Yesterday I lost my peace.
Here is the Recipe for a Meltdown at my house: Two adults, a time crunch, the need to clean the house and depart with 1 toddler and 2 big dogs, plus a pinch of sleep deprivation and a dash of hunger.
We were leaving so that our realtor could have an open house at our place. It came to a head when we were just about in the car… and my husband yelled at me. Then I wanted an apology, even though I was inwardly angry with him long before he yelled at me.
Now we’re driving 30 minutes to go to lunch and to a park. I feel terrible. A few tears roll down. I’m angry that he was inpatient, hurt that he didn’t apologize, indignant that he was outside for an hour changing flood lights on the garage while I was cleaning the toilets and vacuuming the dog hair off of everything – taking care of THE THINGS PEOPLE MIGHT ACTUALLY NOTICE! – and that THAT’s why I was not in the car yet when he yelled at me to get in.
Now, our 3-year-old daughter has a “Peace Chair”. I got the idea from her daycare provider who explained when we met her that she doesn’t do Time Out but she has a Peace Table where the kids can sit and squeeze stress balls and get a hold of themselves if they need to. So, we got a lavender-colored bean bag chair for home. We taught Cameron deep breathing and explained that the Peace Chair was to go sit and breathe and get your peace back if you lose it. She has been escorted there a time or two, don’t get me wrong, but she also has gone on her own, put Elmo in it, and walked me there by the hand at times.
There I was in the car, in my seat, wanting to regain my peace. Well, at first I wanted an apology and to be right, and to point out a bunch of things…but eventually I just wanted my peace back. My car seat became my peace chair. I took long, complete breaths. I closed my eyes. I saw through my story – that he should have been helping me clean/entertaining our daughter/ anything other than fixing floodlights, and that he owed me an apology. Then I asked my favorite Byron Katie question: “Who would I be without this story?”
I opened my eyes.
The sun was shining.
The hills were blazing with leaves in their Fall colors.
My daughter was quietly singing along with a Disney show.
One dog was panting.
I was a person sitting in a car, riding to go have lunch.
I started some chit chat… brought up a Halloween party we could go to… we tentatively smiled at each other. At lunch, he apologized. Later, we really made up.
Who would you be without your story?