March 18, 2014

Of Being "Stress Paralyzed" and "Enough"

A few weeks ago, I got to preview a fun movie called "Mom's Night Out," which is produced by Affirm Films/Sony pictures. My friend Dawn and I went down for a quick bite at Chipotle, where I embarrassingly scarfed down a chicken salad in under ten minutes. This will be an important factoid later on in this post.

The movie was fabulous. If it comes to B'ville, my girl Rachel and I are totally planning a Mom's Night Out with our friends to see it.

The movie kinda seemed like maybe I had written it--maybe I had and forgot I sold it to Sony, in which case, I need to find that contract. But, there were two parts in movie that spoke directly to me. At that time, I thought I completely understood them, now? I know I really didn't have a clue.

At one point, the main dad in the movie comes home to find the main mom in the movie in her closet watching a live feed of baby eagles and their momma. The dad asks if she's okay, and the mom responds, "I think I'm stress paralyzed."

The dad, true to dad form says, "I don't think that's a thing."

"It could be a thing," she answers back.

Here's the truth. It is a thing.

When a to-do list is a mile long ...
When you list of obligations has not one thing that could also serve as a "want to" ...
When getting off the couch to go to bed can reduce you to tears because the end of the day has come and you don't feel like you've accomplished one thing ...
When you want to give so much to the people you love but you don't feel adequate to give a wave to a pesky fly ... 

That's stress paralyzed, and it's a thing, and it's come in and sat on my chest and squeezed my throat tight and made it hard for me to breath in the past few weeks.

Later on in the movie, the mom character just melts down in the middle of the police station while sitting next to the tattoo-artist. (See? Doesn't this movie seem great?) The thing that's breaking her heart is that she can't do everything for everybody.

And the tattoo artist says, in essence, you don't have to. You are enough just the way you are.


I like that word, and I have to remind myself of that on a daily (hourly) basis: I am enough. I can do enough. I will do enough. Who I am is enough to handle what I need to do.

It's a very affirming thought. Very affirming, indeed.

That doesn't mean, though, that I still have days that getting off the couch to go to bed reduces me to tears, it just means I don't cry all night long about it.


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