I don’t know who originated this meme so I can’t give credit. I wish I did know so I could thank them for the many times it has helped me tap into the spirit of childlike wonder and exuberance.
I got really sick this past weekend–as in, couldn’t-get-two-steps-away-from the bathroom sick. When I wasn’t shuffling to the porcelain throne, I was flat on my back in bed. In the realm of Getting Things Done, I was an utterly useless life form.
But that’s not why I’m mad at me.
In the spirit of misery loves company, I broke my own rule about limiting exposure to the combination circus/madhouse that passes for news these days, including the comment sections (which are the online equivalent of slogging through a septic tank barefoot). Using only my trusty Kindle and a stylus, I was able to work myself up into a froth of frustration, fear and rage in a surprisingly short period of time.
But that’s not why I’m mad, either. (Well, okay, maybe a little bit. It’s not like I don’t know better by now.)
Being out of commission gave my mind all kinds of time to come out and play. A few of its favorite games:
- Compile impossible To Do lists to be accomplished when I felt better.
- Take me on a trip down Memory Lane, featuring stops at every bad/painful/embarrassing thing I’d experienced since kindergarten.
- Conjure up doomsday scenarios of a remote future that somehow managed to bleed into the present.
But that’s not why I’m mad at me, either. My mind is an unruly beast under the best of circumstances, of which being sick isn’t one.
Being sidelined brought everything–work, job, chores, all the “gotta do” yadda-yadda–to a screeching halt. At first I was too busy being miserably sick to realize it. (Intestinal bugs are demanding little critters.) When the worst was over, I had ample time to look–really look–at my life.
And it wasn’t pretty.
I discovered I’d been so busy scrambling to meet expectations (both my own, which are insanely high, and external ones, some of which verge on the impossible) that I had left no room in my life for……
That is why I’m mad.
How could I let this happen again? How did I manage to fall back into the trap of
- comparing my insides to other peoples’ outsides?
- thinking that I, and I alone, am responsible for anything and everything that crosses my orbit?
- people-pleasing? (Dammit, I thought I was past that crap!)
- allowing myself to be overloaded or spread so thin the holes are showing?
- not making time (with a machete, if necessary) for the things I really love?
Infinitely more important, how do I fix this mess?
One thing’s for sure–if I keep giving myself–my real self–the silent treatment, I’m never going to find out.