Shake it off

I was shaking my jeans out before putting them on. Snap! Snap!

Miles said, "Why are you doing that Mommy?"

"I don't really know, sweetie. It's just something I do before putting my pants on I guess."

He stared at me blankly.

I thought about this for a little while and then it hit me. How many things am I doing that just really don't make sense? You know, the things you do that are simply because you do them? Not for any other reason. It's not like shaking my jeans is really going to take the wrinkles out. I would need to iron for that. But every day, I stand and flap those jeans violently in front of me, as if I'm accomplishing something.

And in this same way, most days I walk around with an edge of anxiety about me, snapping at the silliest of things. Someone spills water and doesn't immediately get a towel, and my anger switch is turned to the 'on' position before I've even decided if it's worth being angry about.

I've been thinking a lot lately about the frazzled chaos I feel that I live in. I've been thinking a lot about how much of it really does come down to my perspective or my attitude. In short, how much of it is simply about me, and not about my circumstances?

I don't say this to add yet another flaw to that cloud of guilt looming above my head. I'm learning that serves no purpose. It only makes things worse. I say it because I think that accepting it may be a big piece to solving the puzzle.

The puzzle that is the me in motherhood.

There are some things I'm doing that serve only me. There must be a part of me that needs to hang on to my habits for fear of losing more of myself. There are things that I do that blow finding balance and meaning in motherhood right out of focus. I fall back on anxiety and frustration because they are old friends, things I do without a thought. Because they're familiar. As familiar as shaking out my pants every morning without a second thought.

I do negative feelings simply because I do them.

I'm so thankful today that I finally don't feel guilty about this. I'm enjoying some strange kind of freedom in the knowledge and acceptance of who I am. I'm experiencing a new kind of peace in the hope that change is possible, if I will only begin to practice something new.

I'm not very good with follow-through and discipline. But just for today, I think I'm going to practice ignoring the negative things that are spoken by that little dude on my shoulder. They are lies. I'm going to brush them off and focus my attention on the positive. Just for today.

And tomorrow morning I'm going to put my pants on without shaking them out, just to remind myself to try to do another day without old habits.


  1. Wow, do I ever relate! Thanks for this post Heather. My anger or frustration switch turns on all too quickly lately. Although it has always been a part of who I am, I don't like it. I too have committed to look for the positive, and ignore the negative. It is harder than one would think, simply because it is an "old" habit. I even found some music with uplifting positivity to listen to. It helps me to remember the "Pollyanna" positivity. There is good all around us, we just have to choose to see it. Thanks again!

  2. I also totally relate to this. My fuse has been really short lately. I hate that MY CHOICES put me in an easily frustrated state with my kids. I love the encouragement in this post!

    -Cutler's -- what music are you listening to in these moments? I love that idea...I also find that music often will help me transcend my mood. I love to put on Jack Johnson & Switchfoot!


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