May comes and goes. Most of the time I'm sitting here wondering how we'll survive the last full month of school with next-to-no days off. We are spoiled by the rest of the school year when we're given a teacher workday or holiday our friends may celebrate. Not this year. I've been minimally impacted by school. I do feel it, just not to the same degree.
But I did push my own limits. I didn't just stretch myself…. I dove head-first into the depths of overwhelm.
Over a month ago, I planned a specific ad to promote my summer sessions. It was easily 6+ weeks ago. I've been taking other steps so my eggs are not in the same basket. I purposely targeted May for a variety of reasons. So when I opened my local magazine and flipped through excitedly…. It. Wasn't. There.
I paged through a second time. My family paged through. Nothing. It's not there. I snapped. The efforts that I put into it. The time. The energy. The money.
It's like taking a test that you studied really hard for. Spent time in study groups and poured over your notes. You get the grade and it's not the "A" you expected… it's worse, a C-!
As a coach, I know my tools. I barked a little at my family because the timing couldn't have been worse. It was a half hour before the webinar I had planned a month ago. I had to get into the zone and still be at my best. And I did …. although listening to it now, I hear a nervousness that I didn't feel. Weird.
And then it happened. The waterworks came. The sadness, the hurt and the anger. The self doubt. See kids. It does happen to grown-ups too! It was like not making the team… doubting myself and my value. Looking for an easy win. I had the amazing support of my husband who said all the right things and let my tears and one or two chosen swear words fly out.
The after-effects of the ugly girl cry, mixed in with a bit of anxiety has caused some lingering physical soreness today. I'm embarrassed by my reaction, even though I was in a safe space. I can usually dust myself off pretty well. This one just hurt.
A quick email and follow up phone call fixed everything, as expected. So why share something so vulnerable? Honestly, I'm not 100% sure, but I do know this. It came from a sense of wanting to do good. Excitement on the possibilities, the challenges I place upon myself. It's my own sense of high standards and working hard. I am putting all of my energy into something I love.
This is not dissimilar to what our teens are putting on themselves! High expectations placed on them by us parents, maybe their teachers, coaches and, mostly, themselves. The pressures today are so different from when I was a teen. Perhaps it's the rural area I grew up in. Maybe I'm just old and don't fully remember. Maybe I just wasn't a "popular kid" and was insulated by my small group of friends. Or, the more likely thing, is that we as a society have changed that much.
While bus driving, I always had an opportunity to chat with a few of my high schoolers who were early to the bus on in the afternoon. One specifically wanted to be an architect. Her artwork was amazing. Detailed. And I remember the smiles on her face when she shared. She complained one day about getting a "B" on a test. And I simply asked what I always ask my kids…. "Did you try your best?". Her answer was a quick yes, follow by "but my parents expect"….
I certainly don't expect parents to parent the same way. Heck, in a few small ways, my husband and I do. But parent-to-parent, be present for your kids. I know I'm guilty of not really listening to my family when they're telling me something. I'm often lost in my to-do list and what I can check off. I have to remind myself that these are the moments that I thrive off of. Just tonight, my daughter was telling me about "mom jokes" and she claimed "I can't tell mom jokes. You've met my mom and she's a wonderful woman!". *SNIFF*. My teenager said THAT?!
So I ugly-girl cried. Clearly I needed to release the stress that has been long building up. A good night sleep, some "dusting off" and getting right back to my passion has me laser focused. I am NOT those negative things I told myself in the middle of a high peek of stress. I am resilient. And I know YOU ARE too!