Once upon a time, an otherwise very sane, got-her-shit-together girl had a Very Bad Day. It was more than just a shitty day, and having a nice cup of tea and a sit down just didn't seem to be the solution.
Even though the tea didn't help as much as it usually did, the time she spent sitting quietly certainly did. In that time, the stressed, sad, disappointed, angry, hurt, and frightened girl did this:
- She de-clumped her issues. Rather than staring into an abyss of an overwhelmingly enormous problem, she separated out her feelings and troubles into bite-sized pieces. She realised she was frightened for her mum and her family and herself because her mum wasn't well. She realised she was hurt and angry and confused by her father's seeming bad temper towards her and others. And she was horribly disappointed at a project that she had worked so hard on, but that had ultimately fallen a little flat.
- She let herself feel all of those feelings one by one. It took a long time. Sometimes she cried. Other times she cringed in mortification. Other times she felt very, very angry. She let all those feelings flow over her from the tip of her toes to the absolute last follicle on her head. She drank a lot of tea, but mostly she let her mind wander.
- After she had de-clumped, everything seemed a little less huge and a lot more manageable.
- In a few days, she knew her mum would find out the results of her tests. I can do nothing until then, so while I'll do it anxiously, I'll just wait and see she resolved. She also decided it was a pretty good time to feel blessed to have a lovely mum who she values so much, and passed on that sentiment in the best way she knew how.
- In the meantime, she also realised that while a lot had gone wrong at work, a lot of stuff had gone right. She identified the trouble spots and resolved No way in hell that shit's happening to me again! She learnt from her mistakes, and moved on. She realised with gratitude that because so much work had gone in at the start, the disaster was not as huge as it could have been. She was grateful no one was hurt.
- She thought about her dad. He was a complex creature. And she suddenly realised something: Our parents are not the perfect humans we thought they were when we kids. In fact, they're not just parents. They're adult humans - the same thing as me! This sudden, shocking realisation is all about being an adult. It's how we learn to not be our parents - some people never see that. She also realised something else - his stroppiness wasn't really about her or her sisters - they were just easy people to take it out on because forgiveness was practically guaranteed, and they just happened to be there at the time. She thought once it's not personal towards me, it's no longer quite so personal. She also thought about confronting her old dad - why is it you're so angry, dad? She actually rather looked forward to his answer. Maybe she'd learn more about this fallible person who brought her up? Maybe he had no idea how his behaviour was impacting on her. Maybe he would learn something about his grown-up daughter.
After she'd mulled and processed all of her lessons learnt and firmly put her resolutions into place, she did the following:
- Washed her hair
- Shaved her legs
- Prettied herself up
- Had dinner, a cocktail and a good old fashioned gossip (it's healthy!) with a good friend in a lovely location
- Fell asleep happier and saner.... All set for tomorrow. It is, after all, a brand new day.
Just when the caterpillar thought the world had ended...
she turned into a butterfly