Thursday, March 9, 2017

So you had a bad day

Earlier this week I had one of those very bad, horrible, no good days. It started off as most days typically do...I pulled sleepy kids out of bed, packed lunches, watched as those same sleepy kids climbed the stairs onto the school bus and rode off out of my line of vision, then walked back home and settled in for my usual morning routine with my Seanie Mac.

My husband came home at lunch because we had a much dreaded appointment to discuss our taxes. We recently received a letter from the IRS (Internal Revenue Service for those of you who are bad with abbreviations) saying there had been an error in our previous tax return, and we owed them some money. Not just some money, but a lot of money. This was very perplexing to us, as we had hired someone to prepare and file our taxes last year, so there shouldn't of been any mistakes.  At any rate, we had an appointment to discuss the IRS issue, as well as file our taxes for 2016. I wasn't looking forward to this meeting, especially since I'm a procrastinator so there I was hunched over the dining room table, frantically digging through a messy pile of papers as well as trying to look over my online bank statement, and adding up totals at the very last minute (my husband freelances in addition to his full time job, so our taxes are a little more complicated), and cursing at my MacBook because it kept freezing up on me.

It was pouring down rain as we headed to our appointment, which isn't normal weather for Central Oregon, and also one of the reasons we moved away from Portland. If there was ever a day where I didn't need rain, this was one of them.  As soon as we made our way into the building, I knew this appointment wasn't going to be easy. The accountant was someone we had never met before and she was an older lady, who had the personality of a blunt object (not to mention she reeked of old lady perfume). She frowned as she greeted us, obviously not thrilled to see that we had brought along our rambunctious, potentially destructive, eleven month old, otherwise known as Mr. Seanie Mac. I packed an arsenal of supplies in my diaper bag as a desperate attempt to keep Seanie occupied, but it was all completely and utterly useless as he immediately began to kick and squirm in my arms. I set him down on the ground and he immediately started to crawl away at full speed. This was a boy who had recently woken up from a long nap, had been fed, changed, and was now ready to show these people what he could do. He was Seanie Mac at full throttle. Knowing this wasn't going to end well, and that he wasn't exactly welcomed by the scary, grumpy, crypt keeper of an accountant, I took him out to the car and told my husband to text or call me if he needed me to come back inside.

I got Seanie Mac buckled into his car seat, settled into the passenger seat of our SUV and turned on the radio. Seanie wasn't happy that I had interrupted his plan to completely destroy the tax office, so he began to protest by pulling off his socks, twisting and contorting in his seat and screaming (oh and he attempted to chuck his bottle at my head too...I'm very thankful for head rests).

Frustrated and bored I picked up my iPhone to kill some time. In hindsight I should've just closed my eyes and taken a much needed nap, but that's not what I did of course. I checked my business email account and there it was....a shiny new rejection letter for a piece I had recently submitted for an upcoming anthology. I wasn't all that shocked, as I honestly didn't spend as much time writing or editing my piece as I should have, so I was half expecting it, but rejection is something I don't handle well. I may look and act tough on the outside, but on the inside I'm a big old ball of soft dough (chocolate chip cookie dough of course). 

I sat and stared at my phone for a little while, unsure of what to do, or how to react. I could feel a sharp pang building up in my throat and chest. A few minutes later my husband started texting me, "Things aren't looking good babe. We're going to owe a lot of money" and that's all it took for the tears to start tumbling down my cheeks. My tears represented the stress, anxiety, and fear of wondering where or how we were going to come up with the extra funds that we weren't expecting to have to come up with, along with the rejection, disappointment, and pain of feeling like a big old failure who obviously sucked so badly at writing, that I might as well just quit blogging and take up knitting or something (okay so maybe not knitting as I would most definitely fail in that department).

This is me just seconds before the tears hit. No make up, no editing, no filters.
I wish I could say that as quickly as the tears hit, I snapped out of it, realized all of the blessings and successes in my life and got over it. Nope, not even close. When my husband made his way back to the car and updated me on how everything went, I felt even more depressed.

So I cried even harder. 
It's funny how easy it is to fall into the woe is me trap, but so incredibly difficult to pull yourself out of it. I wallowed, I sobbed, I typed out a weepy, pathetic post on my Facebook page (word of advice: NEVER EVER cry and Facebook at the same me on this one). I was a hot mess with a one way ticket to loserville.

I stood up and caught a glimpse of my face in my bathroom mirror. That all too familiar face that had seen better, brighter, happier days. I took a moment and studied every single detail of my pain stricken face as if I seeing them for the very first time:

My puffy swollen eyelids, pasty white tear streaked cheeks, bright red broken blood vessel (which often gets mistaken for a gigantic pimple), wrinkled, not as firm as it used to be skin, wispy wild grey hairs that were sticking up in all directions and were in dire need of a hairbrush (and some hair dye).

As I stared at my pitiful reflection in the mirror, suddenly it hit me like a ton of bricks. The last time I saw this face was on the evening of Mahlon's disastrous ninth birthday party when no one showed up. I thought of that horrible rotten day, but most of all, I thought about my son. My brave, tenderhearted, sweet little son, who had every reason in the world to fall apart that day, but didn't. Instead he plastered a smile on his face, along with some funky green sunglasses in an attempt to make his devastated, brokenhearted mother laugh, because he just wanted his mom to feel better.  Mahlon is my inspiration, my hero, my soulmate. If he could survive one of the worst days of his life without any tears, then what in the hell was I crying for?

Mahlon rocks in case you didn't know
I couldn't find those funky green sunglasses, as they had gotten broken many months ago and most likely tossed in the garbage, so I grabbed the silliest thing I could find within my arms reach...some cheese hats that a super sweet fan of Mahlon's had sent from their gift shop in WI and sunglasses from ESS (thank you to both companies by the way!!!)

And so I did an impromptu photo shoot with my boys.
Along with having amazing kids, I have a pretty cool husband who in a desperate attempt to cheer me up, sent me some very fitting American Beauty quotes via text message (particularly the one about being boring and ordinary and how that will never be me). A husband who has always been my number one fan and biggest supporter. The very same husband who tells me all the time that I'm talented and funny and capable of achieving great success with my writing if I set my mind to it.

And might I add a man who also helps out with homework duty
I could sit here and list the million and one things that I have to be thankful for, but these things will really only matter to me so I wont. I could also get all cheesy and philosophical and tell you to count your blessings, and blah, blah, blah, but I wont. Instead I'll just say that I survived another horrible, crappy, no good day.  There will be more. In fact the very next day after all of this happened, Seanie woke up from a nap and had the worst diaper explosion of his entire life. There was poop up his back, down both legs and it was so heinous that it even splattered all over myself and the walls when I took off his pants. Let me repeat that in case you missed it...THERE WAS ACTUAL POOP ON MY WALLS!!! So yeah, shit happens but you just have to find a way to get through it. 

*Today it wasn't poop but he still managed to make a big old mess with some aluminum foil AND I discovered that I apparently walked to the bus stop with my right boob completely hanging out of my bra and shirt (I'm praying Seanie's oversized noggin was blocking my boob as I was carrying him in my arms but there's really no way to know for sure without asking the other parents if they saw my breast so yeah, I'm totally winning at this thing called life).

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