This post is for you. Yes, you. I know you. While you’re reading this, you have at least three other things going on in your head. If you’re lucky, you may be drinking a cup of coffee. You may have a child on your hip, or you may be at work, sneaking in a little internet time between tasks. You’re probably thinking about what you need to get done today, tonight, this weekend. If you’re organized, you may have a written list. (I applaud you). If you’re like me, you have several lists started on post-it notes; none of which are complete. We have a million things going on. We are exhausted. Mentally and physically. I get it. Being a human is tough.
At this moment, I am planning my five-year old’s birthday party, going through a divorce, recovering from surgery that removed a (benign) lump from my breast, taking care a of a sick two-year old, working full-time, managing my sad financial situation, keeping my house from not falling apart, and oh, yeah, trying to keep it together and not completely lose my sh*t.
Then I got a wake up call.
I have been told by several doctors in the past few months that my blood pressure was high. Sure, I heard them, but whatever, I had other things to worry about. Not to mention, I don’t have a family history of high blood pressure, I’m a healthy weight, I run 15 miles a week, and have a low sodium diet. There were no real major red flag risks.
My wake up call happened last Friday when I was at a doctor’s appointment and my resting blood pressure was 140 over 110. If you aren’t familiar with blood pressure numbers, that’s pretty high. He took it again. It was similar to the first reading. He took it again. You see where I’m going with this. My doctor said it was time to do something. He did not prescribe medication because I’ve been seeing him for years and he knows that my “normal” blood pressure is not high. He believes it’s situational high blood pressure. Um. Ok Doctor. But this “situation” is also know as “my life.” So what do I do? To be honest, I don’t really have an answer. I will tell you this though – one phrase has taken on a new meaning to me recently: One step at a time.
One. Step. At. A. Time.
I gotta be honest with you, I used to hate when people said this to me. Because as I nodded and said “yeah I know, I know,” in my head I was screaming, “But I don’t WANT to take it ‘one step at a time’! I want things in order and figured out and planned and settled NOW!” I am not a patient person. I am a planner. And I want things done NOW.
But guess what? I can’t control everything. Everything in my life is not going to be settled now. So, I have no choice but to take things one step at a time. And once I have begun to accept that, things don’t seem so overwhelming.
So I’m working on it. And I will continue to work on it. I’m prioritizing things, and doing what I can, one step at a time. It’s not easy. I still lose my sh*t. But I’m making an effort. Because I have to.
And this is my plea to you (because I know you can relate). Take care of yourself. Do it for your children, your family, everyone who loves you. Do it for you. Do it because you HAVE to. Without your mental health and/or physical health, you won’t be able to take care of anything or anyone else. So take care of you. Please.