Sometimes you need a timeout

I’ve had better weeks. After letting stress take it’s course, what should I expect?

Stress doesn’t own me. But every now and then when I’m distracted, I’ll let it make a deposit. This doesn’t help and before I know it I’m wondering why every task feels so hard to accomplish.

Of course by now clarity has come. I can have a sense of humor about being overwhelmed or at least a more honest perspective of the bigger picture. It reminds me not to get too comfortable on my high horse. It reminds me how at any moment I can get thrown from this bucking bronco. This is one of those rare times when I remember what it’s like to be an overcomer.

I just got into my rhythm too. After being sick during the bleak winter weeks, any activity made me feel like a Superhero. I don’t need someone to pick up my kids from school? I have finally arrived. Look at me everyone, I can walk!

Even grocery shopping with my own children becomes impressive. Shopping with kids consists of saying no, remembering why you’re there in the first place, and if you take a minute to look at something that might interest you as a human being (with her own wants and needs), then God forbid. Your kid might be at the other end of the store.

When you’re not sick, you can chase after them. When you’re sick, you stand there and wait for them to come back. They always come back. Not out of love, but usually because they found something cool and want you to buy it for them. On an average day I am immune to such things. On a bad day I decide to never leave my house again until I absolutely have to. Now that I’m physically able, when will the mentally able part kick in? Where is my patience hiding?

Being an adult is exhausting. The sun comes up and begs me to get on board. Hope is literally on the horizon. I eat, pray, love until I feel like myself again.

Then I fall in front of everyone like a clumsy goon. It wasn’t even because of the ice, it was my floppy boot laces. As I was walking toward my kid’s school, somehow my laces secretly made a quilt and got tangled together. So I fell. In front of everyone.

This event did not mentally help me in any way. I had just finished having lunch with my husband and sister-in-law telling them I’m just “not feeling it today.” Then an hour later I fall in front of a lot of people and flounder like a fish. That’s when I had a come to Jesus moment. Things can always get worse. That’s an encouraging statement when you’re feeling low, trust me.

It helps redirect your mind into a better perspective. It reminds me to cling onto my faith. But if we’re honest, sometimes it directs me to ice cream and reality TV shows. (I’m American, after all.)

Copious amounts of grace have pushed my weariness away. I became overwhelmed by other people’s kindness more than I was overwhelmed by my circumstances. It took the focus off of my menial issues and onto what makes us special as people.

I see it in the kindergartners that I volunteer with at the school. They don’t know how to read yet, but they know how to encourage each other. They’re vulnerable, but it makes their relationships more real and valuable. They teach me to be proud of the line leader, even when it’s not my turn. If you help pick up the blocks for someone, next time they might help you pick up the blocks for you.

Sometimes I give myself a timeout to find peace. When others have grace on me during that timeout, I become a better person and make sure they know they are appreciated.

Here’s the thing: There’s too much risk, responsibility, and randomness for perfection. This makes it easy to feel like a failure, especially when the stress starts to add up. If life wasn’t a roller coaster every now and then, we’d probably be doing it wrong.

Time to throw your hands up and accept the ride. It’s not worth having it hold you back from being the amazing person you know you can be. Have grace on yourself like you would for your best friend. You deserve it. You deserve freedom. We’re not here to be mediocre, we’re here to be awesome. We are brave and strong when the situation arises. You dig deep and you get it done. If your battle is hard, speak up so we can join you. Then we can celebrate together when it’s over.

I’ll bring the party hats and cupcakes!

 

Kasi McClure enjoys being a wifeand mother of two in Kenai. She can be reached at columnkasi@gmail.com.

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