I hopped out of the shower…wait. There was no hopping. I mean, safety first and all, but also – I’m drained, so there’s not much hopping happening at the moment. You know, like when the gas gauge goes below the little red “E” line? And not just like a little bit, but a LOT. But I digress – after the shower, I was getting ready for the day, and even though it was pre-6am, my mind was already whirling. My daughter had woken up in a coughing fit shortly before 5am, so I’d sat with her until she fell back asleep, which can be such a lovely, snuggly feeling, but when my energy is in certain modes, it can also be primetime for the thought glitterbomb to explode. And that’s exactly what happened.
Hence, an hour or so later, deodorant in hand, I realized I was actually applying my second coat! Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for powder fresh scented armpits, but it made me pause. Just how distracted was I – really – by what was going through my head? And more importantly – is this the tone I want to set for the rest of the day? And also…maybe with all this stuff churning about, a second layer of pit-juice protection may not be such a bad idea after all.
The original title of this blog post was “Do you want your boss in bed with you?”
That’s an intentional question that first came from a coaching session with a client who was in a toxic work situation. She was sharing with me how much time she was spending thinking about him, his behavior, how much she disagreed with his direction, how it was keeping her up at night and she was finding herself awake in bed at 3am, all spun up about the situation. I looked at her and asked, “Do you really want your boss in bed with you?” She, of course, was visibly disgusted, and we both burst into laughter at the absurdity of the mental picture that created. As someone prone to stress-related insomnia, I’ve never forgotten that, especially when I’m tossing and turning. I’ve gotten better at tuning into my thoughts, taking stock of what is capturing my attention and what I’m giving energy to. I’ve also gotten MUCH better at noticing those thoughts, releasing them, and then choosing to think new ones.
But this morning it seemed like that thought glitterbomb had just exploded and now 6 oscillating fans were blowing that thought glitter all over my brain and back. I actually had to go sit down with my journal, and I listed out everything that was in there. I’ll spare you the full list, but it included things like:
- My good friend’s 2-year-old nephew is dying of terminal brain cancer, how absolutely freaking unfair and unimaginably painful is this…
- My daughter was coughing on and off last night – is she getting sick? I’m traveling for work next week, who is going to cover that if she can’t go to school?
- Is this the weekend we’re actually going to take down the last of the holiday decorations and maybe even put all those boxes back up in the attic?
- I wonder if it’s too early to start planning summer vacation…
- When was the last time I took my car in for an oil change?
And on. And on. And on.
So – what’s to be done? I’ve tried lots of things over the years, and honestly, it depends on what the circumstances actually are. Some days (like today) I get them all out in writing so I can sort through them and see what – if any – require action or addressing. Some days, I sit in my big yellow chair and allow myself to feel my way through them – what’s the emotional connection, and what seems to need some space, some attention, some love, some processing? Sometimes I bump into one (or 2 or 10) that call my attention to the fact I’m feeling overwhelmed and in need of support, and that’s my cue to reach out and ask for that or find a way to provide it for myself. Sometimes I simply notice the swirl of thoughts and let myself cry if that feels good or stretch if that feels good, or lay back down and close my eyes if that feels good.
And sometimes, I lean into that second layer of deodorant because the truth is, distracted or not, I’m probably going to need it. Some days are just like that.