A consistent prayer of mine the past few months has been ‘Please put me on the path you want me on’. What if the path I’m already on, has a rest stop?
Here in the Northwest our winters can be very long, drawn out and extremely cold. We basically suffer from vitamin D deficiency because of the lack of sun, which effects us physically and mentally. It is what we call the good ol’ winter blues. For me, it was an understatement. The cold is so draining, I just wanted to stay in the house and be warm on the couch. If I could hibernate during the winter, I would.
My daughter was getting hit with the winter blues as well. Actually, my winter blues. She hit the 2 1/2 year mark and her behavior took the turn for the worst. A mixture of cabin fever and a developing personality of opinions and tantrums was my morning to evening. She had cabin fever because I was too much of a wuss to have not even 15 minutes of snow fun with my daughter. Our disagreement of opinions ended up with 20 minute tantrums from hell. Not to dismiss any of her bad behavior, but she was a victim of my energy. Knowing that my energy was on the not so joyful side of the spectrum, I distanced myself. I distanced myself from my family even when we were in the same room.
I was losing a sense of myself faster then I’d like to admit. My confidence was shot, so comparing myself to everyone else card was played often. I would watch my friends, the women I work with and family succeed in different aspects of their lives. They would do this all while multitasking multiple children, being mentors during their packed schedules or moving away to achieve better job opportunities. Sometimes, they’d even be praised at work.
I was not JUST sitting at home with my one child, easy going husband and my part time job. I was sitting at home with a heavy case of the blahs with symptoms of comparing myself to other and tremendous self doubt.
Recently I went to a baby shower and brought my daughter with me, while running on just a few hours of sleep. I arrived an hour early.. NOT on purpose, of course. The actual scheduled time would that would cut into my daughters nap time. This resulted in a public tantrum from hell. I hardly ever get embarrassed but that day I was.
The very next day I arrived at work. I thought that I looked pretty decent, even though I knew in the back of my mind my jeans have never felt so tight. My boss pulled me aside telling me to “please step up my outfits coming into work”. I know what she said was from a loving place but not knowing if it was just that day, or if it has been something that she wanted to bring to my attention for awhile, hit me like a ton of bricks.
Finally, the day after that I was running around doing some errands. I was sending out a bill on the date that it was due, during my daughter’s nap time. I thought I NEEDED to run another errand and as soon as I got my daughter out of the car I realized I could’ve quickly checked what I needed online. Frustrated from going back and forth trying to decide if I needed to take care of my question in person or online… I just sat in the passengers seat with my daughter and breathed. I then proceeded to take my mental funk into the public world of Instagram and spu out my negative energy. It wasn’t too boo-hoo-y but my daughter was wanting my attention in that moment. IN THAT MOMENT I felt like I HAD to finish this story because I was in a funk and it HAD to be known. My daughter ended up crying in the videos.
That is the first and last time I will let myself get to that point where my pride overshadows what really needs to be taken care of.
Three very different women reached out to me after I posted that video. An acquaintance that sent me a sweet heartfelt message on Instagram, a childhood best friend that was motivating me like a coach through text and my cousin who I consider a best friend and mentor chatted with me over coffee. She let me know that I’m not alone in this.
My cousin pointed out that this season of stillness is probably what is needed from me. Being in the moments my daughter needs me to be super mom, being a better wife for my husband, being both present inwardly and outwardly for the boutique that I work at and being still in the unpredictable moments when someone needs me in big or small circumstances. In stillness, it is the time when we are able to recharge and conquer, take note and improve, appreciate and give thanks.
My awareness of needed stillness is still new. It’s difficult but I’m at peace with it. The next rest stop might be a long ways away. I’m taking my stillness for all that it’s worth and enjoying the sunshine…even though it is completely covered in rain clouds.
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