Every morning, after waking up and taking a shower, I put on a mask. After hustling and busting, and getting everyone where they need to be, I put a smile on my face, and wear it as a mask. I try to act normal and positive, and take each day minute by minute, task by task. I try to forget certain realities, focus on the miracles, or at least focus on each individual task at hand. I try hard to do the things I should, do my best, and keep everything going. I keep hoping that if I do everything right, look like life is good, then it simply will be good. Everything will be OK.
This morning, I woke up too early and I couldn’t go back to sleep, despite being extremely tired. I showered and put on my mask again, like every other morning. I walked past a basket of clean towels still sitting in my living room. I walked past my not done homework, and the file folder of uncorrected papers. I walked past a mess in my kitchen, and heard my son, for the 10th time that morning say something negative.
Finally, I stopped, stared and cried. “Why can’t you be positive? Why can’t we find the good in this world?” I wanted to scream, yell and lose control. Instead, I ran into my room and cried.
I cried for not being the mom my kids deserve. I cried for my tiredness. I cried for my imperfections. I cried for my husband who is struggling with this round of chemo. I cried for the stressors. I cried for the overwhelming generosity. I cried for the illness, and the stresses it causes. I cried for having a job that does not completely support a family of 4. I cried for the fact that I let my kids see the mask fall off my face.
First, I paused and took a deep breath. Second, I forgave myself. I forgave myself for the imperfections, the messes. I forgave myself for losing my mask. I forgave myself for the sleepless nights and the stress and worry. I even forgave myself the mistakes of the day I had yet to make.
Then, I released myself. I released myself from getting everything done on time. I released myself from class if I need to. I released myself from some of the pressures of life.
Finally, looked forward. I looked into the day, and took it in small chunks. I celebrated the small successes and worked on my list.
Throughout the day, I felt the mask slowly coming off, however, I was able to pause, forgive, release, and look forward. Those ideas alone, helped the mask stay on, and another day pass.
Some days are better than others. Some days feel truly good. Some days I wear a mask and pray it feels true again. Today, I learned, that some days the mask is going to fall off.