It isn’t easy to stay in a good place. It takes a lot of work. Juggling. Some days the work seems effortless; the ball is tossed up and caught with ease. And other days I can’t catch the ball. It feels like an anvil resting on my weakened shoulders. Hunching me over. Only gazing at my feet as I move through the day. I had some of those days this past week.
I know I’m missing my dad.
I have a picture of us on my desk. To the right of my monitor. We are both smiling really big. I’ve had it there since before he passed. I remember taking the photo and I remember us laughing because I was taking it as a selfie – trying to get both our heads in the frame. Using technology from seven years ago, it was a challenging task full of hilarity. On Tuesday I could see the stubble in his beard and on Wednesday it was just a photograph again.
I had been tired all week, wanting to stay asleep longer. None of my clothes felt like they fit right and I dropped nearly everything I touched.
On Wednesday I wasn’t able to present my artificial happiness while at work. The unknown sadness bled through and people could see the stain. Asking if I was ok. That makes me uncomfortable. I never know what to say. The old ‘people pleaser’ self wants to say “I’m fine, just busy” and the recovery self wants to say “I don’t know, I’m just sad, I just woke up like this”. As sometimes THAT is not a good idea. Especially at work where there is a cornucopia of personalities and judgements. Plus, I didn’t really know what was wrong. And saying THAT makes people think you’re lying and you just don’t want to tell them what’s going on. After I went home for the day I took a two hour nap. I haven’t napped (unless I’ve been trying to kill a headache) since I was pregnant with my son. He’s six.
Thursday was better than Wednesday but I still felt like I was in observation mode. Taking everything in but not actively participating.
And then, as quick as the storm rolled in, the clouds lifted. I started catching the happiness ball. Friday was good. My wit returned, I arose rested. Got myself together. I didn’t drop any balls. Kept them all up in the air in smooth circulation.
Then I questioned the happiness. I tried to analyze it as much as the sadness. What changed? Nothing. This is just how it works.
Sometimes I stay in the good place; I catch each ball I toss up. And sometimes, without warning or reason, I cannot. And all the balls drop. I just have to accept it. Monday was the start, Wednesday it peaked and Friday it was gone. I think I’m not alone in this fluctuation. I know I’m not. Because I can read rooms and I can see people shift in and out. I just wonder if they analyze it as much as I do or if they just roll with it. I wonder if they know why they are not happy or if they are just as dumbfounded as I.