Stressed But Blessed
Photos by Catrina Earls Photography
Shooooweeee, life sure has been going going going lately! Over the past two weeks, I've been solo parenting a lot while Mike works late nights or is off on business travel. At the same time, my computer went in the shop for over a week and I got way behind on work. At the same time, Harlow had to go to the doctor (she's fine) and get a shot (never fun) and my car's lights burned out and we had the bear incident and household stuff piled up around me until I felt as buried as WALL-E in his eponymous movie.
Is any of this dire? Not at all. But I'll say this: I operate on thin margins of energy and patience sometimes. When life gets out of balance, all the "stuff" starts shaving away at those margins and here's what happens. First, my adrenaline (and cortisol and norepinephrine, apparently) go into overdrive from me having to constantly push through the tired and the stressful for days into weeks at a time. Then, my body can't adjust and slow back down (even with a helpful glass of chardonnay) and I have trouble sleeping. And thats when the anxiety starts creeping in and I can't see the forest for the trees and I'm in desperate need for a restart and have no idea how to come by one.
That's where I found myself last Friday. All day long I felt so strange, like I wanted to drop into a coma from fatigue and cry my eyes out to relieve the build-up of stress inside...but I couldn't get it out. If I laid down, I felt restless. If I listened to a sad song to try and bring the tears to the surface, they wouldn't come. It was very uncomfortable, and I hit a wall.
THIS is why more and more women are confronting this cultural norm we've established for ourselves that to be a mom means constant sacrifice. We -- or I, at the very least -- cannot function as the mom/wife/friend/careerist that we're capable of being if we don't get the chance to take care of ourselves. We tell ourselves we "have" to, right? That our children's development and future are dependent upon it. That our livelihoods require constant hustle that separates the pretenders from the actual #girlbosses. That if we stop now it'll all come tumbling down around us so we have to keep pushing.
Sometimes we've got the stamina to do all of that and more! However, in my own experience, I need some semblance of balance, reliability, and structure to help support me. If I have to keep putting out fires all damn day every day, my hose runs out of water.
Thankfully, God works in wonderful ways and my mother-in-law was in town this past weekend to visit with us. She is so wonderful about spending time with Harlow and letting Mike and I do our own thing to help us catch up on everything from household work to spending time just the two of us. We don't have one single babysitter to call up when we want a date night so to say a romantic evening has been long overdue is to put it lightly.
I woke up Saturday morning determined to right my sinking ship. I skipped caffeine and went to the gym. I ran my heart out to Sleigh Bells, Run The Jewels, Britney Spears, and Michael Jackson. Hell, I may have even been singing out loud for the entire Reuters Y cardio room to enjoy, I don't know. I just needed to push some pent up energy, anger, anxiety, and aggression OUT!
After my run, I went to Milk & Honey for a cold-pressed juice to refuel on nutrients. When I got home, I opened up to my MIL about some of my stresses and lamented the state of disrepair my home and yard had fallen into. And you know what? She led the charge and went out to cut the grass for me. I swept the leaves and cobwebs off our front porch and windows. When it was all said and done, I looked out my front windows and instantly felt better, like order had been restored.
That night, Mike and I went on a date to 131 Main for drinks and dessert. We ordered our cocktails and Mike asked me if everything was okay and I just started crying. Right there at the bar, hours past an excusable time to shield prying eyes from my waterworks behind a giant pair of sunglasses. All I could say was..."I miss you." My husband recharges my spirit in a way no one or nothing else can. Our family is our family -- complete -- when he's with us and lately he's been away and that's taken a toll. Obviously I don't enjoy feeling this way, but the silver lining I suppose is that I'm blessed to love someone so much that my soul feels tied to his....that I'm better...stronger...when we're together.
Well anyways. All this is to say that six days ago I was on the brink of a breakdown, overwhelmed and overloaded. So I simplified. I showed myself some self-care and my mother-in-law's visit timed out perfectly to let me tap out of my daily duties just long enough to put some gasoline back in my tank. I know I'm not out of the woods yet, though. I'll be watching my diet and managing my bedtime routine so I don't slip out of whack just as I'm finding some steady ground again.
Do y'all ever get into a phase that feels like it's veering out of control? How do you get back to feeling like yourself again? Is there someone in your life that brings a calm to your stormy heart and soul?
Ahhh just getting this "out" feels better! Thanks for stopping by today -- I hope you're having a wonderful week! Can you believe this is our last full week in October?
PS -- Do you own a dress like this one? A fitted, ruched dress is a super flattering piece to own for fall! You can sass it up with some heels or tall booties, or keep it casual with ankle booties and a scarf for daytime. So many body types can wear a dress like this and make it all their own with a few fall-ish accessories.
I thought this dress tied in well with my topic today because we all value dresses for their ease and simplicity. You don't need to overthink a dress, right? We need those pieces in our wardrobe...the ones that make us feel captivating and don't require overthinking or overstyling. Ahhh. That's what I'm talking about! I linked two awesome dresses in this same style that are under $80, plus the leopard scarf I'm wearing is only $19!
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