Oh September, I was not sad to see you go. You were a doozy! Silly me, anticipating a smooth return to routine.
Instead, I found myself without childcare (True story: The Y after school program can fill up if you procrastinate too long.) There were multiple back to school nights and sports 6+ days per week. There were High Holidays off from school, without childcare. We started a basement construction project. My brother loomed large in my thoughts, especially around his birthday. My son needed oral surgery at the children’s hospital, involving multiple pre-op appointments and then the actual, difficult day.
All this, while working full-time.
So the first thing that suffered, of course, was my job. My family’s needs were my family’s needs and they could not take a back seat. I justified it by recognizing that it was a limited period of time, this transition back to school. But as the month went on, it dragged on and on, with seemingly no end in sight.
Then came the additional stress in feeling that I was not doing my job well. That sneaky one is always just below the surface, threatening to emerge when I struggle to keep all of those balls in the air. I recognized that I needed to make some changes, but until I had a better handle on my family’s demands, I could not begin to figure out how to better things.
So, things start to snowball, right? When things feel out of control, the more time that passes without some direction, the worse that it feels. The worse that things feel, the more anxious I get. Until, of course:
But here’s the amazing thing about low points. After I hit bottom, feeling stuck and sad and lost, I can begin to pull myself together. I put all this effort and energy in keeping things going, trying to do it all. But once I actually admit things are too difficult to shoulder alone – which is SO hard to concede – it’s like I finally have permission to share my struggles, and then pick up the pieces and move forward.
Maybe one of these tough times, I will skip the misery and instead, consciously seek out whatever support I need. Until then, I can revel in the fact that we all made it through September, mostly unscathed.