When my son was really young, say from about age 18 months to three or so, he had a favorite word, unique as his personality, and dropped more frequently than names on the red carpet. He would say it when he disliked his food. He would say it when I asked him to do something. He would say it when he was tired, hungry, mad, crabby or otherwise dissatisfied.
“BLUCK!” He would shriek. “BLUUUUUUUCCCCCCKKK!”
An adverbial variation occasionally included “blucky,” (okay, more like “BUH-LUCK-EEEEEEEE”) but no matter the form, it was enunciated with such profound intonation that you practically felt it. Like a big blob of green blobby bluck, right there, smack in the face- “BLLLLLLLUCK!” Translation? “This is total bullshit and I don’t want it.”
Well this charming onomatopoeia, as it were, is a word that we’ve kept in our family vocabulary since; we use it for special occasions, when we really mean it. Like um, now.
This week- you get a big “BLUCK” from me. Yep. That’s right “BLUCK YOU” week.
Why? Well, this seems to have been my Mental Toughness Test Week. My “how much more can you take before you snap at someone, Michelle?” “how ‘chill’ are you this morning, cranky pants?” “just how far will you push yourself, big stuff?” week.
Must have just been that time, again. Thanks Universe. Things were really going too smoothly there. Appreciate it.
As a point of reference, consider things like this scenario:It’s Mother’s Day and we are at my friends house for a dinner gathering celebrating us mamas. Things are going quite well until my darling son decides to a) play freeze tag in the house and then, b) NOT stop to open the screen door before going outside, but rather just go ahead and run right through it. Yes, that’s correct. He ran right through the damn thing, ripping it from its frame and landing with a rather loud thud on the front porch. Wasn’t that a lovely mess to clean up, on both a metaphorical, and quite literal, level. We are clearly the best dinner guests ever.
And then this:Tuesday morning. I’m trying to work. Kids are trying to kill each other. Standard protocol really. Finally, at 8:51, nine minutes before school starts and after asking three hundred and thirty seven times for them to put their shoes on I start “raising” my voice, like… to the level that the neighbors
The rest of the week was similar. I almost lost my cool, recovered, and hit repeat. And so it continued. Over. And over. And over. No wonder I’m so tired.
The good news? It’s almost over. The better news? So far everyone is still alive…
Actually, the best news really was the recovery. The benefit of working through your shit is you recognize the kind of manure in which you’re standing and can reflect on how you might avoid stepping in the same crap next time. Each time I failed, I learned, I shifted my energy and my attitude, and I grew. And, bonus points- I articulated that to my kids.
This week was actually a pretty good lesson in learning to reset.
So good, in fact, it even crept up in our evening prayers. Each night we pray for three things- one thing we are grateful for, one thing we’d like help with, and one thing with which we’d like to help someone else. This week, there was a whole lot of time and energy given to part two. It was a regular house of mirrors up in here, what with all the self-reflection going down in this casa. In fact, I even overheard my daughter say at one point, “well I know what I’M going to be praying about tonight.”
Wow. So um, I guess this whole learning to hold it down, let it go, and be a better person nonsense is working. PHEW.
How do I know?
In the smiles I get when I apologize. In the hugs I get after the tears of frustration are wiped when homework time is over. When my almost nine year old still blows me a kiss when she walks into her school even though we quarrelled on the way there.
I know when I hear my six year old ask for God’s help in learning to slow his body down, and when he thanks Him for the “the opportunity to spend fun time with my Mommy, my sister and my friends.” When I read my Mother’s Day poem (see below), and know, no matter what, my kids know I love them.
I know I’m making progress, that even though this is hard, that even though I fail, that a lot of things in life are “blucky,” it’s worth the effort. I am reminded when a friend reaches out and says “thanks for being there when I was struggling; I appreciate you.” I feel it when I push through my fatigue and reach new levels of fitness. When I labor through a difficult practice and am rewarded with pure light and bliss in the aftermath. There is no challenge without reward and no benefit without a cost. Balance. Flow. Give and take. Lows, but also highs.
So, in carrying those lessons and reminders forward, here’s hoping for a “bluck-less” weekend ahead, for us all. Fall if you must, but keep your eyes, and your perspective, always looking at what’s right there in front of you.
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