Ever have those days where you just want to grab your phone swipe up on your home screen, switch that little airplane button on and simply shut the world off?
That was me yesterday.
You know one of those days where sadness just overwhelmingly crashes over you like a wave and you’re too tired to fight it off. You just want to wallow in it and drift off into it. You feel like you’re floating in that deep sea of despair and anxiety.
That was me yesterday.
When we were kids my dad would tell us we were allowed to be sad, mad, frustrated, and weepy for a given amount of time. But when the deadline for wallowing in those emotions was up that meant it was time to move on. It was a new day filled with moments to be grateful for. And for most situations in my life this actually really helped. You see I set a deadline on my sadness. I know, could it get any more type A than this? But it REALLY helps. Depending on the situation I give myself a few minutes, an hour or two, or a day to wallow in it and feel every part of that sadness or emotion. To allow myself to understand that it’s OKAY to be sad. But when my hour of self pity is up, that’s it, it’s up, and it’s time to see the glass half full. It is time to look at the rest of the day through a different lens.
My family is not just a simple drive down the road. Nor are they close enough for a quick weekend trip and it is one of the greatest sources of sadness in my life. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve cried on a given day because at some point I just want to be able to HUG my mom, or RACE to my dad and tell him everything about my day and see the expression on his face as I recount the days events, or WATCH Josephine cuddle with my brother on the couch. You see when you have a long distance family your “verbs” don’t happen often and you don’t know when the next time you will be able to HUG, RACE, or WATCH your family. So you hug each other a lot tighter before bed every night, you race to tell your story first to one another, and you watch each other in a room filled with laughter, overflowling love, and you just want to hit the pause button. Having my brother here for over a week this past week was the greatest gift. But it’s one of those gifts where you don’t want to unwrap it because you know when you do the timer starts and eventually the sand runs out.
It’s inevitable though, the sand runs out and eventually reality hits and our verbs transform themselves into FaceTime and text messages. And then I am left with a grateful heart that weeps. So yesterday was my day. Turned my phone on silent, do not disturb, cried my eyes out, took a break from cleaning, hugged Josephine, sat in her room and read every book, made the biggest mess, snuck into her crib durning nap time and cuddled her sweet sleepy self, and let myself wallow in my tears. I gave myself the day.
My deadline is nearly up as it’s 11:54pm and that means when midnight strikes no more tears.
I’ll wake up in the morning to have my coffee and remind myself that today is a new day. A day where I get to be grateful for a multitude of things in my life. I will snap back into my cheerful self, deep clean the house, and promise to enjoy the simplistic moments in my day.
You see, setting a deadline on sadness allows you to understand it is okay to feel every aspect of that miserable gloom. Yet, it is a reminder that there is so much in life to be grateful for that we simply don’t have the time to wallow in sorrow forever. Set a deadline, feel the emotion, and when the time is up, allow yourself to be astonished at the dazzling aspects in life. Appreciate their beauty and be grateful for a new day.
As a mom I want to teach Josephine that it is OKAY to be sad. It’s perfectly normal to feel that emotion. However, it’s what she does with that emotion that holds power. I am raising my daughter to understand that she has a magnificent power to feel the world in it’s despair along with it’s exquisite beauty and to delight in that. I want to teach her that she should relish in the good and the bad moments. Because in life she will face moments where she feels like she is on top of the world and moments where she wants to crawl under a rock and hide from the world. It is my job, our job as parents, to raise kind humans who are overwhelmingly comfortable to feel their emotions and are equipped with the tools to deal with them.
So here’s to deadlines, a full glass of wine, acceptance, and a new day to appreciate this beautiful life.