a perfect {emotional} storm

It’s just a bad day, not a bad life. I can’t take credit for such wisdom (I saw it on Pinterest), but I will admit uttering those words to myself as I curled up into a ball, and cried so hard I thought my well would run dry last night. Some days, oh some days, it’s just so hard to digest life. The remnants of the day’s trials and tribulations—helping with 5th grade homework, fighting with a landlord over a necessary refrigerator repair, figuring out babysitting issues, it all just leaves a pit in my stomach.

I try to remember to breath. I try to remind myself it’s just a bad day, but the stark reality of my loneliness in being a single mother sometimes gets the better of me. Throw in a stubborn sinus cold (and an equally stubborn person who refuses to go to the doctor because she doesn’t want to take antibiotics), and it becomes an out of body experience. I imagine standing over myself, shaking my head, wondering what the hell happened. I know I’ll be okay, if I could just get some sleep.

Tonight I’ll try to self medicate with a good night’s rest. Until then, it’s time to soldier on. New rain coats have finally been purchased, and I found the girls snow boots, too. I fed my kids breakfast, packed a homemade lunch (bonus points for the homemade cookies, right?), got them to school on time, fixed an error on Isabella’s attendance record with the main office, and their feet are prepared for winter. Today, I’m going to cherish the small victories.


  • Jessica R.

    One step at a time. One meal at a time. One day at a time. That’s how you build a life. Cherishing the small victories makes it even better.
    Hang in there and treat yourself to one of those cookies or two!

  • Jaima

    I would say those are huge victories! Keep being honest and we will all keep coming back to join in your triumphs and struggles with you!

  • Nutmeg Nanny

    Anytime something goes wrong I automatically say “I hate my life” and then I realized what that really means. I don’t really hate myself. I don’t hate my husband, I don’t really hate my house, I don’t really hate my job. I hate the moment. It’s hard for me to not fall into a pit of dramatics when I’m angry but it’s something I need to change. Life isn’t always going to be perfect but it doesn’t mean I won’t make it through. Thank you for reminding me to cherish the little things. Even when everything seems wrong there is always a little right somewhere. I just have to look for it 🙂

  • Katie

    I’ve suffered from sinus issues my entire adult life (including sinus surgery). I’ve found that neti pots combined with sea salts and essential oils help me (even more than antibiotics these days). In fact, studies have shown oregano essential oil kills bacteria better than antibiotics.

    Anyway, the easy way to do it is to buy the Baraka Infused Salt from Whole Foods, and use it at least 2 x per day in a neti pot.

    I hope you feel better soon!

    The more intense route is to get your hands on high-quality essential oils and do the following:

    To address infection and symptoms (medium):
    · 2 drops Lavender
    · 2 drops Melaleuca (tea tree)
    · 2 drops Rosemary

    Apply topically with a cotton swab inside the nostrils or mix the above with a cup of warm water and, using a Neti pot to irrigate the nasal passages.

    To address infection and symptoms (heavy duty):
    · 1-4 drops Eucalyptus (1 sufficient for most, 4 is very strong)
    · 2 drops Rosemary
    · 2 drops Frankincense
    · 1-2 teaspoons sea salt

    Mix the above with 2 cups of warm water and, using a Neti pot to irrigate 2 times per day (or more).

  • tammy

    Love the comments above. So true. Some days it just seems so desirable and so much easier to hide, give up, turn around, wallow, cry. And some days It seems so hard and insurmountable to show up, try harder, face the day, see the good and to smile. Its that constant moment to moment choice that can be so wearisome but I see you making the positive choices over and over and am abundantly amazed at your strength and resiliency. Love wins out more often with you. Warm cookies, warm clothes, chimes in the wind, the sun on your face, to do list checked off, muffins in the oven for tomorrow. I think you are amazing. XOXOX

  • Olivia

    Lately, finding myself saying the same thing, “today is a bad day, not a bad life.” But you are right it is important to look at the small victories throughout the day, thank you for the reminder through your post.

    I feel like I have been walking in the desert facing my trials and going through various temptations. I feel weak, helpless and lost. Especially having this dry season come after a time that seemed so joyous and purposeful. Through numerous means I was led to the passage of scripture, Mark 1:1-20 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=mark%201:1-20&version=NIV). It reminded me that right after Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit he was sent to the wilderness to face his own trials. RIGHT AFTER being blessed by God himself. Then after the desert and all that testing he started on his main work, making disciples and performing miracles.

    He passed his trials with flying colors, he was perfect. I am struggling to trust and rely on God’s growing in me as I become small and he becomes large. The truth is we are human and not perfect and we will fall to tempation, trials and lies but as long as we keep looking up and growing in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control the little victories out way the bad days and the oasis appears in the desert and we find that those little victories, maybe just maybe are angels attending our needs as they attended Christ in the desert.

    Praying for you now. 🙂

  • @700words

    a good night’s sleep, a good cry, and taking those moments to cherish the small wins are all capable of turning a bad day around, and that quote at the start hit home with me today. It sounds to me like you achieved an amazing amount considering you are unwell, and just one of those issues you listed would be enough for me to curl up in a ball WITHOUT achieving all of those things you mentioned. Don’t underestimate how strong you are, even when you feel anything but. From a long time lurker 🙂

  • Kristi

    I love all the comments above and look forward to reading them as much as your posts. This circle of women is helping me too. Xo

  • Louise Heckl

    Dear Jenny, Have been following your blog. Lost my beloved husband three years ago and was invited to a book festival to do a presentation of die oervlakte book, the last project my husband and I worked on and that I published in 2011. I was so humbled when I met a couple who turned 90 this year at the festival with their book! They travelled thousands of kilometres through the Karoo and enthusiastically marketed their fantastic book. It made me realize that having a bad day, which I still have many of, was ok!

  • movita beaucoup

    I think your blog should be prescribed reading for those suffering from loss and celebrating the small victories. I hope you weather this perfect {emotional} storm.

  • Christy

    Maybe something is happening in the universe right now to upset balance. This morning I yelled at my kids because they weren’t listening to me. I was trying to get ready for work after getting the three of them ready, getting them breakfast and everything. I wanted them to listen to a radio station and find out a clue for a secret sound game where the winner would get $3,000+ as a prize. I was in the bathroom, they were supposed to be listening, needless to say… they didn’t listen, someone won the jackpot, I didn’t know the clue or the winning guess and I freaked out. Over something so completely trivial. And I yelled. And they cried. And now I’m sitting at work feeling awful. Hating myself for my immature and crazy behavior and there’s nothing I can do but move forward. I’m exhausted and overwhelmed with so many elements in my life that I lost it over a radio game!

  • Emily

    (( )) Big across-the-net hug! A wise little fish once said “Just keep swimming!!” I wish today brings you back your smile and a new sense of hope xx

  • Deborah

    Jennie, My heart understands the depth of your feelings only in that I lost my husband about the same time you did, however, I cannot know what you are feeling beyond that because your lose, is your lose. I am having a very hard time getting over the longing of wanting Dave back. To hold him, tell him how wonderful he is and how I wish I had showed him more love, more understanding, bragged on him more, I could go on and on. I tell you this so that you know each of us process these great loses differently, and that is okay. I wish I had the answer to “how do I move forward with acceptance and joy, but I don’t know….yet….but I and I hope you, will find that answer if we seek it with all our hearts. Peace

  • Nancy

    Dear Jennie,
    Sometimes you come to the days where it is one hour at a time or 30 minutes at a time and sometimes 5 minutes at a time. Loss is so difficult and somehow we just have to muddle through. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Blessings on your day (((Jennie))).

  • Jill

    Sending you healing thoughts for both your physical and emotional self. You’ve got this, Jennie. And don’t forget to sleep – so very healing. And warm tea…so soothing.

    And thanks to Katie above – love your recipes for sinus infections. I’m a neti pot believer for a couple years now.

  • DamselflyDiary

    I too easily get caught up in life’s irritations. Broker computer printer, new ipod charger that doesn’t work, burnt pizza all can add up to a rave-style pity party. I don’t like this aspect of myself and am working on it.

    But last night I was thinking about Thanksgiving and wondered if I should have everyone at dinner write down one thing they are thankful for and display it.

    It was then that I realized that I couldn’t write down just one thing I was thankful for because I had so many that I couldn’t pick just one. And for that I am grateful!

    Broken printer? I have the money to buy a new one (grateful). Non-working ipod charger? The company replaced it (grateful). Burnt pizza? A little oven clean-up and cutting off of crust (grateful I have an oven).

    Hang in there Jenny. Sometimes we just need a good cry to shift our energy!

  • lynne

    One day at a time. Some days I miss my husband so bad. I go into all the what if’s and the wodda cudda shudda’s. I tell myself I cannot live my life like he was still here, then I feel so gulity for living my life.

    It is a bad day for you, but you are still here…. thank you for sharing your life.

  • Radhika

    Hugs Jennie! Sososo many hugs. Words fail me. I hope you know you can reach out to me if I can help in any way at all.

  • Tracey A

    Good Morning Jennie,
    I posted something, but alas, it isn’t here!

    A good cry can be VERY good for the soul and at a time when you feel nothing else works.
    Hope the sinus infection is gone by now and hoping the sunshine has brightened up your life.
    Wishing you happy Novembers, a clean kitchen and hugs thrown in to boot,
    Tracey A.

  • Libby

    Homemade cookies and new coat and snow boots are definitely victories worth celebrating. (And I bet they were really good cookies.)

  • Ru

    It is hard to deal with issues big and small when you are run down. A good cry is better than packing those feelings inside. Allow yourself time to for you and definitely revel in any victory.

    Take a steamy shower to help loosen that crud (neti pots are good although I never could make friends with mine), grab a book to take you out of yourself, a cup of tea with honey and curl up in something cozy. You feel understandably lonely and overwhelmed (we all do to some extent) but know that people really do care and want to help.