I am writing this from my home office in a really crappy mood. I was supposed to be up at one of the nearby ski mountains with my daughter -- she would take a half day lesson while I had some fun on my snowboard for two hours. It was going to be magical, and I was really looking forward to it.
And yesterday I canceled it.
Unfortunately, this was one of those weeks that did not start or continue how I had planned. It started with my phone being stolen out of a restaurant bathroom and continued with a snow storm that resulted in kids being home from school and long commutes, the dog's stitches getting agitated and requiring extended vet visits, two kids coming down with colds, and a babysitter canceling due to last minute illness.
I had planned today's ski outing many weeks ago, and I had booked everything around it just perfectly. And then the week went haywire, but I thought we might still pull it off.
Why did I cancel it? Wouldn't the mountain air, some trips down the slope, and some exercise put my attitude and energy back on track to be a better person? Probably. But maybe not. I honestly don't know. I am still wondering if I should have made the trip up, and I'll never know if I made the right choice.
So WHY am I not there?
Last night I faced the harsh realization that I was not strong or resilient enough to handle a potentially bad morning with a 4-year-old on ski mountain. (For those of you without small kids, taking a strong-willed 4-year-old skiing is not for the weak at heart. You need to be enthusiastic, excited, and calm enough to handle whatever challenge comes your way -- traffic on snowy roads, kids' constant need to pee/eat, multiple meltdowns, snow gear/ski assembly drama, freezing temperatures, etc. -- or your little kids will sense your weakness and transform you into a hot mess of stress.)
I realized that the week had made me fragile enough that today could actually make our situation worse. Instead of bonding with my kiddo in the snow, we would most likely engage in fighting, crying, or a combination of the two.
And you know what -- that's ok. I am not perfect, and I cannot handle everything with grace at all times.
There are sometimes that we just have to let go of our egos and just admit defeat.
If you can be determined and stubborn like me, admitting defeat is very hard. It's challenging to have an honest conversation with yourself that looks something like this:
This week has kicked my ass, and I have limited patience for my kids, pets, and holiday obligations. I am not on my game or my strong self right now. I cannot put myself in a position to where I am going to be more defeated or stressed, so I'm going to walk away from that thing I was determined to do... and try my best to LET IT GO.
Having that honest conversation with yourself is difficult, but truly letting it go can be even harder. I haven't quite let it go yet, but I'm hoping that a good movie and a glass of wine at home tonight might help facilitate that process.
This is a busy and stressful time of year for many of us with kids and multiple family obligations. Is there anywhere you might benefit from admitting defeat... and allow yourself to let go of the expectations you have put on yourself? You will most likely be sad or disappointed at first, but you also might relieve yourself of stressful moments that you could have avoided.
I'm sending you all love and acceptance this holiday season. Defeat isn't always bad -- sometimes it helps us grow stronger for the next battle on our journey.