Thursday, February 7, 2013

Balancing Act

Photo courtesy of Leslie Laing

Can I share something with you? No, really... You might not like it and it might change the way you look at me. You sure? ok...

There are days I just don't want to be happy.

I told you it would be hard to hear. Try living it. As a friend of mine says, "At least you can get away from me!" Ya, there really are days I wish I could crawl away from myself and not have to be cordial, polite, congenial and overall a pleasant person.

Today is one of those days. I don't know if I will be brave enough to publish this post, but I hope so. I think it might me important, since God is giving my emotions a word count... He doesn't always do that.

Today I woke up, I got the kids off to school, I talked pleasantly with my husband and wished him a happy day. As the door closed on the bright white of 2 inches of snow, it hit me. I felt like crying. No reason at all. Just felt like it. Tried to shake it off and post something sunny to Facebook and I couldn't. Opened Pinterest for some inspiration and it tasted like sawdust in my mouth. I don't want to be happy. Not for forever, just for right now.

I am an over thinker. So when I feel like this I want to give it a label, a reason, a time limit. It's how I operate. I figure if I can pinpoint the reason I feel this way, I can somehow prepare for it next time and maybe avoid it all together. Then I stopped.

What if it's ok that I don't feel like being happy today? What if the reason I feel like this is because I am in constant upbeat-land and I am responding to the pressure of not being who I really am in the moment? What if everything doesn't culminate in an inspirational Facebook post? What if a few tears and some time in grumpy-cat land brings me back in touch with my true self? Would that be so bad?

I came to a few conclusions:

  • Because I live a life surrounded by work and people that are work-related, I tend to stuff my feelings. I put on a happy face so my interactions are polite and efficient and pleasant. No one wants to deal with a Grumpy Gus. Because of our careers, I don't consistently clock out, drive home, decompress. When my phone rings I am expected to answer, when the email lights up I am expected to respond. It is a function of the society we are living in now that I never really shut down and unplug.
  • Without darkness, light isn't truly understood or appreciated. If I had to always live life with a light turned on I would become unhappy and crave some darkness to allow my eyes to rest. Emotionally, I need that. To not always be forcing the smile, the wit, the sunny disposition... It sets me up to appreciate the times I am completely, truly, over-the-top happy.
  • Joy has not left me because my smile has. I am still joyful in my life, in my work, in general. Joy isn't lost because I feel the need to emotionally release the pressure. I am not broken because the thought of carrying on a sunny conversation makes me want to run and hide. I just need to settle the score between being "on" and being me.
  • God is still here with me, despite the status of my emotions. He isn't disgusted because I don't want to be happy today. He isn't going to leave me or rob me of my message because I am needlessly somber. God, most of all, understands when I need time to reevaluate my mood. And the kicker? If I ask Him to, He will help me find my happy again.
So there it is. I am not happy today. I would really like to crawl back under the covers and start over... Later. Like, tomorrow. I'll find my happy again, I am sure. I will be back to being the me you know and love soon. Just not right now.

What do you struggle with? Is it losing your happy? How do you find it again - if you even want to?

Be blessed!