I used to have a signal for myself when things were getting out of control in my life – I started getting parking tickets. It was a combination of not paying attention to the rules of the world because I was distracted by something else and in some way thinking those rules didn’t apply to me. “I won’t get a ticket”, I’m me.”. Most of the time I’d get a ticket.
This has been a horrifically difficult time of late, I’ve hardly been posting on Twitter, I’ve rarely blogged, because well, everything I have to say is moany and negative. I’m in that place. But it’s time to talk about that place for a minute. It hit me as I was standing in line at the Coffee Bean with my son after picking him up from school.
I’ve been attending a conference all week, getting up very early, dropping my son off early at school and picking him up late. Attendance is mandatory this week and it has been exhausting and at times excruciatingly boring. This morning (Friday) my son had a nightmare at about 4:45am and neither of us got back to sleep. I was so tired and so discouraged by the week that I just decided to call in and tell them my son was sick and I couldn’t make it. The last day, the last time I needed to be there, I wanted sleep, and some time alone, time to get some other things done. Understandable, but I had showed up on time every day before and just needed this one last day to complete this conference. But I didn’t. I just couldn’t. And if I didn’t, I’d have blown the week – those were the rules and I knew it. But did I?
So, did I think I could get away with that because I am ME? That they would let me skate by on the last day even though every day attendance is required? Yes, honestly, part of me felt they would. Why? I have no idea. I am no one special to them, I am one amongst perhaps 40 in this group. Will they let me slide? I don’t know, they never got back to me and when I called in the secretary told me she gave the message to the moderator but I never heard back from him. Her suggestion.? Show up on Monday as planned. Just like I should have done on Friday and not created this mess. So why create the mess? One more day was all I needed to endure.
I was doing so well, following the rules of life, living life on life’s terms, whether I liked them or not. Acceptance is the answer to all my problems today – really taking things as they came, showing up honestly….so why did I put myself in this situation? I was tired, yes. I was cranky, yes. I was over it, yes. But i signed up and committed to it and I only had one more day. One more day and I have potentially thrown everything out the window.
Concurrently, when I picked up my son from Kindergarten I saw he got a yellow card in class meaning something went wrong (green is best). He told me he had punched a girl who had punched him. Now, there are all kinds of things wrong with this of course and I told him everything he needed to know, for the twelfth time. If someone bothers you, go to a teacher, never hit, follow the rules. Rather hypocritical if you ask me. I really had to hold off on any kind of major scolding because I had acted as much as he, as a five year old did, in his own mind. Me as a reaction to my body’s tiredness, his to being hit and reacting in kind, we both broke the rules because we didn’t think they applied to us even though we’ve been told they do, only I have about one million more times than he has.
Gratefully I don’t do this kind of thing very often anymore. I used to live like this and I used to condemn those who I knew who did it. Again, rather hypocritical. But clearly when I do it, I go for it 100%. I don’t know what the consequence of my lazy action will be but I have no choice but to accept the consequences and continue to be exhausted from them (and myself).