Two days ago, this happened:
I worked. And by work, I mean I worked 11:00 pm to 7:00 am. This is my new shift. I have always been an early to bed, early to rise type of person….so this has really thrown me off. So to set the pace for this extract of my life, I started out already tired and off balance. My cousin and her boyfriend are staying with us this week, so I have been trying to make as much time as possible for them, while continuing my normal routine.
So I got home from work and had a wonderful breakfast with the fam before settling in to what should have been 7-8 hours of rest before a BBQ we were hosting. 7-8??? Psh. Try 4. Anyone who knows me, knows that I cannot function for long on 4 hours of sleep. It simply does not jive with what my body needs. I was also supposed to work again that evening. So sleep was somewhat of a necessity. If I could have figured out a way to simply stay awake for 48 hours without hitting some emotional roadblocks, I would have done just that.
But I didn’t. Instead, I stayed awake and spent time with my family and friends hoping for the 90% chance that I would get called off and not have to work. I was optimistic. How could the universe possible put me through having to work after not sleeping?
The universe must have had some beef with me, because it did just that. Made me work.
No sleep + disappointment + anticipated stressful evening at work= hot emotional mess.
In the end, it was obviously fine. I made it through the night. I got some rest. And I am here today finally feeling like a human again.
But what do we do in that moment? The moment that makes us feel completely defeated. When we feel like nothing will make our situation better. When something very minute and even expected throws us off balance?
I don’t have the answer for that. My only answer is that it happens. Life happens. It gets stressful and overwhelming and there are days when we don’t sleep and don’t eat enough to satisfy our needs. We must still find ways to work through them.
For me, I must remind myself that the situation is temporary. I take some breaths. I minimize distractions and outside stimulation. In this mindset, I cannot comprehend. I cannot analyze. I cannot make decisions. Even if the decision is what I should eat for dinner it seems to be too much. I focus on what is to come. I typically have a massage schedule in the near future, or a day off when I can just stay home and relax with a book and a cup of tea.
Life is hectic. We never truly know what to expect. It is important to get to know yourself and learn what it is you need in these moments.
Two days ago, I ultimately needed to sleep. But in the moment, as it turns out, I needed someone to do something thoughtful for me. To let me know everything would be okay.
What was that? My cousin and her boyfriend had gone out for sushi. I really wanted to go, but couldn’t because work was calling me. In my fit of tears of complete disappointment and defeat, she strolled into the house with some sushi she had saved for me. It changed everything. My tears of sadness were immediately replaced my tears of joy.
My lesson from this?
1) Its okay to feel defeated and be overwhelmed. Its not ideal, but it does happen and we work through it because it is only temporary.
2) Never miss an opportunity to do something thoughtful for someone else. Be considerate. You never know when the simple act of buying them coffee, giving them a hug or bringing home leftovers will completely turn their day around.
As a popular meme says, “Be Kind. Everyone you meet is in the midst of a struggle” -Plato