The past 5 days or so have been rough in the area of, well, honestly, basic personal hygiene. I’ve showered some, but only under the careful scrutiny of pint-sized bathroom intruders. My children – and all small children, I guess – have an internal alarm that sounds when mother disrobes. I intensely dislike this aspect of parenting. Rant over.
Anyway, I’ve been limping along, trying the keep the house together and the kids alive-ish and warm, and I haven’t been doing much in the way of the Wellness Project most days, and I feel it acutely. Yesterday was one of the hardest days I’ve had with the kids, and I was exhausted and so broken down by 4 pm and wouldn’t you know it, all that negative self talk I’ve been laying waste to? It came roaring back.
I began to find myself making the odd offhand comment here and there as this interminable week has dragged on, but it wasn’t until today that I stopped and looked closely at the correlation between one exhausted, over-extended mommy and the soundtrack of doom that plays like a broken record in my brain.
You’re such a failure, look at this house/your body/this dinner/their attitudes/your tone with him…
Why can’t I look like her? Why does my body look so awful? Why can’t I dress myself? Why don’t clothes look that way on me? Why doesn’t my house look like that?
Tellingly, from an eternal perspective, I don’t spend much time pining over the holiness or charity of others. But the temporal stuff? I’m all over that.
And this post is all over the place. I guess what I’m getting at is when I get really run down and, consequently, stop making conscious efforts to care for myself in a healthy and realistic-to-this-stage-of-life way, it’s harder for me to practice virtue. It’s just plain harder to be good; to myself and, more importantly, to others. I would never have imagined that there would be a connection here, but there you go. Body + soul and all that.
So today? I took a shower. I put on make up and blew my hair dry, even though it was close to 4pm. And I felt better for it. And I know Dave appreciated it, even though I was strrrretching the definition of ‘fully dressed’ from the waist down in my highly inappropriate but whoops, nothing else quite fits yet black leggings. Leggings are not pants. Except when you stuff them into boots and pretend that they are.
Nope, they’re still not pants. But boy are they niiiice and stretchy.
Tomorrow is a new day. I’m re-commited to this project, and to the idea that something good is happening here, and that the soundtrack that starts to play whenever things start to slide downhill isn’t infallible. Hell, it isn’t even true most of the time.