The Frosty Critic

Yesterday was one of those hard days where it all comes crashing down inside my head. Usually, I am talkative with coworkers and friends, optimistic, and hopeful. Some days though, my own inner-critic and situation gets the best of me.

More often than not, I can tame my inner critic and adjust the expectations for which hold myself to a realistic level. Occasionally, I can’t.

All I wanted was to be a successful business person who arrives to work on time every day and performs above and beyond, a loving mother who plays with her toddler at every request and makes delicious, nutritious snacks, a fantastic friend who always responds to texts within an hour, a doting wife who makes her husband feel like a million bucks, an adult who never forgets to pay the phone bill and doesn’t avoid running errands, and a top notch student who always turns assignments in on time. Oh, and I would love to keep my house semi-clean on top of all that.

What actually happened was I was late to work again because my toddler threw a tantrum at daycare drop off, I gave my toddler goldfish and bananas at snack time while I cooked dinner instead of having a dance party to Trolls, I completely forgot to answer any texts, forgot the phone bill was due, didn’t make it to the bank, and forgot to turn in my assignment for this week. To top it off, my potty training child threw multiple naked tantrums on my bathroom floor when asked to please sit on the potty or get her hands out of her pull up. Yeah, I wasn’t feeling too spectacular and my inner-critic had a hay day!

When I expressed my expectations to my future husband, who was totally unphased by all my chaos, he told me that if I thought any one person could do all that at once, I was kidding myself. I am not convinced though! It seems like some people do exactly that.

That’s the issue though, it seems like they do. In reality, every person I have ever spoken to about this topic agrees that it is near impossible. Anyone who looks like they’re doing all that isn’t doing it all alone or the reality behind the Facebook updates, tweets, or Instagram images is much less put together. (If you miraculously are doing all that alone, you are a godsend and please teach me your ways!!)

It is like I’m sitting in a car with a frosted windshield and everyone else is outside frolicking. I can see them but the details are totally shrouded by ice.

My inner critic LOVES frosty thoughts and days because it gives her fuel to overcome my best intention and attempts.

In short, I’m comparing myself and my abilities to an ice sculpture while I am still quite human. I will never be a flawless, perfectly carved ice block that is going to melt away in a few hours. I will be flawed, whimsical, and full of adventure. I also won’t melt.

Even though I couldn’t see it yesterday in the heart of my problems, it was just an adventure. It was all a process that I could learn, laugh, and grow from if I could just step back and see it.

If you can relate to my day yesterday, my expectations, or my first world problems, you are doing amazing.

If you feel overwhelmed and frustrated to the point of tears, you have totally got this.

The difficulties will pass and you will come out stronger.

Today has been much better but I still feel wonky. That’s okay though. Expectations can’t be shattered in a day and logic can’t prevail without practice.

What do you do to cope with hard days? Do you ever catch yourself expecting too much?

Be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe

no less than the trees and the stars;

you have a right to be here.

Max Ehrmann

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