This last week just wasn't my week. My inbox had turned into a ticking timebomb while I was waiting to hear word back from my instructor on the book. Somehow I had managed to pinch a nerve in my shoulder, and my fingertips wwouldn't stop tingling. The hamstring I injured before the marathon was starting to ache on my 5 mile runs. My kidlet's motors were running on high and their screams were still only slightly softer than the monologue of defeat I was reciting in my head.
Then my four year old flushed about half a roll of toilet paper. As I was mopping up the Niagra Falls of kommodes I gave some serious thought to the old phrase "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade." The intention of the proverb is to do the best with what you have and normally I would be all about that. However, ankle deep in toilet water, there was no way I could make anything good out of this --pardon the pun-- crap.
When I ran downstairs to throw the wet towels in the wash I heard a drip drip coming from the room directly beneath the bathroom. Apparently I wasn't fast enough and water from upstairs had leaked through the floor, into the ceiling, and out through the light fixture. I was so mad that I knew if I saw either of my little ones right then, somebody was gonna start crying --probably me. So what did I do? Stewing over my rotten luck wasn't doing a darned bit of good. My brain was just turning all my worries and concerns over and over. I needed to make a break to disrupt the negative thoughts and feelings. So I took my lemons and tossed em in the fridge for awhile, leaving only a little wedge to put in my Diet Coke. Then I put myself in TIME OUT.
I made sure the kids were safe and happy watching a DVD and locked myself in my room for 15 minutes with my Diet Coke-- literally. And for those 15 minutes I did nothing but breathe and enjoy my tasty beverage. And then, when I was done, I walked back out and the lemons didn't seem quite as tart as they were a little while ago. We give our kids time outs to correct naughty behavior. It gives them a chance to seperate themselves from the behavior that led them there. Well guess what? Sometimes adults need them too. When you are being destructive and abusive to yourself then go to time out. Take a break and put your problems in the fridge --they'll keep. When you're ready you can go get them and figure out the best way to make lemonade.
For me, that Diet Coke time out provided a much needed opportunity to gain some perspective. By taking myself out of the situation for a moment I was able to halt the ramping up of emotions. That more than anything is what was making me miserable. Not the events, but the dispair and upset I felt about them. Without the emotions I could look at each "lemon" logically. In the case of my manuscript, I would take whatever critique was given, fix it, and then send it back. But what was the point of worrying about it when I hadn't even heard anything yet? Maybe he would love it and all my worrying would be for naught. I was squeezing the lemon before it hatched.. or something like that.
The shoulder and hamstring just needed some rest and ice to let the swelling go down. My fitness would not suffer too much from one missed weight session or a slower run. But if I injured them further because I didn't rest it then the 2 months recovery time would put a definite cramp in my training.
As far as the toilet soggy drywall situation goes, I am handing that one off to my husband.
The Diet Coke Time Out is a technique I learned during this last year when my inner voice was yelling itself hoarse telling me I was going to gain weight back or never make it to the marathon. If I was up a half a pound one day my heart would start fluttering and I immediately went into panic mode. If I didn't stop the freak out in it's tracks then the rest of the day would be spent worrying and weighing. Then when my weight went up with anything I ate or drank (as it should) then I would escalate my spazzing and get even more upset. So I had to consciously choose to stop and interrupt the flow of negativity. Give myself that 15 minutes to empty my thoughts and emotions and start anew. If Diet Coke isn't your thing, that's alright. Make it work for you, just leave the cupcakes on the counter ok?