad friends and cancer. There’s so much real bad stuff.
But this is a sneaky lie, and we need to give ourselves a dadgum break. We all have stress triggers that flip us into crazy-land whether we like it or not.
For me, it can be money stuff – highlighting my insecurity about being “just a stay-at-home-mom”. That’s such a funny thing to call myself. I WISH I got to stay at home. Lordy me, I’m on the go way too much doing this Mom thing for zero dollars a month.
Another trigger is feeling dumb and having people unhappy with me because I was dumb. I prefer to be smart. This is why I write instead of doing live podcasting. I get to edit.
AND… I also have some shame stress triggers, too. Like… if they only knew what I did when I was 10 – and 17 and 23 and 38 and 41, or… if they could only read my fragile mind right now… back to the people-pleasing thing. Please like me.
What’s my point? It’s OK to be nutty because you are tired, your first kid’s a senior, Donald Trump is running for President OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, your A/C is busted and it’s 102 outside, or dental work – any dental work.
Don’t compare. Just talk to someone, cry, be a fool and then say you are sorry, eat some chocolate, have some wine, go for a run, or write a blog post.
And back to the dentist office – my foolery and subsequent humility endeared me so much to the dental assistant that we ended up in this deep, trusting conversation about her life and loves, her hopes and fears. And that would never have happened if I hadn’t acted like a real, broken human. So, there you go. You never know – and you might get something for free.