Monday, January 21, 2013

Superwoman is Fiction

Last Thursday, as I drove to the car dealership, I sang out loud, “I’m super woman,” to the tune of “I’m Every Woman.” You’d think by now I might recognize the pride before the fall, but no, I didn’t. I congratulated myself on waking up, meditating, feeding everyone, and getting out the door in time. My packed schedule continued all day, without incident until 5 PM, when Carl came in the door.

“Sorry, I just heard your message,” he said.

I noticed he did not have the rolls or horseradish sauce I’d asked him to pick up on his way home. He plopped onto the couch and said he was exhausted, had body aches, and feared he had the flu. Did I feel sympathetic? No. I felt something more like fury. I was tired too. And now what were we going to have for dinner, and how was I going to get to my writing group on time, and who was going to entertain the very energetic toddler?

I huffed and sulked, then took the dog with me to pick up the things for dinner. An hour later, as I took our sandwiches out of the oven, Carl asked if something was wrong.

“I’m irritated,” I said.

When he asked why, I sighed, then thought about it. I wanted to blame my bad mood on someone else, namely him, but really, once again, the problem lied within. I had taken on too much that day, causing me to feel completely overwhelmed at the smallest obstacle. "Why don't you sit down for a few minutes?" he suggested.

Thank God I married someone who can remind me how to stay sane. When I get stressed, everything I know about staying calm flies right out of my head. But I knew he was right. I needed a few quiet minutes to calm down.

After just a few deep breaths I realized it wouldn’t matter all that much if I was a little late for the writing group. I remembered that I could ask Carl to finish the laundry and put Daniel to bed. I remembered one of my mantras, “I have all the time I need.”

Anytime I start thinking I’m superwoman, I’m in trouble. Some days I am quite amazed at what I can accomplish. But that level of energy is unsustainable for me, unless I take time for self-care. I don’t know if superwoman needed to meditate, eat well, exercise and rest, but I do.

1 comment:

Carol Fragale Brill said...

Like you, I'm lucky to have a husband who admires that I try to superwoman, and also gently reminds me I'm not . . . and don't have to be!