Losing the Battle–Learning to Surrender

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I know I spoke about the post-holiday wrap up the other day but I’ve been left feeling particularly out of sorts the last few days.  To preface this, I know the universe works in funny ways (I’ve even spoken about that in my work over the last few months) but sometimes it feels like there are some bonus rounds that prove especially challenging.  I’ve laid out a lot of plans for the next decade and I have declared who I want to be.  So naturally the consequence of that is the universe testing my resolve to be that person.  I do believe we grow through practice and dedication, but the last few days have proven next level for me.  Now onto the nitty gritty details because today feels like it requires some venting.

My husband had put in for this entire week off (the whole week of Christmas) back in June.  I followed suit since we were hosting the holiday and it fell mid-week.  Both of our time was approved so we proceeded with planning early on in the year (well, early for Christmas).  We had the whole month carefully mapped out so we could prepare and set up and that included a real ramp up the week of Christmas as we needed to finish the last minute details.  I mean, I had cookies to bake the week before because they would be gifts as well as dessert at the party, we had presents to wrap (and finish buying), we had to finalize projects at work, cleaning the house, decorating the house, buying the food, rearranging the house to accommodate everyone, and people to coordinate tasks with—all while working 40 hours a week (not counting side projects).  All completely normal things.  Then the shit started to hit the fan.

At the beginning of the month (around the first or second of December) my husband was told that he couldn’t take his time off.  Now aside from me questioning the morality and even the legality of cancelling someone’s vacation that they’ve had planned (and APPROVED) for half a year without compensation, I found myself spiraling into some minor desperation.  There was quite literally a list that needed at least two people to complete and now it would ALL come down to me.  My husband did what he could and set up the lights around the house while I was working.  However, in spite of him doing those few things, I held the lion’s share of the work.

So, I was emotionally hurt because we haven’t had any time off together in the last 8 years and any time I have taken off has been about taking care of the house.  Any sense of completing the holiday work without running around like a chicken with my head cut off evaporated in a second.  Nevertheless I pulled myself up and began doing things earlier than we had planned and I did less than I normally did.  Not a huge deal as things still looked great and I knew we were going to have a wonderful party.  I finished those cookies (all 10 kinds), I finished buying those presents, I wrapped those presents (about a million of them 😊),  I bought the food, I lugged up the table, I cleaned and cleaned and cleaned, I set up all the way to the day of Christmas, and we DID have a wonderful time.  Now queue the explosive diarrhea of the universe.

As I’m extremely proud of myself for getting through an amazing and blessed holiday, I feel the emotional surge waning.  Maybe it was the crash of dopamine and post-holiday blues kicking in at the same time, I don’t know.  But the last two days I felt myself drop into a complete breakdown of epic proportions.  Full on tantrums and hissy fits abound, screaming at my husband for things he had no control over, expressing frustration with my son and the animals—everything.  Seeing the remaining disaster of my house after the party left me overwhelmed and lost as I didn’t even know where to begin cleaning.  Brief side note, my son hadn’t been feeling well throughout the holiday starting over the weekend.  He actually woke up at 2AM on Christmas with a horrible reflux attack that left the whole bed and himself covered in sick.  We handled it but I knew we were in for the long haul.  He did ok on Christmas day but the next day lord help me what came out of that child’s rear end was next level.

My day started with my little man saying he wasn’t feeling well.  We ate a light breakfast and I let him sit with me until he felt a little better.  He played, I tried to clean, we watched TV for about an hour.  Then his stomach gurgled.  “Oh shit,” immediately went through my head but I had no idea how right I was.  The amount of liquid poop that filled that diaper completely blew my mind not to mention the stench.  Naturally once the diaper was opened, the poop followed the path of least resistance and covered my child and the floor.  I freaked because there was now poop on my floor so in addition to cleaning up everything from the party, now the carpet had to be cleaned—and a toddler.  I got my son into the bath and made sure he was feeling ok  My husband wasn’t home and the carpet cleaner we have is brand new so I had no idea how to work it.  This was the straw that broke the camel’s back and completely flipped my crazy.

I didn’t even recognize myself because of some of the horrible things I was saying.  I felt terrible for my son because he had no idea why I was so upset—and he was already not feeling well.  I had literally set my intention to not be this way anymore and here we were.  Me hands deep in poop, a carpet cleaner I didn’t know how to work, laundry to be done, dishes to be done, toys to clear and put away, tons of containers to condense or breakdown, garbage that had been sitting there (and my husband couldn’t be bothered to take out), a child who wanted nothing but to be held or to play, and feeling completely alone.  THEN.  THEN the dog started with the diarrhea.  I swear, so much poop.

Honestly at that point, I didn’t know what to do.  I’m tearing my hair out and nothing is getting done which made me want to tear my hair out even more, my husband is telling me his chest is hurting from the stress and that he can’t leave work (so I’m freaking out about his health), and I haven’t showered in two days.  So I screamed.  Literally screamed.  I knew I was done for.  This was now the point where I couldn’t do another damn thing.  So I sat and I waited somewhere between screaming and crying.  There is one feeling that I hate above any other: helplessness—especially helplessness from relying on others.  Usually that is followed by feeling angry and dramatic at the fact that there are very few people that I can rely on.

So here I am trying to make sense of this cosmic joke when my husband informs me that he is not feeling well.  So even with another person here—I STILL HAVE TO DO EVERYTHING.  I’m exhausted to the bone and frustrated.  He even had the audacity to ask for another Christmas gift in the midst of all of this.  My child proceeded to have another blow out today so we had another bath.  And the absolute cherry on top—now I’m feeling the dreaded tummy gurgle myself.  I am trying to dig deep with everything in me to find some energy to continue to take care of those around me and finish what legitimately needs to be done.  This well feels dry.

All I can do right now is surrender.  There is nothing else.  I know that I am not going to win this battle.  I don’t understand why something as basic as cleaning a house is such a struggle and I really don’t understand why my husband is so unwilling to help (the man literally pretended to be asleep with the blow out today ☹).  I have to regroup and try again.  No, it isn’t on my terms but I know there has to be a way through this.  I have to just wade through the poop (quite literally) and hope that I can get everything together for the upcoming week.  Because in addition to New Year’s Eve and the New Year, my son’s birthday party is on Saturday.  Here’s to a less shit filled week.

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