As I drove to work yesterday, I found myself incredibly frustrated. A friend was visiting for the weekend, and although we had a great time I didn't get much accomplished around the house. I spent most of yesterday playing with my son instead of catching up, and about an hour before I was to leave for work I realized how much I should have taken care of during the day and didn't. The pile of mail that had been sitting for a week, the bag of groceries that never got put away, the pile of clothes on the bed, the laundry, etc. etc.
It's a fine line between playing with my son and getting chores done for me. I will never regret a minute I spend playing with him, but I have a hard time being fully present with him when I know I have a list of projects hanging over my head to accomplish. My motto lately has been, "the laundry and dishes can wait." Even though I can physically avoid doing the dishes, emotionally I am not able to forget about the sink and just enjoy the time with my son.
As I drove to the airport yesterday, I wasted valuable energy berating myself. For all of the things I didn't do or should've done, for the fact that I haven't blogged for a week or exercised in the last two, for running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to get out of the house for work. I said things to myself that I would never dream of saying to anyone else.
Stuck in traffic, I used my time to pray to God that I didn't do anything stupid while I was at work. Not that I was worried about doing something dangerous stupid, just stupid stupid. What qualifies as stupid stupid? Well, last week while I was doing my walk around check of the airplane, I tripped on the hose from the fuel truck because I thought it was just a shadow. Since I didn't realize it was there, I tripped on it about three times in the second it took my brain to realize what was going on. The fueler couldn't control his laughter, and I'm sure it instilled a lot of confidence in the passengers watching me from the windows of the terminal. It always gives people a warm fuzzy feeling to see that the person that is about to pilot their airplane has trouble with something as simple as putting one foot in front of the other.
Either God didn't hear my prayer, or he thought I was referring to today when my trip actually started, and that I didn't need help with my commute to work last night. Whatever the case, he certainly didn't save me from myself and from doing something stupid stupid.
I had decided to start eating healthy again, so I made myself a green drink. The drink contained about every green vegetable imaginable, plus spirulina. For those of you unfamiliar with spirulina, it is a bright green powder, stain-worthy enough to be used as a dye for Easter eggs. I put the drink in a flip top container, which I then stuck in the seat back pocket of the airplane so that it didn't spill under the seat in front of me. Half way to Chicago, at about 30,000 feet, the pressure was too much for the container and the top blew open. A shower of green rained down on me, the passenger next to me (luckily a pilot I was commuting with), and everything in our row from the seats to the tray tables to the ceiling and sidewall of the airplane. It may even have hit people in the row in front and behind me, I was too embarrassed to look.
As if this weren't bad enough, I had a scheduled overnight at home tonight, which meant the shirt I was wearing was the only one I had with me. (I commute in uniform because it is easier to get through security.) It wouldn't have been such a big deal if I had had my leather jacket with me, but I conveniently forgot to grab it as I raced out the door to work.
I guess maybe God really was listening to my prayer though, because when I turned my phone on in Chicago, I had a message from a friend who is a great inspiration to me. The message was actually from the day before, but I had forgotten to listen to it, and now I know why.
My friend said that she had been catching up on my blog, and just wanted to tell me I didn't need to be so critical of myself. (Which I already know, but for some reason need her to continually remind me.) The message she had, which was exactly what I needed to hear that minute, was this. "You are stronger than IT." Whatever it is. Whether it's the unpaid bills, the lack of exercise, or green speckled airplane seats and uniforms, "you are stronger than IT." Boy, did those words ring true for me.
I am stronger than IT, so I'm making another resolution, a birthday resolution if you will. This day, 365 days before my 40th birthday (yikes), I vow to be kind to myself. In whatever form that takes. I vow to not say things to myself that I wouldn't say to other people. And I will not get upset with myself when I inevitably slip up with these vows, or do something stupid stupid. And that's the word of the day, straight from the mouth of the Jolly Green Giant. At least my tie covers most of the spirulina. Amen.