Thursday, May 1, 2014

Failure and I

I get overly dramatic once in a while. It starts inside my head - little whispers that follow up experiences where I believe I should've done something different. I weenied out and didn't make the kids a vegetable for dinner. Failure. I skipped flossing (again) and between my teeth looks really yellow now. Lazy. I feel so over one kid's screaming when something doesn't go their way, but can't figure out how to help. Failure. Apparently "lazy" gets thrown in there too sometimes. 

How did I get here? I always ask this because I like to prevent pain, down times, bad weather and flu season. Somehow, I think it's less ridiculous to assume control over the first two. So let's backtrack with perfect 20/20 hindsight and see where I went wrong. First, I volunteered for all sorts of things in March and they carried into mid-April. Ironically, that's when Brian's schedule (as a principal) picks up in the countdown to graduation. So when I was ready to let down and take it easy (recoup), it wasn't in the cards. Then WHAM! My hormones hip-checked me off the ledge I was balancing on. If you don't know what I'm talking about, read this. It's how hormones happen for me. Which, for the record, I thought was a myth until pregnancy. Hormones are real, folks. Very real. 

But back to the volunteering that had me in my low/exhausted spot. I want to do all these things and don't accept the fact that they'll run me into the ground. Especially if they're all at the same time. I understand it. I know I'm not the most energetic person on the planet and require more sleep than most, but I'm trying to be okay with it. I just hold out hope, EVERY freaking time, that I will tap into this other personality that has just been waiting in the wings all these years. A super-er, super-mamma who can handle all the people and the chaos and the commitments. Where in Sam hill is she anyway? You'd think I'd learn after all these no-shows, I'm just me. I'm enough. If I decide to volunteer and it chews me up and spits me out or I decide to say, "No, now's not a good time. Check back when I have a personality transplant," I'm enough either way. That's what I kept telling the whispers. "I'm enough...I'm enough." 

Well starting Monday, the whispers got louder instead of listening to my brave little mantra. Not very nice, those voices. Every day I didn't call to check on my mom (who's taking care of her husband after his cancer treatment) I felt terrible. Every day I didn't take my new little niece's mamma some food, I felt like she might not know how much I care. I was getting miserable. And those were the big things, but the criticism started to bleed out into everything I did. Nothing was good enough or even okay. The other word I heard in my head was, "Unacceptable!" Like a gavel dropping, I judged myself. There's a line in a song that says, "run for your life, all tenderness is gone." It gets pretty painful.

When I'm not strong enough to fight the voices anymore, I start to repeat what they're saying out loud to Brian. I guess I just need reinforcements. I need someone else to take a turn saying, "That's not true." And also, hearing them out loud, I hear their absurdity, or at least how mean they are. On our date night (ha!) I went down my whole list of what I saw that was "wrong" with our lives right now and why I wasn't "enough" to fix it. A couple things that made the list: a mistake I made in our budget last month so we ended up short this month and hurting my neck so when I wanted to run around and tidy everything up, I walked with my head at a tilt. By the end, and this took two hours, I was able to chuckle. Which was when I knew I'd make it.

Tonight was a school program where my kids sang songs. It was great in itself, but afterward a lady hugged me and said, "Thank you for all you do. For just being you." Wha?! Do you know I feel like I haven't done anything I'm supposed to lately? I didn't even brush my teeth yesterday! I gaped and sputtered and then I thought she might be Jesus incarnate. I needed that. When I'm putting this fledgling foot out toward the Grace Path, God comes along and says, "That's right...easy now."  

Chandler took this with my phone...It's me, reading my brain candy.
Take that, whispers! Failing, shmailing. I'm okay, even wonderful when all I want to do is eat chocolate, sleep and read books that don't teach me a darn thing. It's part of the ebb and flow, which is beautiful somehow, even if I can't see it today. I'll practice being gracious when I'm waning. Did you brush your teeth today? Did you keep calm when people did irritating things? Did you make wise shopping choices, eating choices, drive politely? No? Then be gracious to yourself. No berating tonight. No beating yourself up. Grace will put us back together.

So much love,


  1. Kendra,

    Thanks for sharing your heart. We all feel the frustrations of life. Take them with grace. We all go through seasons - seasons of high productivity, and seasons of rest and recuperation. God made us and the world that way.


  2. Wonderfully written Kendra, thanks for sharing so honestly. Have you read any of Brene Brown's books? One of my favorite mantras comes from her... I am imperfect and I AM enough! Hope May is a better month for you.