In my best Sophia Petrillo voice – Picture this: 4 days before Thanksgiving and I’m sick with what I thought was an odd case of strep. Instead of the doctor telling me I was going to start a different antibiotic and I could get back to my life, they told me to get comfortable because I wasn’t going home…I was going to be admitted and have surgery. Yikes. The first thought that ran through my mind was, “OMG what about my child?” Thankfully we have an awesome support system that steps in and up with no questions asked, so I calmed myself down about that part then I got freaked out about what was really happening. Instead of fine tuning my Thanksgiving meal, going grocery shopping and preparing to host family, I was being stuck with an IV and going on my third day of practically no food or water due to the pain I was in.
So how did I get here? On the surface it could appear as an unusual set of circumstances, but the more I think about it it was more of a wake up call for me. In October I began a new job and while it has definitely been the best decision for me professionally, it has also been a whirlwind. We all know it- you start something new and there is a lot to learn, right? Well multiply the normal “lot to learn” by 10 and add looming, fast-approaching deadlines. I was definitely overwhelmed. It was as if I went from one stressful job where I at least knew what the heck was going on and the people I was serving, to a new gig where the stress level was even greater and I had to keep asking kids their names.
If you don’t know by now- when you’re under stress your body reacts. “Krys Krys” (my new nickname for my body!) lets me know she’s tired, underfed, overworked and overwhelmed through back pain and sickness. At the first sign of a lower back twinge or scratchy throat I usually listen, but this time I ignored her and kept on going. My normal eating habits were off. I wasn’t sleeping the way I should. I wasn’t doing anything fun outside of work for balance. And I was thinking too much about not wanting to F up that I got myself in a bind. It made for the perfect case for any and every germ to just attach itself to me and boom- I was sick.
So after 3 days in the hospital I had some time to think! Now on to the lessons I learned…enough of that sappy stuff! I had some time to think ya’ll and I am firm believer that life’s curveballs come with a lesson that we either pay attention to or ignore and end up repeating. I paid attention and here’s what I learned. 1. I have to stop putting undo pressure on myself to perform like other people. I literally had to say, “Krystal STOP IT, STOP STRESSING. 2. I have to have a better work-life balance. I am not a work, work, work, work type of girl. I need some fun and it was not happening. 3. I cannot loose myself in the work…get a grip! This is much easier said than done to a person who wants to do well and generally does, though this is probably the harder of the three lessons for me. No matter how much of an adjustment I need to make I am willing to make it. And keep in mind I’m only talking about work. I haven’t even touched on the decrease in meals I’ve cooked at home, the mounds of laundry that went unwashed, the dust balls in the corner that I ignored and my Zumba membership that was beginning to collect dust. I was slowly let Krystal go. No more! She’s coming back.
As a mom I believe we put a little extra pressure on ourselves to show ‘the world’ that we can be the real life octopus that balances all of these large responsibilities with ease. Humph! I’m here to tell you that that crap is impossible AF (as f*ck…sorry Mom!). I’m not an octopus and neither are you so let’s stop pretending. I am just a week into these life lessons and I am proud to say that I am doing better with them. Even with the responsibilities I am managing my stress better. In my quest to handle my life better I might slip up and begin to walk down the wrong side of the street. If you see me over there SLAP ME…SOMEBODY SLAP ME! Let’s help each other out by being our mommy friend’s keeper! –Krystal