If you’ve followed my facebook page you can see that even though I have what I thought to be a brilliant and well-thought out new year letting go of resolutions post that the beginning of 2016 has been filled with some, shall we say, challenging days. It’s not like I wake up thinking okay today I can handle a whole bunch of stuff, keep my cool, smile and always be optimistic only to lose the happy part of me at 10:14am. I honestly wake up, my feet hit the floor and I start running in a race with no direction. Perhaps I should listen to more One Direction, but then perhaps I’d be seen as an almost 41 year old in the middle of a mid-life crisis. Oh who am I kidding, I have Story of My Life downloaded on my iPhone.
I started to kind of think I was alone in this massive daily without direction flurry. I’ll admit I would look at the mom behind me in Target and think whoa her cart is Martha Stewart organized and then start to categorize everything on my belt just because somehow even that part of me felt chaotic and I didn’t want anyone to know – even random moms in my local fave store. And, in fact, I’d walk into the dollar section (or shall we say what used to be the dollar section until Target took their training of all of us and subtly and slowly changed the prices upwards) and would fall prey to the massive amount of cute organizing things – tins, ribbons, things you hang and write notes on with chalk and so forth thinking that spending $3 here and $1 there would be the solution to my inward chaos.
Can we just call it that? Inward chaos?
Ha. My word of the year is chaos.
But that’s not really the hip and motivated sounding start for a new year. I know. I’ve seen on Facebook all these Word of the Year quotes and I’m thinking that inward chaos might not measure up with happy, resolved, motivated and cheerful. Mine seems to be a downer in a way. And I don’t mean for it to be that – it’s just where I am right now.
So I started to think about being in this place – almost like a transition place and how we as moms and women and a culture don’t really embrace being in a place other than point a or point b. We like the destinations, but the journey is not often spoken about. Oh yes, there’s the quotes about how life is a journey and not a destination, but honestly, how much fun is that to talk about that in our facebook status updates?
Can you imagine?
Not sure what to do today – feeling conflicted. Would like to be happy but overwhelmed and late. Again.
So I’ve found myself in this place of minor aggravation and irritation. You know how the tag on clothing irritates little ones (or myself) and we just need to cut it out? Well, this middle of the road place without really awesome footing has seemed to become the tag in my life that’s irritating me. I could tell you the woes — the finances, the bills that I didn’t know were there that feel crushing, the relationship stuff, the scary decisions, the mothering — but the truth is this — we all have them. I’m not unique in my journey of wondering if I’m ever going to get to point b in life.
I mean, is there really a point b?
If I spend all my day pining and hoping for the day when I get to point b – whatever it may be – then I might just be missing out on today. And I don’t want to miss out on today. I don’t want to be the unhappy mom. I don’t want to be the one who sees the glass as perpetually half full and dripping (that’s how my lattes sometimes feel).
I really want to be the positive and happy one.
But happiness isn’t something contrived and forced I’ve discovered. I think, perhaps, so many of you all have figured that out as well. It’s hard to adopt being a happy mom when we’re in the midst of what we think needs to change. But as I wrote the other day about me changing, maybe just maybe, we’re all to exhale all the expectations that we’ve piled on our shoulders and in backpacks and in those 99cent bags that we buy at Trader Joe’s just because they’re cute and in that exhale we learn to inhale the grace to give ourselves a break.
Not a massive slob lazy kind of break. I’m not talking about not doing the dishes or vacuuming or checking on homework and not showering for a week (boy, my boys would love that). I’m talking about giving ourselves a break from the pressure of thinking we have to always be happy.
What if we just did our best?
What if we had moments where we grieved or worried or just kind of were neutral?
I think then the happy moments might begin to shine a bit more in our lives because we’ve released ourselves of the bubble gum Disney Junior pressure to have perfect lives that match the social expectations. You see, you are just like me, probably doing a way better job than you think. And you, too, might be having a year of chaos. And that is okay.
Chaos might just mean things are changing. And change, while it can be exciting, also is hard. Think about how hard and frustrating change is for our kids — I don’t think there’s a magic pill that we take when we become moms that means change is easy. Change is simply the spot between point a and point b. So now, instead of piling pressure on myself to not feel, to not worry and to always have the answers I’m instead exhaling that and inhaling grace.
Maybe I don’t get everything done. Maybe I mess up.
But I will try.
And I know that’s you too.
Don’t dismiss the power in trying. Don’t dismiss the journey parts of life.
My grandma taught me to play piano when I was young. Many times, when I’d be done I’d be frustrated because I knew I made all these mistakes. My grandmother, oh how I so miss her, told me this – I didn’t hear those mistakes – I heard your music – and it was beautiful.
Don’t hear your mistakes. Don’t run from the chaos.
It just might be beautiful.