I'm trying to keep my business, my triplets, and my waistline under control. I excel at one of those, fail at another one of those, and one is a work in progress. Which is which is day dependant.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Temper Tantrum Par Excellence

This past Monday morning I had the mother of all temper tantrums. In Australian slang terms, I lost the plot spectacularly. I'm not talking the type of tantrum where you stamp your foot and yell until you get what you want. I'm talking about the kind of tantrum where you call your husband in big fat gulping hysterical tears and you tell him things like, "I've completely fucked this entire thing up, I've ruined people's lives, and I just don't know what to DDDDOOOOOOOO!!" and then you start saying a whole lot of the-world-is-ending stuff. While I'm a hugely emotive person (when I love you, you REALLY know it, and when I hate you, it's best to move out of the country entirely) but I am not one for tantrums of this sort. I'm much more of the "Houston, we have a problem!" pronouncement followed by a whole lot of PLANS and ACTION to make stuff happen. None of this resting on my laurels business, nope. Not for me, the 'sit and complain and do nothing' concept.

I'm not going to talk about what brought on the tantrum. Instead I'm going to talk about how stupid it was to have a tantrum in the first place - but how utterly necessary it was, too. Stupid to have it because even in the throes of it, I realised it was pointless, indulgent, and frankly a waste of my time. Stupid because I KNOW I'm a 'fixer,' and I knew I'd be able to figure it all out eventually - and if I couldn't, I certainly know a lot of clever people who might be able to help. Stupid because I'm not an attractive crier - and that day I was wearing an entirely cute outfit which would be utterly ruined by puffy eyes.  Sure, the ONE day I'm not wearing jeans and a t-shirt and THAT is the day I decide to look like shit, all runny nose and red eyes? Not a good look.

So if having this tantrum was stupid - why was it so necessary, and why am I in fact GLAD I had it in the first place? It was necessary because it reminded me - and I think sometimes I forget - that I am in fact, human. I make stupid decisions. I miscalculate things. I forget to plan, or plan poorly. While I would not say that I'm someone who thinks she is "all that AND a cupcake"...I certainly like to think I have it together, for the most part. I like to think that I do in fact have my business, my triplets and my wasitline under control all at the same time. To be reminded that maybe, just maybe it isn't always wine and roses - well, that was a useful (albeit painful) thing. It was uncomfortable. It was unpleasant. I really DID believe (and somewhere in the back of my mind lives the niggling bit of self-doubt, doesn't it?) that I'd royally messed things up and that all that I hold dear was coming crashing down. The idea of failure for me is ... almost unthinkable...and so to even be entertaining the thought, well, let me tell you. I really wished in that moment that I was a drinker.

That same day I'd planned to have lunch with a friend of mine, who in addition to being a friend is a fantastic mentor who does not allow pity parties or wallowing. She'll love you to death, hug you, pat you on the back - but she'll never say, "It will all be okay," because the fact is, she has NO idea if it will be and she's not inclined to bullshit you. When I finally finished crying to DH, he told me to pull myself together, wash my face, and go to lunch - and in the absence of any other plan, that's exactly what I did.

When she came to the door, she didn't look her usual self - she looked well and healthy, but something was off.  Turns out she'd recently heard about the unexpected passing of a good friend's husband - and as I'd rung the doorbell, she was on the phone to her friend.

I'm pretty sure that was the Universe smacking me in the head and saying, "Stop your crying. NOW." It seems like every time I want to wallow in self-pity, flagellate myself for doing something dumb, or in general engage in a bunch of "woe is me" thinking...it smacks me and reminds me that I'm not the centre of the Universe, and whatever it is I'm dealing with isn't a patch on what everyone else has going on. This does not mean my problems are any less important or any less real than they were an hour ago - they did not get magically erased, I don't magically feel any better about them, and I've still got to face the music in coming up with a way to turn the situation around. It just serves as a reminder to re-evaluate my own situation.

Lunch with my friend, while tinged with a bit of sadness, was the BEST possible antidote to the mother of all tantrums. I left her home feeling a hell of a lot better, filled with a resolve to deal with things rather than cry over things, and in fact a feeling of gratitude that I'd had my tantrum in the first place. Tantrums, I've decided, are nature's way of telling us to take stock. Nature's way of telling us we're just human, and that sometimes we will screw up and then feel like shit about it. Tantrums are also nature's way of giving us a means to let go of the bad stuff and make room for the good stuff - and while I'm sincerely hoping my next one is very, very far away (or maybe won't happen at all), I'm quite grateful for the one I had this week.

Besides which, I've discovered that a cute pink outfit and pink eyes do, in fact, look kinda okay together.

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