A road map out of ‘Pushing Through’ purgatory
Verb: To push through
When a person feels exhaustion/depletion, but follows through on a task out of love, obligation or responsibility; sometimes avoidable, but often not. “She was 10-cm dilated and the doctor refused her epidural, therefore, she pushed through.”
“I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue.” Airplane
The flu hit our house the last five days. If you think sick-duty is but a memory when your children are leaning towards adulthood, think again.
My oldest called me in a frail voice last week, asking with her last ounce of strength to pick up some organic juice at Whole Foods, some organic lentil soup and some terrible, poo-looking concoction to strengthen her immune system. Bear in mind, this was 9 a.m. on a workday.
So, I showed up at her apartment with the organic medical supplies. She greeted me with tears in her eyes and asked, “Mom, I’m not going to die, right?”
Then, I, Florence Nightingale, went home to a sick 16-year-old and somehow managed in the last five days to:
- Make eight trips to the grocery store for more organic juice, fruit, medicine, immune system concoctions, etc.
- Reassure my youngest she was not going to die.
- Coach her through the protocol for calling off sick.
- Make homemade chicken noodle soup; one with chicken/one without for my vegetarian daughter.
- Make smoothies when her throat hurt
- Make homemade stew; one with beef/one without
- Clean the guinea pig cage
- Take full-time dog duties
- Manage two big work projects
- Everything else
I even filled the damn bird feeders!
Here’s what I learned. There’s some value to “Pushing through;” more than just getting it done. I actually found myself using the adrenaline to get MORE done. I was already in “Get it done” mode, so, what the hell! And, it felt good.
After all my pontificating about the benefits of self-care, I found myself in a quandary. I actually avoided writing part three of this series, because? I was waist-deep in a bottomless pit of activity.
There were no massages, trips to Greece or even bubble baths. I was in the zone, in the, “Got to do it, I’m tired, it doesn’t matter, push through, shelve everything but the highest priorities aside: work, sick kid, groceries, pets”-not necessarily in that order.
How could I possibly write about self-care, when I was the poster child of caretaking?
Monday, 7:30 p.m. I’m still working. The dog still needs fed and a walk. She also needs a bag of food for the morning. The other two medications I bought my youngest didn’t help her sleep through the congestion. I had one more fire to put out for work. Guinea pig needed fresh spinach-and, believe me, you do NOT want to see Hedgepig when he’s hungry. My latest marketing campaign for a client was only half-complete. We were out of soup. Out of fruit. Out of juice. And, most importantly, out of my coffee for morning.
Guess what I did? After I fed the dog, but, before I took her out and went to the store, I MADE AN APPOINTMENT FOR A FACIAL AND MASSAGE.
How freakin awesome am I? Granted, it was after-hours and I haven’t heard back from them yet. Still, I contacted the spa. I did it.
Moral of the story? I’m not sure there is one. I’m a good parent. Like good parents everywhere, I followed through for the family I love. It seemed never ending, it was exhausting and it was a bit badass doing it alone. But, mainly, it was just life.