I have stopped enjoying moments. When my boys were little life seemed so much slower. There were so many moments throughout the day when I would just sit and look at them. My heart would be overcome with love sending warmth throughout my body. I would giggle with them, play with them, just completely immerse my whole being into moments.
Things have changed and I think it happened slowly, not all at once. I get so embarrassed and stressed about how my children behave in public. Was it the grocery store trips when Xander was a toddler that ignited this change? He fussed, wanted out of the cart only to touch everything he saw and run down the aisles. Other shoppers would look and sometimes stare at us.
A few days ago, I saw a woman struggling with a toddler in her arms trying to maneuver an overflowing shopping cart on the way to her car. The toddler was furious and throwing a full body tantrum. I should have walked over and pushed her cart. It would have taken just a few moments and I could have let her know that its ok, she’s not alone, and we have all been there. But I didn’t. I thought she might be embarrassed or reject my help. I regret not offering that woman comfort when she so obviously needed it.
Like everything else, I analyzed the situation until my logic overrode my heart. My mind whirls, spins, and processes thoughts nonstop. When planning a trip or activity or to-do list l cannot rest until I come up with some way to make it better, which also results in less enjoyment for myself. I don’t know that I would call myself a perfectionist because what I do is not perfect. Perhaps, a joy sucker? Where has my light-hearted joy gone?
I am mentally exhausted.
When did ticking things off my to-do list become so infuriating? At some point in my life, I found accomplishment to be satisfying. But now I almost never find enjoyment in the task at hand. I am often grumpy and short tempered in the midst of “getting things done”.
I am emotionally depleted.
My body is tense all of the time. My shoulders are hard, like rocks, instead of tender like muscle. My lips are pursed tightly and my jaw clenched nearly every time I look at myself in the mirror. My eyes stuck in a permanent slight squint.
I am physically stressed.
Just like the woman a the grocery store I am struggling and I hope that someone who sees me will understand instead of passing judgment. My inner voices calling out for productivity and efficiency are my restless toddler. I am putting them in time-out. The overflowing cart is my load of responsibilities and unrealistic expectations. I am slowly emptying the cart and making a concentrated effort to change my behavior. It will be a slow journey to find my way back to the simple, immersed moments, but it is worth every ounce of invested energy to get back there.
If ever I am in a situation where I see anyone struggling with their cart I will offer to help. Such a simple way to let another human know they are seen, supported, cared for.
How full is your cart? Is there anything you would like to unpack?
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