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Did you have "quite a day"?

"Well that was quite a day", I said to myself laughing, sitting in front of my fireplace with my mug-cake-for-one in my clean house, pinky resting on ice from a burn I just got loading my comforting friend, the wood stove. My daughter got out of her routine, started bedtime late and fell the fuck apart. I would give details but you can likely approximate how that went and you'd be correct.

So, once she was in bed, I sat in the quiet for a few seconds and took a huge exhale.

Then I laughed to myself. The day was so full of highs and also brought me down to the point, I had to take a step back, give myself some slow inhales and exhales (I do this frequently) and remember to repeat the phrase I say every day in my head.

"This is a step. You will get through it but you can't pound it".

You see, as an adult you have a host of daily responsibilities. These responsibilities do not go away when your child is overtired, when you have your period, or a burn on your leg that your child just mistakenly scared raw again, or a "stressful" day at work. There are many moments that you simply have to work through. You can't rush them or yell at them to make them go away or settle faster. No, no, no. You have to calmly weather them.

I was talking to an adult last week who got angry at me for something unexpected that happened. It was a basic misunderstanding. No one was at fault. One adult made a cultural assumption and the other, a personal one and what ensued was discomfort. I couldn't believe how outwardly upset the adult became.


Look around you. All these children walking around...they are wearing adult bodies. Isn't that strange? Many of them, most of them, are so fragile. So many of us have not found coping strategies to be functional, kind, understanding, empathetic, loving people.

And you know what? Growth happens everyday as an adult but it takes consistent internal motivation. Daily efforts. Mostly, these are efforts that you bear witness to but no one else.

As a parent, especially as a single parent, I have learned that the day will be filled with gorgeous little moments that feel like actual bursts of serotonin as well as moments that feel defeating. To me, I have come to think of this not as a hard day, or a pain in the arse, but as the gift of life. There are highs. There are lows. The difficult moments bring you either the pride of your response to a situation or the motivation to act differently next time.

So, once she was in bed, I sat in the quiet for a few seconds and took a huge exhale.

If you let it, your brain is teaching you how 'to be'. Adulthood is challenging. It reminds me of how people talk about becoming and easing into different phases of parenthood.

"Oh, the newborn stage is the hardest". No sleep. Physical exhaustion. Mastitis. Confusion about your role as a woman, as a mother, as yourself.

And then your child turns seven. You are pooping with the door closed and this little person comes in and screams at you because you decline the immediate demand to march to the kitchen drawer and show her your most favorite spoon, the best scooper of peanut butter. Suddenly you are labeled as "stupid", you have a pile of rubbish thrown at you (yes, while you are on the toilet) and oh yeah, 'your poop smells terrible, says the child with the furrowed eyebrows and sharp tone of voice that you now recognize as familiar who just slammed the door on you.

There is no 'hard stage' of parenthood. Life is challenging folks. All the time, it is challenging and through every stage in some human way.

So, should it get easier?

No.

Life as an adult, it simply changes. How we respond internally and then externally is what will make the emotions you bring to that carpet in front of the fireplace at the end of the night come alive.

And you know what? I'm bringing pride. I worked hard. I made connections. I stuck to my word to leave the house clean and teach my child personal responsibility, even though it meant arriving 35 minutes late to our friend's house. She gets it. She had a similar situation with her daughter. I completed an outdoor project even though it wasn't perfect. I accepted the imperfection and I am happy with the result because followed through on my word. I did so many adult things that spanned across my various roles as a single mom.

Another thing I did that deserves its own paragraph is this: I did not let myself feel down by the action or lack of actions of others that left me feeling disappointed. I made my reasonable, adult efforts, and then, let it lie. I, you, we, can not control the actions of others. Not our children, not our parents, not our lovers, not anyone but ourselves. So why be mad? I moved on. I physically moved my body and created necessary change in my environment. I paid bills, I made a garden bed. I admired with excitement the first snowflake of the season.


I played with my daughter. I sent that email. Now, at the end of the night, I am better for it.

So, did you have "quite a day"? At the end of it, what are you proud of, and what actions will you modify to make tomorrow more to your liking? Because friends, every day in the life of an adult is "quite a day". It is our response, how we occupy our time, how we move our bodies that changes how healthy our brain functions and the quality of the day we live out. I am here to laugh at it, joyfully.

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