Hi Pixie Chicks!
Over the course of this last year I think it’s safe to say that things were difficult for me: from my mom’s brain surgery and continued recovery, my lack of funds, and even lack of transportation.
It really wasn’t all that bad—(I can say now).
I got a job and a car (which means I also have a little extra pocket money…but I will always welcome more)!
But not everything was easy-peasy for these improvements.
For instance, at work I occasionally make a mistake. (I’m new and human). But honestly I’m not used to that situation. I don’t want brag falsely but the circumstances that I dealt with recently (pre-job) didn’t allow or require me to mess up. In fact when it comes to my mom’s recovery and my responsibilities I didn’t mess up. I was a machine—a real-life computer or super brain (which my family and I often joked about my mom’s brain surgery and me behaving like a super brain).
Jokes aside, I was her brain and I held and sorted so much information. It was impressive and weird as to what I retained and my quick ability to call upon dates, names, and other facts so immediately in regards to her surgery and recovery, and of course perform all the duties like complete paperwork and calls. (Folks I wasn’t just giving her tea and plumping pillows—I wish that’s what I did. I wrote letters, emails, filled out medical applications, financial assistance applications, insurance papers, charity request applications, spoke with doctors’ offices and insurance companies on pretty much a daily basis for 9 months - thankfully things have slowed down.
But anyway—sorry for the tangent. Where was I? Oh right, I’m not used to making mistakes—work related! So at this new job that I enjoy, occasionally “things” happen, as “things” do. But I, like I’m sure many of you, don’t enjoy that feeling of your tail between your legs. It’s awful. The Shame!!!
Of what really?
Learning from a mistake. How dramatic. Yes, I suppose I do see the melodrama of it. But it’s just that I haven’t developed strong recovery muscle yet. I don’t really like the idea of thick skin. I think you need to expose yourself in life. You’ll get bumps and bruises but then you’ll probably miss out on some really wonderful things too. Intimacy with your soulmate, the thrill of a new adventure, a divine connection, feeling perfect and perfectly imperfect, the joy of sharing someone else’s happiness etc.
On one really difficult afternoon, I discovered how sensitive I was. And really it wasn’t a big deal. I recently restarted my workout routine and just like my quads, I need to build up my “Recovery Muscle.” I’m not sure if this concept is particularly my own, but I’ve never heard it phrased it that way so until I’m proved wrong I’m going to say that I coined this phase—so folks start using it!
What’s a Recovery Muscle (as defined by me)?
I think it’s the ability to let things pass over quickly without taking it personally. When mistakes happen, when you receive a less than flattering comment or criticism that feels harsh, (true or not), or you’re just in a funk and let your worst spiral-of-doom suck you in and your Bully Brain talks to you, that is when you implement your Recovery Muscle. This will remind you that: whatever happened--you didn’t create the end of the world; things will change; you won’t feel this way forever; even to take the criticism/mistake and learn from it, or shrug off the shade from the haters. (Channel some T-Swift and #ShakeItOff)
“But Holly,” you say, “I’m having a real big-deal issue.” I have those too. Back in December I was so psyched to lease a new car. I was determined to end my crappy car struggles right then and there! But….it fell through and I was devastated. I couldn’t keep borrowing cars or catching rides. I had to get to work… I was so close to transportation independence and it was snatched from my grasp. (But it’s so much more than transportation independence. It’s cutting off the cord with unreliable people that you unfortunately have to rely on). It was a big deal!
My sister drove as I sobbed all the way home. I was off on my spiral-of-doom. It was heartbreaking. I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep. I actually stayed up until 2am watching Billy Madison just to avoid lying awake thinking about the sucky circumstances of my life (because that’s how we all fall asleep, right?)
Just when I thought things would never work out, I’d have to quit my job, I’d live with my mother forever, I’d never get out of my student loan debt, I’d never lose that extra 15 pounds—in fact I’d gain more—blah, blah, blah my life sucks---things actually –Miraculously got BETTER!
I’m serious! Things changed so quickly that weekend I (one who ‘hates drama/loves it’) couldn’t even keep up with what happened! So many emotions: Joy, relief, the thrill of a new car, the crashing, crippling feeling of it being ripped away from me, to the confusion I had when I was told that after some firm negotiation skills from my stepmom, that I did in fact get the car!
Yes--that is exactly what happened. I was woe-ing to myself and somehow things aligned for me in the long run (or, like 24 hours)!
Sometimes when you leave a situation aside and things do work out!
Just like that difficult day I had a work-- once I realized the situation I immediately informed my boss. It turns out it really wasn’t a big deal at all. Things worked out. I think it was just the initial feeling of deer-in-the-headlights-panic that I messed up.
How do strengthen your Recovery Muscle?
For me that afternoon at work I decided to talk with my sister during lunch break. I was thinking about calling her but to my great relief she called me to talk about--actually I don’t even remember what--something random obviously. I was so relieved when she called--I went for a walk while we talked and told her the situation. She listened and comforted me. That’s just what I needed. (Sometimes you just need some comfort--sometimes you don’t need to hear a resolution right away and that’s healthy to express to those around you and to keep in mind when you’re comforting others).
The fresh air really helped me to. I do enjoy nature and sometimes getting out of your current space and connecting with nature really does help a lot.
I like the idea of breathing deeply but sometimes that really doesn’t seem to help. MY GOD KEEP BREATHING-- we don’t want you to pass out. But sometimes consciously breathing just isn’t enough to calm you down.
I returned to work feeling better--I ate some lunch (Hunger/anger=Hanger could have been a culprit) which lifted my spirits even more.
But you know what my go to quick Recovery trick is? Music--I love to listen to Spice Girls, some IGGY, or even French Cafe music. The song that without a doubt will never let me down, 100% raise my spirits is Here Comes the Sun by The Beatles. Sometimes if I’m really having a tough time (true-life example: sobbing in the outdoor stairwell at work--unrelated incident), I have repeat the song over and over maybe a good 5 times but you know what-- I always smile. I always laugh and think about my wonderful life--my boyfriend, my family, my friends, my pets, the traveling I did, the health that I have, and all the larger than life goals and dreams I have for myself--My sunshine always returns.
Those are a few ways that I notice kick my Recovery Muscle into gear…
I did some unhealthy ones too like stress eat or watch pointless TV, or choose not to exercise, (Exercise is a great one--try that) but this new year I’m focusing on the healthy side of life.
What the point is--you don’t need to crumble. You are stronger and you just have to learn the tricks that really engage your personal recovery muscle so that the next time you mess up or someone throws shade it won’t be a big deal.
I’d love to hear how you “recover” from stressful/hurtful/disappointing circumstances! Give me some tips and I will try them out!
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