This tiny one word sentence has been my constant mantra for the past month. Had I not been mindful of the need to take intentional moments of pause, I would have found myself in a downward spiral of overwhelm and anxiety.
It’s been a hell of a 30 days.
Broken bones, multiple long haul flights alone with my kids and last goodbyes with aging loved ones in the States… Breathe. Packing our home into a giant steel box, running from doctor to dentist and saying our last goodbyes with friends who became family in South Africa… Breathe. Arriving in Switzerland with 12 suitcases in tow and only a few days to prepare my daughters for the first day of school at their fourth international school… Breathe.
Their is no rest for the weary when you are rebuilding your life and your new normal from scratch. At least for me their isn’t.
The last 30 days has been a challenge and I’m not exactly sure how I didn’t manage losing my absolute fucking mind with all the shit being thrown at me in August. Actually, that’s a lie… I know it was all due to the magnificent people who love and support me. It was my husband who dealt with my short answers and barked orders. It was my children who navigated the high level of stress our household was under. It was those who helped our family during the last three years in South Africa… our helper, our gardener, our petsitter and our neighbors… filling in for me when I couldn’t be in two places at once. And, it was definitely good friends caring for me when I couldn’t care for myself or my children.
I am also amazed how my body and mind absorb stress so gracefully when what I really want is to open the front door and walk away from the festering chaos of transition. I surprise myself with the amount of independence, perseverance and grit I manage to scrounge up in order to make shit happen. How I don’t worry whether or not things will get done because I know I can rely on myself to get shit done. I put my head down and get to work. I stay focused (unless I have someone handing me a drink) and I work tirelessly until I physically fall into bed from exhaustion.
So, here’s my theory… This last bit might not be exactly an asset… it could be a real drag, BUT it’s who I am. I accept me for all my beautiful flaws. It’s how I make shit happen, and it’s what makes me successful. No, I don’t love being super stressed, but I’m level headed enough to know short term stress outweighs longterm happiness on the other end for me. I’m okay with a bit of sacrifice so that my people (husband, daughters and dogs) transition with ease. I will be okay… I will be strong… I will be exhausted… but I will get through it.