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NumbThere are moments in life when events can pile and pile on you and then you have a choice: to act or react to the situation. Some of our reactions to all of these events can look like anger, screaming, or just feeling so overwhelmed that you just shut down. Some of the actions to these events are very positive but after so many that just continue to pile on, you find yourself just shutting down and feeling numb.

I have had one of these weeks this week. I’ve debated on sharing the list of “poor me’s” so that you can all understand where I’m coming from, but I really feel embarrassed to share. I am embarrassed because I am working on a goal to not complain about it, but to use my faith and move forward with it. With that being said, I have been relying on my Heavenly Father to make it through—so I have complained to him, but I haven’t shared with my friends. Well, I need support from my friends as well.

The poor me list begins with 1) broken down water heater, 2) water softener that has rusted from the inside out—and struggling to find the finances to fix these two major issues, 3) my son re-breaking his arm, 4) students who struggle behaviorally because their basic needs struggle to be met, 5) watching student’s scores not make progress after all the long nights and hours of putting together differentiation strategies, 6) four incidents occurring from 5 students in less than a 17 minute period—yep just give me the teacher of the year award for that lesson, 7) the children’s bio-dad was terminated from probation because of his most recent violation. What?? Yes, the result of this is that no one is keeping an eye on him. 8) The result of the plumbing issues creating an avalanche effect on laundry, dishes, and trying to keep 8 children bathed and cleaned throughout these past 10 days. (Basically I had to heat up boiling water and put that into the dishwasher or the washing machine each time I needed to clean anything. Cleaning the children was moved to three times last week doing to my parent’s home and taking all the supplies with you each time—hoping you wouldn’t forget anything else). And 9) trying to keep up the routine of getting everyone to their appointments on time.

It was just too much, and I was feeling numb. But with the troubles all around me, I didn’t sit down and cry—there wasn’t time. Of course I kept boiling water and adding it to the machines with the three laundry loads a day, and two loads of dishes a day. Of course I worked out ways to have “dry showers” for the kids on the in between showering days. I kept up on the paper work from school. I got everyone to their appointments, and was able to help a few students at school. I was only able to keep going because I prayed for strength to not through a temper tantrum and try my best to hold it together. (My husband uses a word to describe me, DRIVEN. It is a trait of the women in my family—I’ll share that story another time).

I don’t want to be looked at as the “excuse lady”. You know the one whose cat always seems to be sick or dying? That just isn’t me, but what I’m learning is that there are others around me who do care and who (when you share your troubles) are just there to listen and let you have a good cry—that is what I need to get a little better at. I think everyone must have someone they can share with, my pride gets in the way. Even though I finished the work, I was too numb to see the small sparks of fun/life that my family gave me. I forgot to see some of the happy silly moments—that was disappointing. But, I went through yesterday with an effort to smile and laugh at those moments despite the fact that other 9 things still where happening. It helped my numbness turn back to feeling.

I think I need to remember that spark of life during the hard times so that I can help to keep my family happier. I know I will still make mistakes with this, but if I’m more aware of when to laugh those little gifts of energy will help me to accomplish the near crushing task before me. And on a final note, I vow to never take for granted the simplicity of hot water. I know that with a few more days behind me, I will smile and laugh at the memories of boiling water, packing up kids to find showers, and so forth. My numbness will melt away and I will laugh—maybe not a full hearted laugh, but enough to help me through the tough times. Ah, lesson learned.

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