So I usually get my inspiration to write blog posts weeks in advance and I’ll write a series. For the month of October, that has not been the case. As a result, I feel compelled to pull back the veil today and share with you something that happened very recently that humbled me and in all efforts to be authentic these are moments I feel strongly the need to expose my vulnerability. I don’t know about you but as this year has “dragged on”, I have found it more difficult to remain positive and upbeat when surrounded by the chronic “Debbie Downers”. When I get into these particular funks, I tend to go one of two ways, completely shutting down (drop kids off and go home and hide until time for pick up) which has not been an option because of the havoc that is family life right now or become a work-a-holic. Well because home is Grand Central Station and there are many areas of the house that need constant attention…I wish I had a clothing pile to hide behind (one is currently growing in the closet but will cease to exist very soon when the husband finds it and I’m busted). I have turned to the latter (which typically pays off) BUT this weekend I had a wake up call that gave me time to reflect and really think about my message and how I implement and “practice what I preach”.
Most weekends, I try to do work projects from home, on the sly because I need hobbies (and a life away from the fam) but have been too lazy to pursue them. This particular weekend, I overbooked myself, because I have this delusion that I’m SUPERWOMANNNNNNN! What delusion am I speaking of?! If you are reading this, you most certainly have suffered from the same “I’ve got this” complex…I can do anything, any time, anywhere, no problem with one hand tied behind my back and doing a cha cha, juggling and driving kids to their activities. Well, Friday went off without a hitch, in fact, I was euphoric about how well the day and events went. Fast forward to Saturday morning, I’m scheduled to do an all day Halloween event with my girls to promote The Garrett Music Academy (our music school). I have to get up early and set up prior to the event and then man my booth the rest of the day…by myself…with two 9 year olds….and I forgot to bring chairs….do you see where I’m going with this?! I had a hard time getting up and I felt fatigued but I pulled down deep and pushed through because I wanted the opportunity to promote our lessons and services to the community while my children had a chance to have fun when this year has been a perpetual “dumpster fire”. It started out great and the event was packed. I was so excited to see little people in costumes and the cares of the world seem to melt away for those few minutes. Later that morning, it is getting hot, I’m dressed in all black (my standard GMA uniform) and I feel the sun beating down on me, despite the tent I have erected to prevent such from happening. I send the twins over to a food truck, (side note: I’m in the best spot possible, next to the bathrooms and the food!!!), to get me a bottle of water and something to eat. The dummy that I am, I brought breakfast but in my haste to unpack the car and get it moved to respect the event staff’s request to park offsite, I left said food in the car…didn’t forget the coffee but did forget the nurishment.
Fast forward to 11:00 am, I start getting a headache…followed by a feeling of nausea. I think, “oh, I’m just hungry and I need to drink my water…” so off I go and take a few bites and take a few gulps of water…then I feel dizzy and I realize I need to sit down but I can’t because I FORGOT THE CHAIRS!!! So, I do what anyone with only half a mind would do, I sit up on the table but as I do so, a group of children come to the booth for goodie bags so I’m back up again. This goes on for about an hour before my daughters return to the tent after having some holiday fun dancing and trick-or-treating. Upon their arrival, I sat down on the cold asphalt…it felt good and I quickly realized it would feel even better if I lied down, so under a table I went, hoping for relief from the headache and nausea. This was my attempt to hide how awful I felt from the children while keeping my commitment to the organization to remain for the entire event and represent my company. Notice, I say attempt because you CAN’T HIDE ANYTHING FROM CHILDREN! The girls grow very concerned and take over all duties of the booth while I fight to stay conscious and not get sick. I’m having an existential crisis with myself about the situation when she appeared….a very sweet woman that saw the feet sticking out from under the table and came to investigate, as if there was a possible sighting of the Wicked Witch of the East and she found her way from under Dorothy’s house to my table. Her face pops up over mine and she starts asking me about how I’m doing, am I ok, do I need help….and then nothing. This is when it all goes black and I feel my stomach give way and I feel my body start to shake. I wake up minutes later to the sounds of my one daughter, Juliette, crying hysterically while Charlotte is soldering through, tell people to come over and get their goodie bags and sign up for music lessons…while using my phone to call her father and 9-1-1 (my daughter has learned this part from her momma and when in crisis, focus, focus, focus).
Now, I am fortunate, there is a health booth at this event with several nurses and the angel that first found me was an off duty EMT. I am surrounded by loving, caring people that jumped into action to calm my children and stabilize me for the ambulance ride. They then watched over my daughters until my husband arrived to pick them up and I couldn’t be more grateful. I am met at the hospital by my husband and the gravity of the situation truly hit me when he entered the room: I put all that I teach others, the need for self care, making non-negotables a priority, making mental health a priority on the back burner. I didn’t listen to my body, my mind as it told me earlier in the day I needed rest. I didn’t listen to the “you are doing too much”, I was trying to please others…I was violating the very principles I teach, living from the inside/out not the outside/in. I let others’ perceived needs and expectations overrule my health and well being and now I was experiencing the ramifications of those choices.
I’m not sharing this to put myself on the cross, to present myself as a martyr. What I am trying to say is that even if I forget sometimes to put my non-negotiables, my health, my self worth, my needs, before my work and I have come to realize that as an educator, I need to consistently emulate what I teach. You are watching me, my children are watching me and while I don’t say this to imply that I’m going to continue this journey with the mindset of thinking outside/in, what this was is a wake up call – a RUDE wake up call! I am grateful for the outcome because I have been reminded how important my message is and that I must apply it to my life without fail. Be You, Do You, Share You, these are all principles that require personal forgiveness, acceptance and progress. I needed this weekend’s incident to happen to redirect me back to the basics and for that, I am grateful. Sometimes, you just keep a wake up call to gain perspective and while rude, at least I’m not hitting the snooze button.
I AM FLAWSOME is starting a 30 day journal challenge beginning on November 1st. Come join me and the community as we transform our lives through journing, drawing, affirmations and non-negotiables. Head over to www.iamflawsome.me to sign up, get your journal and join the community! Also, join me on Facebook and Instagram for camaraderie and updates @iamflawsome!