Thursday, October 28, 2010

lows and highs

Today had all sorts of highs and lows,

the lows consisting of:

feeling stressed when I turned up, on time, to see my lovely counsellor (who is part of my safety net and has helped with The Lows a lot)…only to discover that I'd got the time wrong and was not supposed to be there for two hours.

feeling more stressed when I realised that in two hours I would be busy, and therefore I would miss out on chatting with her.

feeling even more stressed because I'd been feeling kind of overwhelmed recently (all right, fine, a LOT overwhelmed) with some Stuff and I suddenly thought, "How am I supposed to manage now?"

(I should mention that part of the reason I've been feeling overwhelmed is because we're going away, just my husband and I, for THREE WHOLE DAYS and THREE WHOLE NIGHTS. Without kids. And that had recently hit me, and suddenly I thought there were way too many WHOLE DAYS and WHOLE NIGHTS between seeing my kids and seeing my kids. I know lots of people do this, but THREE WHOLE DAYS AND NIGHTS is longer than I've ever been away from them. Panic!!

Plus there was a bunch of Messy Stuff connected to going away, both logistic and emotional, and for a second or two (or more) it looked like we might not even go. So by the time I rocked up to my lovely counsellor, I was ready to dump it all in her lap, sift through it for any nuggets of wisdom, and have a good cry.)

But today's low meant:

no counsellor, no dump, no cry.

I was all set to feel sorry for myself. You know that feeling? All ready to be, "This is too hard." "Stop, I want to get off." "Why me?" "This sucks." And, "Blah."

Before kids, and before responsibility, and before the life I have now, I would have happily settled into that feeling, that general unfocussed feeling of Blah, for a good day or week, or more.

I would have probably listened to Too Sad Music and done some mournful walking in a park or by the sea. I might have gone for a bike ride, and I might have watched really awful t.v. I might have wallowed and written some sad stuff in my diary. I might have sat in my room and howled.

I remember doing all these things, before kids, responsibility, before entering the Life that I have now (aka the Life that I Love).

But on this day, I had to be somewhere.

I had to go to today's Lego League meeting, where I would be helping with the group's big presentation. I was expected and I was needed. My son would already be there, and my daughter would be coming soon. I knew I couldn't walk in weepy or useless. I had to have my game face on.


I drove and leaked some tears, and drove some more and leaked some more.

I arrived. Took a deep breath.

And entered my Life.

I was greeted by bounding, bouncy kids, all saying, "Helena! You're here! You made it! You're just in time! We just finished the thing we didn't need you for and are about to start the thing we DO need you for! How did you know?"

I got hugs. I got talked to, laughed with; I got high fives. I got to help these awesome kids (young people) with their project. I got to play games with the group while eating popcorn in my friend's backyard. I got to listen to everyone's ideas and be excited for them. I got to put smiley faces on post-it notes and, with my fellow Fun Fairy, plaster them everywhere.

I was welcomed and then some.

It was warm. And kind. And real.

Then we went to Homeschool group, where more fun was had. Lovely women were there, and at one point I reminisced about how scary Homeschooling seemed in the beginning and did they remember that one day I was so overwhelmed by all the Government Jargon about Educational Outcomes that I took myself to bed for two hours? Yes, they remembered, and we all laughed.

It has become a funny memory now. It's amazing to think that more than a year has gone by since that moment. Amazing to think that homeschooling rarely scares me now. And how much more confident I feel about so many things.

It's also a reminder that things get better.

They get better.

This is the high. If you take all the highs that my day had,

you end up with this

one true thing.

The "one true thing" being my constant Life Lesson, the one I'm always learning, and relearning, and then learning again.

The lesson being…

that sometimes things are overwhelming.

Sometimes that's just how it is.

Sometimes it's so overwhelming that you take yourself to bed for two hours in the middle of the day. Sometimes it's so overwhelming that you leak tears (you don't howl, or wail, or sob—you simply leak) as you drive your car.

Sometimes it's so overwhelming and messy and tricky that sometimes you think, "How am I supposed to manage now?"

But then sometimes…

if you are lucky, or open, or brave, or

not brave at all and are—quite simply—just putting one foot in front of the other,

Life finds you.

It finds you keeping on.

Keeping on









And it finds you

being loved right back.

It finds you

being needed, and welcomed and found.

It finds you

dipping, and rising, dipping and rising.

Dipping and rising. Dipping and rising.


  1. I'll be thinking of you guys this weekend - have an AWESOME time!! xx

  2. what a beautiful post. You can see the evolution from stressed to blessed just from reading this beginning to end. Life can be overwhelming and having friends and family to work it out with lightens the load. Enjoy your time with your husband. It will nurture your spirit and then you will just give it back to your kids!

  3. Love this post Helena. Without the lows there would be no highs. Everyone feels the 'lows'. The difference is, in a matter of just a little while, you turned them around and made them Highs! How cool is that?

    I know what you mean about the 3 WHOLE days and nights. I don't see how parents do it. When Kei spends the night for 1 night I am so ready for her to come home. But that's just me. ;)

    Happy weekend!

  4. Well, I have to admit...I "leaked" as I read this. Thanks Helena, I just love your blog!
    (Deb...not Ben Bradley!)

  5. What a great article Helena :) very inspiring. Betty

  6. I'm leaking a little too after reading this...I thought my counselling appointment was this week and it isn't until next week and I have LOADS of stuff- but a couple of times a day I remind myself that here I am, I'm doing okay and the rest of the time I'm too busy to think about it.
    I hope you are able to enjoy your 3 whole days and 3 whole nights- they will go quickly enough.

  7. I think you are amazing and i love to read your blog. I am taking some shaking first steps into homeschooling, and a few weeks ago i also took myself to bed early after feeling overwhelmed by the Government syllabus documents that i suppose i should cover. I would love to know how you survived that experience - and what you think of those 'Government documents' now.


I love hearing from you! Thank you for your heartfelt, thoughtful responses—they lift me, and give me light.