Posted on October 7, 2016
Mama said there’d be days like this
I am sick. The kids are sick. The house is a mess and things are all over the place, disorganized. Work has been an absolute gong show and it seems like the list of tasks I have to accomplish both at home and in the office are a mile long. It’s making me incredibly flustered and frustrated and both Mr. Tucker and I are feeling overwhelmed.
(she says she is “too busy”, as she sits down and writes)
Seriously, I feel like a bag of smashed buttholes
It’s easy when I am overwhelmed to throw my hands in the air and start making bad decisions because they are easier. It’s easier to take the kids through the drive-thru for dinner, it’s easier to buy my lunch, not fold the laundry, or drive instead of walk. But it’s exactly when things are at their worst where I need to double-down and say: enough.
It’s much harder to stay the course when you are under pressure either with work, with family/friends or with your finances. In fact, long-term stress such as being poor can affect your ability to make good decisions. While obviously I don’t suffer from that level of stress, I think most people would be able to see how stress can lead to poor decision making in their own lives. When faced with a myriad of mountains we have to tackle during high-stress periods, it’s easier to let the good things slip. We may eat more sugary or fatty foods, spend more money, or let our good exercise habits slip.
Unfortunately, the high-stress periods are the times where I really need to DOUBLE-DOWN on good habits. When I spiral during periods of high-stress it may take me weeks to come around to getting back on track, well after the chaos has ended. It makes more sense to actually push through the terrible period and keep with as many good habits as I can because reigning in one or two bad habits it much easier than reigning in five or ten.
So I am really proud of Mr. Tucker and I for getting through this crazy week. I may have had to take days off work due to illness, and I spend most of the day sleeping off this flu but we still stuck as closely as we could to our normal schedule. The floors are filthy and the laundry is piled in heaps on our bedroom floor but we didn’t succumb and eat out this week despite exhaustion and illness we didn’t bail on the kid’s activities at all.
But this is really what needs to happen. When you are at your weakest, when you are the most tempted to make bad decisions, it’s the best time to dig deep and try and give a little more. I know that sounds like a weak platitude you may see in a Facebook post but in real life it makes a lot of sense. I am pretty sure if I kept count, I made most of my bad decisions during times of high stress. Digging deeper doesn’t mean I will make 100% good decisions even during stressful periods (you’ll notice that I didn’t spend a weeknight folding laundry, for example) but I made good decisions where it counted: we didn’t spend money unnecessarily or get drunk on Tuesday night which would have put us even further behind in financial and health goals.
So finally it’s Friday night – pizza and a movie night in our house – and Mr. Tucker and I can sit down and enjoy a well-deserved beer and a slice while we hangout as a family. It will be especially sweet knowing that with the extra day this long weekend we will be able to get our lives pretty much back to normal – and then some. After a week of vacation followed by a week of illness and stress, Monday will be a good Thanksgiving indeed.