I woke up as the worst version of myself.
After a night of tossing and turning, I awoke irrational, gloomy, and ridiculously depressed and down heartened. I am an optimistic, cheerful person, for the most part. Most days aren’t like this. Most days I arise fully aware of the gloriously lucky life I lead, grateful for the home I have, the food I eat, the clothes I wear. But today wasn’t most days, and my attitude was ghastly. Brutal.
I found myself blinkered to reasonability. Everything seemed impossible. A simple text from my boyfriend initiated a response from me that was lengthy in its dismal monologue of all things wrong with life, with myself, even with him.
I was a disaster. I was ridiculous. And I was the uncalled for kind of nasty that is as shocking as accidentally sticking your hand into a wasps nest.
In his place, I have to admit, I most likely would have responded unpleasantly to my own pathetic words. My partner would have been fair in telling me to pull it together, to give my head a shake, to knock it off. He would have been accurate in saying I was being selfish, self-absorbed, and flat out rude. Justification would have been on his side had he snapped back and gotten defensive. In fact, I was itching for someone to engage in some unpleasant banter.
He did none of these. He responded simply, and his words changed my day.
They changed my entire perspective.
“You’re exhausted” he said. “Go close your eyes for a few moments. Take care of yourself right this minute. The world will go on without you.”
I paused, in my angsty fit of self and world hatred, and did as he said. I didn’t have time to lay down, so I closed my eyes and breathed. My heart calmed down, my anger dissipated, and I recognized in my body and spirit that I was as he said, simply, exhausted. That recognition allowed me to approach my day, those I interacted with, and my own bad attitude, with gentleness. I may not have been my best self the rest of the day, but I ceased walking around trying to pick a fight with the world.
Sometimes we cannot see what is so clearly obvious to others—our own fatigue, be it physical or emotional. I am reminded, now, to check in with my body when an attack of ennui and despair engulfs me—am I simply too tired? When did I last eat or drink water?
I know all too well that my day could have ended completely differently, with arguments and strife, raised voices, frustration and slammed doors. Instead, I was given a little gift of compassion that turned it all around.
I hope that I can pass that little nugget of kindness and awareness on. To you, perhaps, today. Be well. Take care of your whole entire self.
Be kind to you.
Author: Keeley Milne
Editor: Catherine Monkman