When You Lose Control of Your Whole Day

//At 4:50 A.M. this morning, someone wrapped on my door, waking me from a sound sleep.

What in the world? Am I dreaming?

I was half in, half out of the world of waking and sleep.

Rousing myself, I went to the door and there was my son, sick to his stomach. I put him back to bed. An hour later, illness was indeed confirmed and I tried to go back to my dream state so I wouldn’t have to think about all the appointments I needed to cancel and adjustments to be made when I finally did awaken fully.

Coffee. Get a kid off to school. Cancellations.

No more throw up please.

In a few hours, I lost control of my whole day. The outings I anticipated: therapy rescheduled and book club is TOMORROW night.

Why didn’t I read the email? 

So I tried to make the most of it: reading emails, a webinar on how to write for your audience, corresponding with a writer friend, and then finishing a novel. Yes, the whole day turned out fine. My son dozed, read books, played Xbox, and was jumping around in no time. //

Then 5 p.m. hit. Maybe it was the noise or the fact my hubs had been gone for two days and we hadn’t really had a chance to connect. Whatever it was, it felt like a ton of bricks on my chest. Both the kids were asking to bond, and I had to bail.

I had to wrap myself in my blanket of a coat and scarf, leave the dog behind, put in my earbuds and walk outside in the light of the fading frigid sunset.

It hit me how much I needed control of my day, how dashed expectations really jack with my mojo. I listened to what my body was telling me: the tightness girding my waist and back in a vicegrip, my heartbeat escalating, and the edginess I felt right between my eyes as they darted from kid to kid. Those sweet kids who wanted me to play Minecraft or watch a Lego movie with them.

My body was trying to control me, and somehow I picked up its signals. It doesn’t always go down like this. Sometimes the panic sets in so subtle-like. But today I listened to the Holy Spirit who said, “Girl, go get some air.”

I did. I walked around the park track by my lonesome, phoned a friend, and there in the dim light and cold, I found my own warm breath and sneakers bringing me back to reality.

You’re OK.

Guess what? I made it to bedtime!

What do you do when you lose control of your day? How do you recenter?

This post is part of Five Minute Friday. We write for 5 minutes on one word. Today the word was CONTROL in honor of Shannon Popkin’s book release of Control Girl.

(// indicates the beginning and end of five minutes.)

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January 26, 2017