Murphy’s Law: You drop a piece of toast, and the butter side falls face down, ruining the toast and creating a small mess to clean up. The document you spent the afternoon working on mysteriously saves to a location never to be found again by you or the IT team. Everyone seems to have forgotten how to drive (seriously – how does this happen?). The definition of a minor annoyance that seems to us like if it can happen, it will. My December seemed to be full of Murphy and his Law, striking much more frequently, all while I’m trying to jam 15 more thing into the day (also why you noticed we went super stealth quiet here on the blog).
As the holiday season turned from busy to frantic and my breaking point was near, I had an experience that made me think about Murphy’s Law, or rather the opposite of Murphy’s Law – whatever that may called. I had a busy day of running errands, planned out as efficiently as I could. Somewhere in the middle was an appointment with my stylist. The line at the post office was shorter than expected (seriously a Christmas miracle), and a couple of other things went timed just right, and I arrived at my appointment about 20 minutes early. At first, I was a bit annoyed, because it wasn’t enough time to do anything else I needed to do, but I didn’t have anything else in that part of town that would take just 20 minutes. I decided to go in and see if she was running behind, and maybe I could make another quick stop before the appointment.
I walked in and she was open; she had finished her previous client early. That’s just not a thing. I slipped into the chair, elated with my newfound time. I was struck by how lucky it was that she could take me right away. Sure, 20 minutes isn’t a huge deal and it would have been fine for me to wait. In fact, I could have probably used the 20 minutes to just sit and breathe for a minute, come to think of it. But at that point in my day, and that point in December, 20 minutes was EVERYTHING. I thought about how much we let the little, unlucky moments stick with us – it’s Murphy’s Law. We name it, and give it power. But what about the opposite? We don’t label the little, lucky moments or allow them to stick with us. We brush them off faster than they appear. I’m not big into resolutions, but I am into sharing ideas and letting other creative people name things. What should we call these moments? Those times when the stars do align? Two or three things do break in our favor? We happen to hit all the lights just right? What happens when we start to name the fortune things that happen? What happens when we give those things power? Take that, Murphy! We’re naming these things and giving the good fortune the power…we’re just not quite sure what to call them just yet.
– Catherine Wemette
Catherine has been described as relentlessly positive. She doesn’t think it was necessarily meant as a compliment, but dammit, she is going to take it as one, if for no other reason that she’s pretty sure it would irritate the person who said it. Catherine is the founder of Good for Her Soul and you can reach her here.
My jam of the moment is Sia’s The Greatest. The first time I heard it on the radio, it was the chorus that got me:
I’m free to be the greatest, I’m alive
I’m free to be the greatest here tonight, the greatest
The greatest, the greatest alive
The greatest, the greatest alive
I’m a total sucker for a catchy pump-me-up pop anthem. Every time. EVERY TIME. And when I find a new jam I like, I can’t stop listening to it. I find myself hitting repeat and listening to it everywhere – in the car, at the gym, getting ready for work, crossing things off my to-so list. And when you’ve got a message like “And uh-oh, I see another mountain to climb but I got stamina” you’re pretty much ready to take on the world after a few good listens/rock out sessions in your car (who hasn’t been caught at a red light mid-concert?). And what’s better than that?
Despite a six year run of show choir growing up (oh, the magical combination of sequins and jazz hands!), Catherine is still waiting for her big break. While she’s waiting, you can reach her here.
So we’ve been a little quiet on the blog here and I’m sorry about that. I could make up something amazing, but the fact is that I’ve simply been overwhelmed. I realize that’s a word that gets thrown around a lot. And worse yet, gets overly justified a lot – we feel the need to weirdly and competitively list everything that’s overwhelming us to prove to people just how crazy things are for us. Perhaps we’ll address that in a future blog, but in the meantime, I’m going to just skip that part and not give you the laundry list of things that have been going on. Maybe it would sound overwhelming to you and maybe it wouldn’t. It doesn’t really matter because everything has been overwhelming to me and I’m the one who had to deal with it, so overwhelming it is.
And dealing with feeling overwhelmed has looked very different, depending on the stage of life I’m in. Some of my coping mechanisms are more healthy than others, but over the years I’ve learned to cut myself some slack. For better or worse, nothing is forever, and while I logically know that, it doesn’t keep it from sucking while I’m in the middle of whatever is going on. And while my coping mechanisms have ebbed and flowed over the years, one thing has remained the same – my straight up ugly cry.
The way my mom tells it, as a small child, I used to get so tired and worn out that I was just start to sob. Even as a baby, I would be so exhausted that there was no other way to get everything out and I would just cry and cry. Things haven’t changed that much. I’m a grown-ass woman (with the tote bag to prove it!) and whenever I’m this overwhelmed and this exhausted, it usually leads to one complete meltdown where everything comes out my eyeballs (and my nose, because let’s be honest about the ugly cry). And while it’s awful while it’s happening and I feel so full of despair, it also usually helps. Also not surprising, these sobs usually come at night, when I’m exceptionally tired. So the combination of getting everything out and then some sleep is typically enough to re-energize me for the next day to keep pushing forward.
I share this because I think there’s comfort in knowing we’re not alone. Most of the time we don’t see the big ugly cry from people and we convince ourselves that everyone is adulting much better than we are. And sure – sometimes, some of them are. But most of the time, most of us are dealing with our own version of the big ugly cry and we’re not at all alone in that. So while we logically know things will get better – or at the very least seem better in the morning – sob on my friends. I’ll be right there with you and we’ll all feel better after a good cry.
Catherine’s preferred tissue of choice for the big ugly cry is Puffs Ultra Strong. She is the founder of Good for Her Soul and yes, she is available for a Puffs endorsement deal. In the meantime, you can reach her here.
It’s not always exactly the same, but the theme is definitely there. I’m headed to class and realize I haven’t completed my final paper. Or even started it. In a slightly different twist, sometimes I’m getting ready to go on stage and realize I don’t know any of my lines and all of the sudden I can’t remember being at any rehearsals, either. I wake up with this feeling of panic and it takes me a while to pinpoint why and assure myself that it’s been a very long time since I’ve had a final and even longer than I’ve been on stage (I mean, they’re still talking about my amazing sixth grade performance in the suburbs of Minnesota since I nailed that, but that was a while ago).
I’m clearly not alone and not even remotely original in my overworked subconscious. In fact, when you Google “reoccurring dreams,” the first article that comes up is from Psychology Today and opens with an example of being late for your final exam. And it doesn’t take an advanced degree in psychology to understand I most likely have these dreams during periods of stress and transition. At this exact second, I’m in the middle of a career transition, am preparing for the Good for Her Soul launch event (info coming soon!), my husband is job searching after being laid off earlier this year, and we’re dealing with a legal issue that’s been in the court system for the past six months with no end in site. And it’s the holiday season. Any of these alone can make me feel a little out of control on a good day, but the combination is clearly stressing me out and affecting my sleep cycle.
I’ve always been an active dreamer and typically remember most of my dreams, for better or worse. But in the middle of all the craziness, I’m looking for new ways to try and help my overworked brain, so I think I’m going to try and dream journal for the first time. I’m curious about whether or not this makes any difference or helps me sort things out so I can go back to random dreams about funny animals and people from my past I haven’t seen in years.
Anyone else had any experience with this? I’d love to hear what helps you rest your weary brain and get some good sleep.
Catherine has a strict one hour time limit for Christmas decorations in her home. She is the founder of Good for Her Soul and you can reach her here.
“You can’t pour into all the areas of your life if your own cup is empty.”
In the last few weeks, I have seen images with messages similar to this pop up quite a bit on FaceBook. Since this message resonates with me as of late, it got me thinking…
With the busyness of everyday life and demanding schedules, we all need to find time every so often to withdraw and recharge our minds, bodies and souls. It is important to pay attention to our wants and needs, and it’s okay to be self-focused and put ourselves before others so that we can be our best selves.
Lately, it seems that most friends and family I talk to are being pulled in a thousand different directions and have little time to tend to the level of their ‘cups’. There is no doubt that life, no matter how you are living it, is demanding and stressful. It seems we spend every waking hour dedicated to getting something accomplished or marked off of life’s to-do list. Yet, often it is taking time for ourselves that either doesn’t make the list or keeps getting pushed down to the bottom of the list.
We all have our ‘life has become overwhelming’ limits. Some of us need the downtime on a daily basis due to challenging, stressful jobs or life situations. Others may need to recharge a few times a week or a few times a month. For some recharging means a daily workout. For others, it may mean spending time alone in a quiet room reading a book or enjoying some focused quality family time. Maybe you recharge by immersing yourself in a crowd for a fun night out on the town. We all have different thresholds for when life drains us to our limits, and we all have varying ways to recharge our minds, bodies, and souls. The important thing is to make yourself the priority and carve out that time to dedicate to filling your own cup.
I’m one of those that needs time alone in a quiet space. How do you recharge?
– Joanna Heilig
Joanna is an expert in moving two small children and two adults into a new build home and all the joys* such an adventure brings. She can DIY almost anything and is a freelance editor. You can reach her here.
*tears, yelling and tantrums…mostly from the adults