Lest anyone think I claim to be an enlightened life form, I will share the darker underside of yesterday’s post.
Remember the gremlins I mentioned?
Seems like they sneaked up through the first class section and hijacked the aircraft while I thought I was the pilot in command yesterday.
I thought I’d made the most of my day, even if I did over-run my target end-of-day: at least I noticed I missed the goal, and even took some time to figure out why. Surely that was a win, right?
Even as I was writing about noticing the insidious pattern of trying to beat “not good enough,” and the effect that can have on people I love…
…I wasn’t noticing that I was in the throes of doing more of exactly what I said I didn’t want to do.
I no sooner stopped struggling to stuff a ten pound professional day into a five pound work day bag than I changed gears to do it all over again with the personal side.
Because I’d set myself this challenge to write a personal blog (expected by nobody but me, but which I’d decided the entire world was hovering to pass judgement upon me, waiting and watching and fully expecting me to fail), I had also decided that nothing would stop me from getting all the things done in the day that were on the list.
Things. As if the quality of my life would somehow be better, my value as a human being would be greater, if I checked one more thing off a list.
I pushed through — which is never a good sign, for me; by the time I notice I’m pushing, I should long since have stopped, and there’s probably something else going off the rails that I just hadn’t noticed.
I’m lucky to be living through pandemic as part of a five-person, four-household bubble of humans. We are able to spend time together, visit, sit on each other’s sofas, chat, hug, get groceries or bake for each other, because we all agree on the rules for staying safe. When I’m visiting with one of my bubble-mates, we both work hard separately all day, and don’t see that much of each other. Time together on the sofa at the end of the day, whether we’re chatting or watching something together, being fully present with each other, is a vital, nurturing, part of our day, and sustains that relationship.
I staggered over to the sofa and opened my laptop and kept banging out my blog post. We were sitting next to each other but I might as well have been on another planet as far as he was concerned. He had looked forward to that time all day…and he had set aside a couple hours of time he would otherwise be working to spend that time with me.
In effect, I decided that winning an unwinnable a contest with my oldest gremlins, who are never nice, was more important than being loved by someone right in front of me.
And I truly didn’t appreciate how hurt he was until he came out and told me.
I hate failing at caring for and about the people I love.
I felt shattered at having ended my day not only exhausted, but also defeated because I had hurt someone I cared about.
I can never get that time back.
But I am grateful to have forgiveness, and found some self-compassion and more mindfulness today.
I traded off the workout time for the blog time, and didn’t try to do everything today.
I have two minutes to find the picture to go with this blog, and I’m done.
I’ll talk more about pandemic micro trauma later.