Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Project: Me - week 1

I'm humbled that so many of you took time to write to me. I really don't know what to say except 'thank you'. Truly. sometimes it's lonely here in my own head, wondering if I'm crazy or if anyone else has ever felt the way I do. And since I don't like to bring crazy out in the open, I hide it away and don't talk to people about it face to face. Maybe if I did, I'd find more people to talk to & help me work through this. Or maybe people would start screening their calls more carefully! who knows?

Before I talk about this week, I want to tell you something about last week: I went on "vacation" with my family, only my husband took the 5 kids to his parents' house while I spent 6 glorious days by myself with my best girlfriend. It was so relaxing and peaceful. The down side of that is that it was really quiet. My head was suddenly void of small voices that need sippy cups or help finding a Littlest Pet Shop toy. I had escaped the requests for allowance or computer time or dessert. The only voice in my head was my own, and I realized how rarely I even focus on my own voice. Sure, I hear it. But usually I'm focused on the other voices and I push my own voice to the bottom of the pile. Once my own voice had plenty of room to stretch, it was like yelling inside a warehouse, trying to make itself heard and enjoying the sound. All those quick thoughts I'd entertained but then abruptly put away in order to make room for remembering a fax number of to get milk at the store, came crashing back into my stream of consciousness. Suddenly I was bombarded with introspection. I considered my place in my family, my opinions about my marriage, and whether or not I was an adequate mother, daughter, wife, woman, and human.

Because, when you ask yourself "Am I a good person?" but you never have time to really think about the answer, then it's easy to say "Welp, good enough!" and move on. But when you have minutes and hours and days to really think about it, the answers don't come so fast or so easily.

I've had a lot of failures this week. I'm not eating enough fruits or vegetables. I HATE fruits & vegetables. I also love my diet Coke so that "one can a day" thing hasn't happened yet. But I'm not lost! I'm trying to accept compliments more & not just shrug them off with an excuse. My husband told me I was really talented! That was hard to swallow.

Why have I become conditioned to not accept a compliment? Why do I reject the very thing I desire?

I am looking for a new lady doctor. I have done some asking around and will be calling tomorrow to set up an appointment. Caring for myself is not a luxury, it's a necessity.

I have been more patient with my kids too. A friend told me that I was really patient with my kids and that she wants to be more like me. I was FLOORED when she said that and couldn't believe it, but I didn't argue. I just told her, "well, thanks! It's not always like this but I'm really trying." So I guess that's like, half-accepting the compliment, right?

Typing my thoughts out on the blog last week was really cathartic for me. Just getting all those thoughts off my chest really lifted a burden from my chest. I've still got a long way to go and I've got a bumpy road ahead of me (more about that later) but I feel like, when life throws me a curve ball, I'm not going to crumble under the pressure. I've got the strength to deal with it. I've got the support to see me through it.

On Wednesday, the day we were scheduled to come home, Sally dislocated her elbow while swimming at my sister's house. Actually, I dislocated it by accident while sliding on her swim floaties. I hardly pulled her arm at all, but that's all it took. She has nursmaid's elbow and this is the 3rd time it's been dislocated. I had to take her to the Urgent Care clinic, and then they suggested we take her to the pediatric ER. This was all just hours before our flight. I was conflicted: take a later flight and go to the ER in a strange city? Go home and make my child sit in pain for hours longer? I was paralyzed with fear that I would make the wrong decision. I had to ask my husband to decide. We ended up coming home, albeit on 2 separate flights, and I took Sally to the doctor on Thursday morning. She was fine by then, moving it and rotating it and just basically back to normal.

While the whole episode was going on - taking care of my daughter in pain, rushing around to catch a flight - I almost lost composure more than once. But each time I took a deep breath and reminded myself that I'm competent, I can do this, I need to be strong for my daughter (even if I needed to fall apart later). I tried using positive self talk instead of my usual, "I can't do this! I am so scared! What happens IF?" Because I focused on NOT losing control, I felt much more at ease when plans changed and questions went unanswered.

This week I'm going to try to eat better & plan meals more. I'd like to eat more veggies & less starches. Every meal can have 2 veggies & no starch, right? My family might go through withdrawl! ha ha

Thanks for supporting me, y'all. It is truly a blessing to be here.

Texan Mama


That Janie Girl said...

Sounds like the vacation was good - and that it gave time for introspection.

I would have freaked, re: your daughter. Sounds like you kept your head together and handled it the right way!!

Jennifer said...

I think it was good for you to get that time by yourself. You needed it. I went to this Own Your Beauty session at BlogHer and one of the things that stuck with me was when Karen Walrond said, "the next time someone pays you a compliment look at them and sincerely say thank you." To not accept the compliment that they mean for you is not only a disservice to yourself, but it is also rude to the person giving it to you. I thought "wow". I do that all time. It is really hard for me to accept compliments, but I'm going to try to do better going forward.

nicole said...

So glad you are continuing to share with us. This post has such a positive tone! I know it will not always be like that, but I can sense a new optimism in your words. Keep talking!

Gigi said...

I saw this post early, early this morning...but with the commitment of making banana bread looming, plus getting ready for work, ( know WHAT was I thinking?!) I didn't have to time to reply - BUT it started my day on a happy note to hear all that positivity in your voice.

I think A LOT of women have a hard time accepting compliments...some of it is because of those mean voices in our heads that tell us we aren't good enough to hear nice things about ourselves and some of it is that we were taught to be modest when we were younger and we have somehow skewed it and think that if we accept (and believe) the compliment then we are being boastful.

I'm so glad you got away for a few days, you really needed it.

And sweetie, you have more support than you know.

Anna See said...

You are a blessing to us!