Well, it finally happened. I lost my marbles.
Up until my 33rd week of pregnancy, I was holding it together pretty well. I was staying on top of all my responsibilities, my mood was stable, and I was cruising along thinking “I guess I’m just really good at this whole pregnancy thing, doesn’t seem to be phasing me a bit!”
Then came the straw that broke the preggo camel’s back; we closed on our first house, all my stuff got put into boxes and piled into a garage, my eventual home turned into a scene out of HGTV’s Fixer Upper, and next thing you know I’m sitting in my car on my 32nd birthday bawling my eyes out because Arby’s was out of cheddar sauce.
I was just trying to bring food to my dad, brother, and husband slaving away on projects at the new house (that was my birthday request, instead of a dinner out). It was 9pm, people were hangry, there was no cheese and I had decided that all hope was lost. The Arby’s worker made sure to tell me that “it’s not our shifts fault that there’s no cheddar sauce, it was the shift before us that screwed up”. I wanted to drop a little knowledge on her at that moment but I was already getting choked up so I just nodded.
It had already been a rough week at work because, well, people management isn’t always easy and not everyone cares that it’s your birthday when they decide to be difficult. And that was actually okay because for the first time in my life, I didn’t even care about my birthday. I have another “birth day” coming up that is occupying much more of my focus. Too much of my focus..
As I was getting ready to go to bed and put the day behind me, my mom asked (I’m staying with my parents while we’re in transition):
“What time do you have to be up tomorrow?”
“No certain time, just whenever” **pause** “Wait no, NOT whenever! I teach tomorrow morning!”
I had come this close to completely forgetting an appointment for the third time this week. It’s like my brain just doesn’t work properly anymore. So frustrating!! I’ve now given people strict instructions to text me if I’m even two minutes late for a meeting. I’m either going to be on time or I’ve completely forgotten about it. There’s no in between.
More tears came this morning when I realized I didn’t know where I had packed my socks and I didn’t have a clean pair of maternity workout pants to wear. I taught in a pair of my black pajama shorts and just hoped no one would notice.
When I reflect on it, my 32nd birthday wasn’t necessarily enjoyable but it was memorable for a few reasons. It felt good to have my family helping me at my new house while a friend I’d hired was cleaning my old house. I wasn’t having “fun” but I felt held up by the people around me. It was my first birthday as Nick’s wife and my last one before I become a mother. I only have this one birthday like that. Also, it was my first birthday that didn’t involve alcohol since I turned 21 (and probably before then but I honestly don’t remember) Pregnancy is a very special time but it’s certainly no party!
Here are 32 Things I Know Now That I’m 32:
- Anytime you think you have it all together, you’re about to lose it. It’s that whole “what goes up must come down” thing. Those moments are fleeting.
- No one likes people who have it all together all the time anyways – because they’re liars.
- Sometimes a good cry is just what you need to feel better. It’s like liquid stress leaving the body through your eye sockets.
- Black pajama shorts DO pass for workout clothes when you’re in a pinch.
- No one wants to hear you pass blame (Arby’s girl). It’s much more endearing to just admit fault and apologize sincerely. **Except when you’re pregnant and forget an appointment. Blame preggo brain in that case (but you should still say you’re sorry).
- There are always going to be people who care about you more than you thought they did…and those who care about you less than you thought they did. You will usually find both out in times of crisis…real true crisis or a mini “crisis”. Either way, take note.
- Painting a room can make all the difference in the world – it will also take twice as long as planned and be three times as tedious. Still worth it.
- Learning to cope with life’s stresses without the aid of a glass of wine is a valuable skill…even if this skill is learned by force and not by choice.
- Bad days are a necessary part of life.
- Better days are always just around the corner.
- The mix of bad and good days is what makes life interesting.
- If you let someone’s behavior ruin your day, it’s your fault not theirs.
- Doing it yourself isn’t always the way to go. Hire someone who deserves your hard earned money and enjoy all the extra time and sanity.
- Doing it yourself is also incredibly gratifying. It’s all about choosing your moments.
- If you’re at a stage of life where you are capable of doing it yourself and can occassionally afford not to…you’re incredibly blessed.
- You can’t be “good” or “bad” at being pregnant. You just are.
- Managing people will always make you feel like a screw up but you’re not. You’ve just been given a job that’s impossible to do perfectly.
- A bad start to a year is not indicative of a bad year ahead. It’s just one day. This idea is applicable to a lot of things. Don’t give anything more weight than it deserves.
- If you can learn how to give yourself grace, your sense of inner peace will increase exponentially. You’ll also be better at giving it to others.
- Stress management and self-care take on a whole new meaning when your body isn’t just your own anymore.
- Asking for and accepting help is not a sign of weakness. Human beings are meant to be social and to depend on one another in order to thrive. Embrace this.
- Done is better than perfect.
- People will always find a reason to be offended. This does not mean you should overthink everything you do.
- Black and white is an illusion. Everything in life is a shade of gray (including the walls in my new house).
- Having a joint checking account with your spouse makes life SO much easier (even though it’s a pain to switch banks). Be a team.
- You’ll almost never be able to change someone’s opinion of you. Direct your energy towards something more worthwhile.
- In my baby book, my mother described me as “bossy” in her entry for each birthday of my early years! I grew up to be a leader. I like that about me because clearly, I was born this way.
- Unresolved conflict is one of the worst things for your health. Go to the source. Deal with it. Don’t avoid. You’ll feel better.
- Letting go is always better than holding on. This applies to everything; hurt feelings, negativity, clothes you don’t wear, things you don’t use, labels, limiting beliefs, resentment, expectations, ego…
- The shorter the list of things is that you “tolerate”, the happier you’ll be. Chip away at it. Little things add up.
- Sharing your imperfections connects you to others. Do it often.
- This next year is going to be my best one yet!!