Have you ever had one of those moments during which you’re just so exhausted, frustrated, crabby, uncomfortable, strained, and overwhelmed that you’re a ticking time bomb just waiting to explode should you come across an unsuspecting person who maybe smiles a bit too cheerily at you? Yeah, me neither… Until last night.
But let me start from the beginning.
Most of my friends would probably tell you that one of my strengths is seeing the positive (or humor) in most situations, even if the circumstance may be less than ideal. But I am human, after all. And even Superman comes up short – on occasion – when faced with Kryptonite…
So my small circle of very-close friends, God bless them, have been very gracious in letting me share a different side of me, as of late. I won’t say the ‘real side’ of me, because the ‘glass half full’ side of me is real as well. But it’s just the really tired, I’ve-been-stretched-a -bit-too-far side of me that has come out to play these last few weeks.
This pregnancy has given me a run for my money. Although to be completely fair to baby Kaitlyn, the majority of the challenges I’ve faced over these past 9 months haven’t even been pregnancy related. There’s been a lot of sickness this winter, a broken leg for Brady which resulted in a spica cast for 5 weeks, my husband lost an aunt to cancer, and the physical toll of chasing after a toddler while pregnant (in addition to the anemia) left me feeling depleted physically.
It’s been a physically, and emotionally, exhausting nine months.
And now that I’m nearing the end, things just haven’t let up. Most recently, there has been concern about my amniotic fluid levels and large baby size. (I was just diagnosed with Polyhydramnios again, and I need to go for another ultrasound and stress test on Wednesday).
Brady and I are also home sick with colds. And well, the only thing more frustrating than a bad cold in the spring is to add a sick toddler AND pregnancy to the mix. Let me tell you, I’d need LOTS of sugar to sweeten the lemonade from these lemons, my friends. I’m just tired. And, if I’m to be completely honest, I’m a tad bit cranky too, because I just don’t have time for the rest I need mentally and physically.
So yes, all this brings me to the point of wanting to explode at a bubbly, super-smiley CVS employee.
Last night, Brady woke up with a high fever, and we realized that we were out of children’s Tylenol. It was one of those moments when you stare at the medicine cabinet, close it, reopen it, then stare again, somehow hoping that a bottle will magically appear. But no, the medicine cabinet remained empty.
Not having medicine wasn’t an option, because the fever was high and Brady’s breathing (thanks to the chest cold) was too quick. We needed to get his fever down fast. So at 3:30am, I was rushing into the car and driving to a 24-7 CVS to restock our medicine cabinet.
Suddenly there I was, standing in front of the super-smiley, bearded cashier while sporting my pajamas, crazy hair, makeupless face, and a jar of Children’s Tylenol.
“Hello!” he exclaimed way too brightly. “How are we doing this evening?”
I felt like punching him. How did he think I was doing?!?
Oh, I’m doing GREAT! I always go for joy rides in my pajamas at 3am to pick up children’s, fever-reducing medicine. And guess what? The crazier my hair, the more exciting the night. So as you can tell by my frizzy, curls-gone-wild, tonight has been absolutely fabulous! I mean, can’t you tell by the dark circles under my eyes just how wonderful my night has been?
Instead I replied, “Oh, good, thank you.” Paid. Left. Ran home as quickly as possible.
But I kind of pondered the incident on the drive home, and I realized just how easy it is to put on that “everything is okay” mask. I know that for me, it’s not easy to be honest when I’m hurting. Or angry. Or even afraid. I do try to be strong and joyful, because that’s what a good Christian girl does. Right?
In reality, God did put us into each other’s lives so that we don’t have to stand alone. We don’t have to celebrate alone, but we also don’t have to mourn alone. And although I’m not saying that we need to share our hearts with the bearded CVS employee at 3am (or even to the people following us on Facebook), we can be honest with those we hold close. With those who truly love us.
Because they want to know the real version of ourselves. And because sometimes we really do need to share the hard times with others, so that we don’t have to carry it alone. When we share our hearts with those who hold our trust, we now have a team of encouragement, empathy, and prayer behind us.
The prayer, in particular, is very much needed when the going gets tough!
When it rains it pours sometimes, am I right? And there are those days that no matter how hard you try to stay positive and upbeat, the constant dumping of water in your face is just enough to make you sputter and maybe even drown a bit. But I am SO thankful right now for the friends who are holding out their umbrellas to me and reminding me that it really will all be okay!