Ever have one of those periods when life seems to explode in your face?
January was like that for me.
Ironically, I was writing a post a couple weeks ago about overwhelm. On the morning I planned to wrap it up and publish it, I discovered that my hot water heater had sprung a major leak and flooded my laundry room and living room.
Water everywhere. 🌊
I spent hours moving water-logged boxes and other things stored in the laundry room, and sopping up water. And even more hours moving living room furniture and pulling up wet carpeting and sopping up more water there.
And even more time coordinating with the plumbers, and the homeowner’s insurance adjuster. Shopping for new carpeting. Negotiating with the adjuster. Searching for a reputable flooring contractor. And on and on.
Less than a week later, I went into my attic to retrieve something and discovered that my roof had a major leak on one end of the house (we never go down there). Parts of the plywood underneath had already begun to deteriorate. I just replaced that roof 3-½ years ago.
I nearly lost it. Less than a week after the last event, here was another one.
I grabbed what I had gone up to the attic for and left. As in, left the house altogether. I just couldn’t deal with another major house issue, and so soon after the other. So I got in the car and went out for three hours before I felt like my brain was able to return home and deal with it.
I’m a single mom, and a homeowner. Being single works well when it comes time for things like deciding what color to paint the living room. I pick the color I like and go with it.
Go out for dinner, eat in, order in – I decide (with a little bit of input from my daughter).
And if I want to sleep smack dab in the middle of the mattress, I simply do it – because I can.
But stuff like this is when being single is a disadvantage. When the shizz hits the fan, it flies in my face only. All of it.
I’m the one who gets to do the dirty clean up work, move the heavy furniture, pull up the water-logged carpet, negotiate with the insurance company, search for a contractor to do all the repairs, and all of the other inconvenient work involved.
I’m the one who has to find a new roofer to replace the one I just paid to replace a few short years ago, get estimates, negotiate said estimates, and so on.
The homeowner’s insurance company politely informed me that the leaky roof was due to ‘inadequate repairs and workmanship’ on the part of the roofer who installed it, and thus isn’t covered by my policy. So I also get the honor of shelling out the cash to make the repairs happen. 🤬
And now I’m the one who has the unpleasant task of hunting down the unscrupulous mofo roofer for the damages.
All while continuing to run my household, study for my coach recertification exam, and not skip a beat seeing clients and running the business.
At one point during all of this my printer died (it was less than two years old). Earlier this week the toilet in the master bathroom stopped working. And my stepmom, who is a widow and lives alone, has been hospitalized twice during this time.
The frustrating stuff wouldn’t stop.
As you can guess, at some point my brain kept going to thoughts like:
➡️ When is all of this going to stop??
➡️ Why did any of it have to happen?
➡️ I’m getting tired of having to handle all of this.
➡️ Too many problems.
➡️ Too many decisions to make.
➡️ I just don’t want to have to deal with this anymore.
➡️ I’m getting overwhelmed by all of it.
I witnessed my brain indulging in more and more negative thinking and self-pity. That all of these things are terrible, if not stressful. And that I should be upset by each and every one of them.
Truth is, even coaches get upset sometimes. We experience stress and burnout and sadness and anger and overwhelm. We’re human beings.
We’re also fortunate enough to have the tools to help process our negative emotions, and to understand what part of our thinking is causing them.
So when my coach-brain eventually kicked into gear, I remembered:
Oh, right – THIS is the part where adulting is hard.
Owning a home and raising kids and managing a household and your career and your relationships and all of the other things in your life isn’t supposed to be easy-breezy all of the time.
Sometimes it’s going to go awry. Really awry. And sometimes it will do that all at once.
That’s when it’s important to remind yourself; nothing has gone wrong here. It’s simply a part of life.
Part of being an adult.
Part of having a house and kids and a career and maybe a business and many other things in your life that will challenge you.
You can decide that these challenges are a reason to focus on negative thinking, leading to a fury of negative emotions that cause you to feel overwhelmed.
Or you can remember that all of those things are simply circumstances. You probably wouldn’t opt to have them occur if given a choice. They may take focus or time that you wouldn’t choose to dedicate to them. But they’re not a reason to swim in a sea of self-pity.
They aren’t taking away from the part of your life that IS good.
🙏 My daughter is safe. My family is safe. I am safe – and happy.
🙏 Notwithstanding the current state of the flooring and roof, I love my house.
🙏 I live in a place where I can simply make a phone call and within hours have a team of people show up at my house and install a new device that provides us hot water. Clean, hot water.
🙏 We have a refrigerator and pantry that are full of food. Plenty of clothes. And uber-fast wifi that we can use to connect to almost anyone and anything we choose.
🙏 My house is warm and dry, despite the flawed roof. And that will be in an even better state when it’s repaired.
🙏 I have a career that I love and that provides me the money to pay for it all.
🙏 And I’m happy to say goodbye to that carpet.
I never liked the color anyway. 😄
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We all experience overwhelm at some point in our lives, especially working moms. If you want to take this work further to eliminate your overwhelm, stress, and burnout, and live the version of your life that you want to be living, sign up to coach with me. You can get started for free by clicking here.