It isn’t all that graceful. It isn’t easy at all. Except that sometimes it is. I’m back and forth about this and since I’m committed to sharing the complexity of my existence I’m going to share this too…
I don’t think it has been that hard for me to create an awesome life. I don’t want to buy into the story that society loves to tell (there are so many!)…one being that it takes hard work to get what you want, and it isn’t easy to get where you want to go. Hard work equals results. Nothing comes easy.
Since my perception creates my reality I’ve been consistent in being able to find the good in the bad, to perceive positive results with little effort and I really believe that even as ‘hard’ as it has been, my life has given me everything I need to create awesomeness.
Still, there are MOMENTS that suck; days that are hard and yukky and the only thing I want to do is cry, quit, and hide under my covers in bed. I guess that isn’t all that complex. I don’t believe that it takes hard work to be successful. I believe I can create success with ease and laughter and fun. It can be easy and I can prepare for shitty days. Just because I have hard moments doesn’t mean that I have to adopt the belief that life has to be hard. I don’t mind suffering like I used to. I don’t feel like I’ve failed just because I have a bad night. I believe that a bad night helps me appreciate the good nights. I believe that a bad night is simply that, a bad night. Perhaps a bad night is even a love note from the universe to slow down, take care of myself and a reminder to serve me…and not lose myself in serving others. Or an opportunity to see and understand something I hadn’t noticed before in a positive light.
The funny thing is that for a long time a bad moment, a mistake or a crappy day was an opportunity to highlight how much I sucked at being a mom, being a business owner, being a wife or whatever it was that I told myself I was sucking at. It created a downward spiral. I didn’t see the opportunity to love on myself when I was having a bad day. The best thing I can do for me when I feel like life is throwing up all over and I can’t keep it clean is to nurture myself. I desperately tried cleaning it up, blaming myself for the mess I was in, being incredibly critical of myself and then allowing feelings of failure to crack me open. It feels bad to do that. Really bad.
Turn that moment around and when shit hits the fan and I’ve overbooked myself, packed too much in, signed up to serve more than I have energy for and am overall stressed beyond my ability to cope I have another option. I can stop the madness and love on me. I am not a ‘poor me’ pity girl. That is not my style. Usually I’m a suck it up, move on, kinda girl. Now I’m seeing a shift that allows the yuk to be yuk and I’m able to turn the love and compassion inward…to me!
How does this sound, “It’s okay that you over-scheduled yourself and weren’t prepared for that meeting. Don’t worry; tomorrow you’ll slow down, rearrange your schedule, take a long walk, eat healthy and create some Sara time. You are awesome, you are love; you are doing the best you can.”
Or maybe it helps you to hear that lovely Sara, who seems like she has it all together, freaks out too. I had lunch with someone the other day and he told me that I make it look too easy. He said I’m so graceful in balancing family, my business and the community work I do. It annoyed me. It annoyed me because I’m very conscious of being open about the bad and the good. I am acutely aware of how one sided social media can be. I am aware that the majority of the world is constantly comparing their insides to other people’s outsides. Stop the madness. Along with my own efforts to NOT compare my insides with others’ outsides (which takes a lot of practice and I’m not there yet), I have chosen to share my yukky moments to the outside. I want to be a secret breaker. A truth teller. I want to get naked and vulnerable. I’m ready to celebrate with my human friends who are courageous and vulnerable too…and to quit judging. We can all benefit from celebrating courage. It inspires more courage.
So when this guy expressed his perception of how easy it is for me I was irritated. Here is my recent ugly.
Our family had been really busy and I knew that my youngest son needed some one on one attention so I had promised both of us that Wednesday night we’d hang out together; no work, no going out. I couldn’t have known that one of our clients would need to get an offer submitted asap (yep we are in the business where time is of the essence). Carlos had showings scheduled with another client and wasn’t available. I jumped in to help. I started drafting the offer at 4:30pm. Leo came home at 5pm. I explained to him that I needed to finish getting the offer together, signed and delivered before I could play and he was awesome about it. He got his own snack and was well occupied for a while. But as things go, right as I was going to send it off we found out that the buyer was in competition and we needed to change our buyer’s offer. My ‘I’m almost done’ was not believable anymore and Leo was starting to freak on me. By 6:30 we were both in bad places and I snapped. The offer was finally submitted and within 20 minutes I found out it was rejected and the other offer was accepted. I felt horrible for our client. I felt horrible for Leo.
Leo was crying because I had snapped at him and I still needed to go pick up the CSA box. I was near tears myself. I was devastated for our buyer, I was frustrated with the other agent (another story for another time) and I was sitting in a pool of mama guilt, helpless and exasperated.
I calmed Leo down and went to get the CSA box with minutes to spare before they closed but I forgot to bring a bag. There were no extra bags in my car and it just felt wrong to borrow the CSA box for the ride home and I didn’t want to drive home to get a bag. So I had to put the dripping wet lettuce, basil, cabbage and other vegetables in the backseat of my car. It was horrible. I could have laughed but I wasn’t strong enough and my eyes filled with tears. Seriously, putting the vegetables in the back seat of my car made me cry.
It wasn’t a graceful or easy evening. Sometimes this whole life/work integration just doesn’t go well. Sometimes it totally sucks. I used to think I ‘should’ have it all together all the time but that is so unrealistic. That night sucked for my son, our buyer client and for me too. I didn’t find much to be grateful about that night…I didn’t learn any lessons and I didn’t have the energy to turn it around. I just cried for a little bit and I let the night suck.