You may or may not have noticed, but I (Natalie) have not written in a LONG time. There are lots of reason for this, but more than anything, I’ve just been upside down. Nothing catastrophic happened. Nothing even that out of the ordinary happened, it’s just, for whatever reason, my plate became (or felt) too full. So I took a step back.
This may seem unremarkable to you, but for me laying down a responsibility; turning my back on an obligation; walking away, even temporarily, from a team-mate, was a significant and notable action.
I believe in honoring commitment. I think you should say no if can’t and follow through if you’ve said yes– even when the goin’ gets tough. I’m not a quitter. I have integrity. So for that reason, more than any other, I don’t tend to give up midstream. No, instead I grit through. I plant my feet, tuck my chin and meet the crashing tide head on.
You ever done that, in real life? Met a tide head on? I’m sure you have. You know the feeling. First the current pushes you down and then it sweeps away the sand beneath you. You plunge under. And then what happens? Often, you flip.
Literally, mom upside down.
It might be cliché, but I think the metaphor is obvious.
Yes, my fear of letting someone down, or backing out, or not following through has landed me upside down and inside out more times than I can count. And my willingness to power through an over-packed, over-whelmed life has consequences, namely stress and frustration, which tend to come out in tiny, fiery blasts–usually aimed directly at my family.
Anyone out there know what I’m talking about?
This time, when the water started churning, I did something differently. This time when the lists of commitments piled-up, when the “fun” dates on the calendar started looking like more work than they were worth, instead of martyring myself on my to-do list, I picked up the phone and unapologetically backed out.
I’ve felt a series of emotions regarding that decision–everything from guilt at leaving Courtney on her own, to sweet, unrepentant relief. Now as my head bobs back to the surface, I’m utterly grateful that this time I made a different choice. Because by slowing the tide just a bit, this suffocating season went by more quickly and more smoothly than any time before. I feel more refreshed and better equipped to move forward.
There’s something to be said regarding the fortitude required to stick-out stressful seasons, but in this case, for me, stepping out really made it possible for me to step back in!