Re-booting, or How to Save a Day Gone Bad

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Not my tub, not my toes Photo by  Daniela Harmann
Not my tub, not my toes
Photo by Daniela Harmann

I needed a do over.

This morning I was in a funk, to say the least. My hard drive crashed yesterday and the crash was the straw that broke this mama’s back. I was done, overwhelmed, exhausted and seriously contemplating finding a corner to sit and cry.

But mamas can’t do that, I thought — the thought adding insult to injury. I can’t just sit and cry because I have boys and house and work. So I carried on. Threw in a load of laundry, dressed children, oversaw math, listened to reading and set up phonics. Inside, though, I was a mess. Inside, I was this close to falling apart. Stuff was getting done, but it wasn’t pretty. I was crabby and anxious and irritable, and so were my boys.

That’s when I decided it was time to re-boot. I shut myself in the bathroom and settled in to write. I drew a hot bath, luxuriated in the steamy water and finished reading my novel. When I emerged, life was better.

One by one, the boys trickled back inside, asking for lunch. Boy #4 wanted sausage. #3 asked for popcorn, so he popped popcorn while I sliced sausage, cheese and apples. #4 loaded up the plate; #3 popped more corn. I seasoned the popcorn and we carried our impromptu lunch to the living room, where Boy #1 was watching, “America: The Story of Us.” The rest of us settled in to join him. Soon, we were nibbling finger food and discussing the Donner Party. (Note: We were nibbling finger food, not fingers!)

Just like that, our day was back on track.

When our computers glitch, we re-boot without a second thought. But when our day glitches, far too many of us force ourselves to power through. We ignore the warning signals — the sick feeling in the pit of our stomachs, the overpowering desire to just take a nap — and keep going. Meanwhile, the day goes from bad to worse.

The next time that happens, I challenge you to re-boot. Stop where you are. Make sure your boys are in a safe place and do something just for you. Sing. Paint your nails. Call a friend. Cry. Stare at the wall. Do nothing. Do whatever it is you need to do to get back to an even keel. Then start over, fresh.

What’s your favorite way to rescue a day gone bad?

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