I know we are all doing our best. Really I do. Imperfect me too. This has been a hard year, a test of resilience, a herculean effort to maintain our mental health, an undertaking of responsibilities none of thought we would ever encounter, and unimaginable isolation that social humans are not meant to endure. But can we please remember in the immortal words of Seinfeld’s George Constanza “we are living in a society”.
Here is my story…
Good news! My elementary aged daughter is back in school. Woo hoo! She started the week after my husband and I came back from a stressful meeting with our new home builder. Good stress.. still stress… My mom was here to stay with her. Not stressful at all after a year of being just the 3 amigos….(that’s my sarcasm coming through). Don’t get me wrong I am thrilled she is going back. Am I scared? Yes. Does she need to go for the social interaction and for us to get some space? Yes. Will I miss her? Unlikely, in the 2.5 hours she is gone, I’m not sure I will have the opportunity… nonetheless it is a change. Change always brings on stress. There is really no way to get around it. Of course there are ways to cope with the stress (many books on how to manage stress), but you cannot avoid it.
My nerves are fried here people! I am on edge big time, doing all I can to keep it together, for myself, my family, and be my best self for my clients and new partners. (I am new to the independent thing. I feel I have a reputation to build and live up to… no pressure, right?!).
So here how’s the morning of the first day goes. We drop her off. Tons of cars, everyone figuring it out, high energy, the police are there to help monitor (all good, but anytime I see flashing lights I get edgy). All goes according to plan at drop off. She is nervous and excited. Hubby and I, nervous and excited, trying to keep a calm state so we don’t feed off each others energy. I drop the hubs back at home and go pick up my groceries. Side note: Drive up and go is my new normal. I have found COVID as a great excuse for me to never step foot inside a grocery store again! Silver lining. As I drive home, I am stopped at a light in my suburban 90k person town, in a lane which goes straight and also turns right. Sadly for the gent behind me, I am going straight. I wasn’t intentionally being a jerk so the car behind me couldn’t make a turn on red. It must be frustrating to have to wait the minute for the light to turn green since there isn’t enough space between my giant SUV and the sidewalk. You know what I am talking about…And I get it, I have been the behind car, rolling my eyes and the moron who just can’t move over… But, I couldn’t move over. He starts honking. I can’t go anywhere. He slams on his horn again… Still don’t know what I am suppose to do. He gets out of his car… this is where it takes a turn and I freak out a bit, because now there is one less piece of armor between him and I… I lock my door (I’m a nervous nelly), and he starts banging on my trunk. I nudge up a bit, so he knows I am not hard of hearing, but I literally can’t go anywhere, or else I’ll be in the intersection! He bangs his fist on my car some more!!! What am I suppose to do!!!??? I’m sitting there like a lame duck, hoping I don’t become a road rage statistic. The light turns green and I am off… Fortunately he made his right turn and didn’t follow me….OMG!!! “Okay Rachael, relax, it is over, he didn’t follow you. It is done.”
I walk in the door, my husband takes one look at me, and asks “what happened?” AND THIS IS WHERE I LOSE IT!!! Weeks (likely months) of pent-up angst, emotion, uncertainty of how to handle my own sh** came flooding out. I was ugly crying. The kind where you are shaking, and the tears just won’t stop. I get a solid, warm, protective, much needed hug from the hubs (good man he is). I do finally pull it together. I am not still ugly crying 4 weeks later…
Moral of the story. 1) Cry – It feels really good! It helped me to start to move past the stressors (even good ones) of the prior weeks, and the traumatic experience I just had. 2) Don’t forgot to be kind to each other. We are not faceless bots moving through life not caring or being effected by each other. The gentleman may likely have been going through something, and I want to empathize with that. But wow, taking it out on me was not the way to go. Have patience. Lead with love and positive intention. “We are living in a society people!”
2 thoughts on ““We are living in a society””
OMG so crazy awful but also cathartic. Burnout is real. Check out that Brene Brown podcast about the burnout book. Illuminating and grounding. Be well, lady!
Thanks Jessica. It was crazy! I am on my first business trip (in who knows how long) and I decided instead of traveling at night to get her just in time and be rushed and frenetic through out the week, I would find a day to have a leisurely travel day, even though that meant being a way from my family for an additional two days. IT WAS SO WORTH IT! I am taking this much needed ‘me time’, to not be rushing, to work out at any time for any length, even get in a swim, have my coffee, focus on work without interruption or trying to squeeze something else in. Ya know what “they” say, “self care is never selfish”.
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