So the other day, I threw a huge pity party. I didn’t call it that myself, mind you. It was aptly labeled by my best friend. I was on a tear about how the world would be so much better simply without me in it. I was too expensive, I didn’t accomplish anything meaningful, I’d yelled at my kids, I was running late, I was stuck behind a major accident in traffic, I had gotten scratched by my dog because I was yelling at him to get in the crate, my husband’s “car” broke down and it took me nearly an hour to get to help him, it was freezing cold and raining, I hadn’t had a home-cooked healthy breakfast, and I was drinking Whataburger coffee.
I was seriously questioning my whole value of existence, thinking that it would be much better if I somehow suddenly died and my husband and kids could benefit from the life insurance.
And then today happened.
Well, actually, last night happened first. Last night, I had put the kids to bed, had cleaned up in the kitchen, had put the finishing touches on lunches for today, and had poured myself a glass of wine. I’d just taken a sip of wine when my oldest comes in for a goodnight kiss.
I kiss her, she stops, looks at me, and asks, “Have you been drinking alcohol?”
I say, “Yes, I have a glass of wine.”
She asks why, so I tell her that it’s because I read that having a glass of wine every night is good for you if you are at high risk of heart attack or stroke, both of which run in my family, and because of the hypertension issues I’ve been experiencing. She then traipsed off to bed, and I thought nothing more of it.
Come this morning, I drop her off at school, and she is bawling. She is crying her eyes out. At first, I think it’s because she thinks her coat got lost, but then she tells me that she cried herself to sleep last night thinking that I was going to have a heart attack or stroke! I get her inside, cuddle her, and tell her that I am doing everything I can to prevent that happening. That’s *why* I am working out and losing weight and watching my blood pressure and meditating and taking yoga and, yes, drinking a glass of wine.
So I came out of that experience realizing that, even if I think I’m doing an awful job at being a person and a mom and everything else, there’s one very important person in this world who would be devastated if I wasn’t here. It’s humbling… and good. It’s like an anchor to the present. I’ve got to be here, regardless of how painful or crazy or frustrating it gets. I’ve got to be here even if I feel as though I’m flubbing it entirely, and I’ve got a reason to hold it together. I might not add much value to the world, but I am the world to one of the most important people in mine.