There was a time in my life when I woke up at precisely the same time everyday, took a shower washing my hair and body in the exact same way, put on my make up lining each product up perfectly on my counter and putting them back the same way, ate the same exact amount of the same exact cereal each morning, had the same exact lunch on my lunch break the very same way, and went home to eat the same exact dinner sitting in the same exact spot, while watching the same exact show, and then … well, you get the point. At this time in my life I was pretty sick, and developed OCD as a means to protect myself from running into any unknowns that might rock my boat, because I mentally just couldn’t handle anything else.
This was a really tough time. For me, for my family, and for my friends. But I got well, and eventually began to be more flexible and adaptable to outside situations. Sometimes I still find myself getting set in my ways, or when something unexpected comes up I get a little shot of anxiety, doubting whether I can handle it or not. These days though, I am finding myself having an easier time of rolling with what ever comes my way.
If any of you have ever gone through home renovations, you might know how unpredictable each day can be. I’ve mentioned a little bit about how I’ve taken on the roll of Project Manager for this reno as the Hubs has been under a very demanding and grueling work schedule lately. Well, when you’re managing the project, you have to talk to everyone, sign everything, see everything, choose everything, purchase everything — basically, short of physically putting the house together with my hands, I’m doing it all. And that’s OK because I’m happy to, and I’m grateful to be able to be doing the renovations, but it’s still a task when combined with parenting essentially alone Monday through Friday, and trying to preserve my sexy, as they say, by working out, eating well, and – well – showering, everyday. I’ve found myself getting really anxious a couple of times over the passed several weeks when I’ve been on the receiving end of phone calls that beckon me to a meeting that conflicted with my planned workout, or when I’ve come home after a really long morning to find workers on all 3 floors of my house leaving no place for G and I to escape to, and no way for her to nap, therefore, no way for me to get any “quiet” time. The latter happened today as a matter of fact. A day when it was in the low 30′s (too cold to spend any real time outside), when I was expecting a visitor in the evening, and knew I had to fold laundry, cook a meal worthy of a guest (no easy PB sandwiches), and try to get into bed at a decent hour so that when my alarm would ring at 4:30 tomorrow morning, I wouldn’t snooze it repeatedly until 7, but would actually get up and get a good workout in.
So, when I realized that there would be no solace in my house today, I did an intentional mental shift and went from being reactively anxious, to being proactively ambitious. I gathered together a couple of healthy snacks, put G in her car seat and we went to Barnes and Noble for a little quiet time outside of the house. Thank the good Lord that Barnes and Noble has a Starbucks, because by the time we got there I was in desperate need of one of these,
While I sipped my Latte, G perused aisle after aisle of books, and fun toys, stopping to play with a toy or flip through a book that interested her while we were surrounded by the soothing sounds of a bookstore. (Does anyone else feel just about as relaxed while they’re in a book store as they do after a Yoga class?) We stayed there for almost a couple of hours before she was ready to go, paid for our purchases, and made our way back to a home restored of peace. By the time we arrived at home, she was sleeping, and I tucked her in for a nap just before I sat down to write this.
Even though an afternoon in B&N wasn’t what I had planned for us today, it worked wonders for my mind, and my spirit when I needed it to. Goes to show that sometimes it’s just better to go with the flow – be adaptable, be easy, feel free.