You have your plans. You’ve built up those good habits that have taken months to make a regular part of your day. You know the things you need to do each day to make things better. Then life comes along. Laughs in your face and your attempts to take control of it. Forces those habits out the window and poo poo’s your plans. What do you do?
As I’m writing this I know the answer. It doesn’t make the week I’ve had any more palatable though. It doesn’t stop me from sitting here feeling low, feeling frustrated, feeling annoyed at myself. Ok, some of it was beyond my control. Some wasn’t though. I should’ve done better.
It all really kicked off on Monday. Without going into too much detail it involved a Snapchat group my son is in with a bunch of his friends. One of the parents had seen the messages in the chat. Was ‘horrified’ by what she saw. Took it to someone she knew who was a teacher. That teacher in turn took it to her school principal. Who then took the matter to another school principal. (All the group are from two different primary schools).
Here’s the thing. This had nothing to do with the schools. The messages were from 3 weeks ago. They happened on a Sunday. It wasn’t something that happened in school time, on school grounds, or when the kids were in uniform or representing the school in any way.
I can excuse the initial parent for being an oversensitive nitwit. The teacher on the other hand should have had more sense as her school principal also should have. They both should have realised it wasn’t a school matter (Like the sensible principal at my son’s school). That it was just an issue for the parents.
Here’s the other thing. As soon as I saw what my son had written I knew where it came from. I knew it was a quote from a gamer he watches. I knew he was saying it as a laugh. There was a ‘f’ word and a ‘s’ word in it. Words that he didn’t even spell out. He only wrote the letter ‘f’ and the letter ‘s’. Personally I thought it was no big deal.
The real problem came the next day though. Anyone who reads my blog will know that since his mother left my boy has been having problems with school. Feeling so sad at times he can’t face going in. We are in a very delicate position regarding that. This event just triggered him. That morning he was in a very bad emotional state. As a result he missed school. I missed work as obviously I had to stay with him. He was very subdued that day. Very low. Dwelling on that problem as well as the issues he has with his mother being gone.
I do what I normally do in these times. Just stay by his side. That evening his mother called and I decided to drop all the things I normally do just to watch a movie. Oh I’m regretting that choice now. I won’t be doing that again in future. Especially that now with hindsight if I had just stuck to my normal schedule I wouldn’t be feeling as bad about my current situation.
On Wednesday he was back at school. I was back at work. I was annoyed at myself for letting things slip. I thought about what I needed to do that evening to get back on track.
Around 1:15pm I got a phone call from the school. My boy had hurt himself. They thought he might have broken his wrist.
So I dropped everything. Left work to pick him up and then drove to the hospital. Turns out he had a buckle fracture in his wrist. By the time we got home it was almost 8:30pm.
He was so low. So sad about not being able to do the things he likes to do that he just lay on the sofa. As he is my biggest priority I just sat there with him. Then we went to bed as usual.
I awoke today in a terrible mood. Thankfully my boy was feeling better mentally. He was happy to go to school. I could go to work. Some normality had resumed.
My problem then just became me and my mind. I dwelled all day on how I have missed doing the things I need to do. I have done no exercise since Monday. The longest period since it became a, if not daily then at least every second day, habit. I got no writing done. No blogging done. No comments replied to in days. I hadn’t even started an online course that I have already paid for. I was even frustrated at the fact I was working. Doing the job I need to at the moment to pay the bills, but not able to do the things I really want to. The things that will help me improve my son and I’s life.
Between these events and my behaviour I derailed myself. Even though it was an emotionally trying time I had used that as an excuse to get lazy. I could have got up again when he was sleeping. I could have woken earlier as I’ve recently discovered I can get my alarm turned off before he awakens. I could’ve done those things despite the obstacles life was throwing at me. I could’ve. But I didn’t.
I was off the track. Had slipped off course. Had fallen off the wagon (Not in the pot smoking way thankfully. Those days are over).
Good habits had been broken. I feel like it’s almost harder to get going again. I’ve been beating myself up about it. On top of that I’ve been feeling a bit lonely today. A bit low. The emotional whirlwind of the past few days taking their toll.
I started to think of the amount of things I needed to get done. Where was I going to start? What needed prioritized? Lost time is lost time no matter what the reason. I can’t afford to lose anymore time.
So at the risk of turning this into the equivalent of a Mel Robbins’ ‘The 5 Second Rule’ 7 and a half hour audio book that deals with a simple premise, (Before you do something count backwards from 5), I’ll get to the point.
What happened then was I remembered something important. The most important thing of all. The answer to the question posed at the start. What do you do when it all goes wrong? When your plans fall apart. When Life gets in the way of what you want to do. When you get in the way of yourself. When you fall of the horse.
It’s simple really. You get back up. Brush yourself off and start again. You come to terms with it. Accept what it was and move on.
It reminds me of a quote from Batman Begins when young Bruce Wayne falls down a well and gets rescued by his father. A quote that their butler Alfred later says to Batman. ‘Why do we fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves up.’
So this is me picking myself up. Even in the process of writing this I am feeling better. I’m getting back on track. Back on the right path. I’m even getting into my little gym after this. Getting back into the habit.
So for anyone out there beating themselves up over trying something and failing. Feeling like they have let themselves down. Whether it was avoidable or not. Have heart. It’s ok. Sometimes things won’t go as you hoped. Sometimes things might get in your way. It might be life. It might be you. It doesn’t matter. What matters is you pick yourself up.
You pick yourself up and try again. And if you stumble or fall. Then just pick yourself up again. We’re not robots. We’re not perfect. We’re only human. We won’t always get it right. But as long as you try, and keep trying, keep picking yourself up, you’ll get there in the end.