It had been a long week and I was emotionally and physically overwrought. I had just come home from visiting my brother and helping him with the funeral home and planning the celebration of life for his wife. Our lives for the past three months since her pancreatic cancer diagnosis had been completely chaotic.
Not only was I recovering from a painful surgery, but I had been visiting my sister-in-law frequently and we had lost any semblance of a schedule or routine in our lives.
So when she had finally passed and I was home it all came crumbling down. My emotions, my body, and of course my home. My legs felt like lead and I was utterly exhausted, and all I wanted was a little order.
I needed my home clean. I needed to make a schedule for the week so I knew where the girls needed to be, what birthday parties we had, and what was necessary for work. And I needed to grocery shop, meal plan, and make healthy snacks. By taking care of my family and being present for Heather, my brother, and their son, I had completely and totally neglected ME.
I hadn’t worked out in ages. I was eating whatever I could find on the road, and I felt awful.
My husband was wonderful, he took the girls to a Miami Dolphins game so I could spend the day shopping and meal prepping for the week. I was so happy to have some quiet time to take care of myself and had my lists in hand when I entered the garage and saw it.
The tire going flat. There was a screw on the side and I knew if I drove the car to the store it would likely go flat. And I was fuming.
I was mad at my car. I was mad at my husband for not fixing it when a warning light flashed a few days earlier. I was mad everything was spinning out of control and I couldn’t fix it. So I did what every 43-year-old wise woman would do, sent my hubby angry emoji texts because I needed to take my anger out on someone!
After debating whether to take an Uber to go shopping or try a home delivery grocery service, I realized something. I had high expectations for my day. I wanted to take back control of my life and wanted to keep DOING. When what I really needed was to just BE.
So I took a deep breath and asked my husband to leave the game early if possible so I could use his car later. I adjusted my day and recognized that I couldn’t change the circumstances, only my reaction to it. I need to rid myself of expectations and listen to the universe tell me where I needed to be.
Which was in stillness.
The rest of the afternoon I read a book in the sun, floated on a raft and rested. I gave to myself what I’d neglected for months before, love and compassion. Because sometimes doing nothing is everything.
What I didn’t know in haste early on that Sunday afternoon was that the flat tire was a gift. It forced me to do something I would have never done. Rest.
It’s true what they say, “Expectations are the blueprint to disappointment”, and this is a lesson I am still trying to learn and teach our daughters. I find that the root of most of my anger in life comes when things don’t go the way I planned. And the same happens with our girls.
They want to wear an outfit that’s not washed, or are mad they can’t have a playdate, and when life doesn’t go the way they want they feel disappointed. And so do we.
But what we all need to remember to find the gift in every situation, even the hard ones.
So while the flat tire wasn’t ideal, and shelling out $200 bucks for a new tire wasn’t fun, at least I had some quiet time to reflect. There are lessons everywhere, if only we take the time to listen.