Well, technically, I started a grease fire in the oven when I was broiling steaks. I wondered why black smoke was pouring out of the vent, went to open the door of the oven and nearly singed my eyebrows on the fiery dance happening in there. Black soot was covering everything, the house filled up with smoke, the smoke alarm went off, the kids were crying.
Up until that point, I had been trying to see the humor and the good throughout the snowiest February in Rhode Island history, my husband’s surgery to repair his broken ankle, my single motherhood due to his incapacitated state. But this was the proverbial straw. I started to think maybe we needed some other grown up to move in to the house and steer the ship for a while. I felt like I couldn’t trust myself.
(Luckily, my husband hopped in to the kitchen just as I had a cup of water in my hands that I intended to throw in the oven—a really bad idea for a grease fire, it turns out. He clapped a second sheet pan on top of the one currently on fire and smothered the flames. And…scene.)
We are all going to reach our threshold of what we can roll with at some point. It may be daily, yearly, or somewhere in between, but it is going to happen.
Remember it’s happening for a loving reason. I just don’t believe that we’re put on this Earth to be punished. Whatever’s going on is just trying to get you to pay attention to something that needs tending to, or clearing the way for something better to come along. You may have to take this on faith, but the evidence will show up one day if you stay open enough to see it.
Surrender. (This may in fact be that loving reason.) Sometimes so many unfortunate developments show up so close together that your only option is to plead “Uncle,” and stop trying to stay one step ahead of the process. When you surrender, you accept whatever’s happening. Meaning, you stop resisting it, and you stop feeling sorry for yourself or blaming other people. That’s when you wet your rag with a little dish soap and start wiping the soot off the cabinets. You accept the work your current situation requires and do it with the intention of creating space for the new growth that’s trying to take root. And maybe the work you need to do, if you’re one of those powerhouses who does the work of 10 people because you ‘can handle it’, is asking and allowing someone else to help you.
See a professional. The day after the fire, I booked myself a Reiki appointment, which is one of my favorite ways to turn the beat around when I feel like I’ve gotten off track somehow. Schedule a call with your coach (or take me up on my standing offer of a free sample session by responding to this email!), massage therapist, hair stylist, therapist, chiropractor – whoever you trust to help you ‘get right.’ Now’s the time; you don’t have to tough it out on your own. It’s worth the investment to feel supported during a challenging time, and if finances are tight, well, where there’s a want, there’s a way.
Give yourself whatever you’re craving. Complete this sentence: “Ugh, I can’t believe I have to deal with this! I just want to _____________________.” Whatever that thing is, consider this all the permission you need to do it. Play Candy Crush, stay in bed all morning and read, lock yourself in a quiet room and make art, dig in the dirt, make a cake. Whatever’s calling to your heart, there’s a reason. Indulge that desire and you’ll feel restored and refreshed, ready to get back to doing the work your specific situation requires. If you think you don’t have time, remember, there is no such thing as too late.
P.S. Despite it all, that steak was done to perfection! #truth