When Life Hands You Lemons
I’ve been struggling for what to write here. In a world where we want to show the shiniest, prettiest versions of ourselves, it’s hard to do that when you don’t feel that way. The truth is I’m having a difficult time posting because I’ve been completely overwhelmed by life lately, and I don't want to post about that on here for fear of coming across as negative or a downer. But we all have our "stuff," and if you can’t be honest on your own site, where can you?
Can we be real for a second?
This week has totally sucked.
And I don’t mean in a 'messed up your manicure as soon as you got it' way. It has been professionally and personally trying in ways I could not have anticipated. Where do I even start?
I have a very important business relationship that is currently hanging by a thread. It’s felt like a runaway train since day one. Very rarely have I felt in control. The fact that I actually got into a wreck on my way there for the first time was probably a glaringly obvious indicator that I was about to take a wild ride. My character and integrity have been called into question. My experience has been insulted. My insecurities have multiplied. It’s really been a test of my will. And I’m already a fairly insecure person. I falsely hoped this magical burst of confidence would rain down from the heavens and flood every fiber of my being upon turning 30. And that hasn’t exactly happened. And that's okay. I’m fighting my way through it. I’ll get there. But man, what a bummer. I feel like I failed my client. And worse, I feel like I failed myself. Hey, nothing lasts forever, right? And it’s not like I didn’t show up and try. But even when you foresee everything crashing down around you, it doesn’t make you immune to the impact when it actually happens. Tensions magnify. Emotions flare. You want to run screaming from the wreckage, but you can’t because you’re supposed to be the adult in the situation. Have you been there? Do you get what I'm saying? It's soul crushing, isn't it?
That alone would be a bit much to take on, but that was only a fragment of the chaos this week.
What was supposed to be the start of a really exciting and necessary update for our house has been laden with stress, anxiety, and a kind of guilt I haven’t really experienced up until this point in my life. Not exactly the way I was expecting to feel one week into a project I was once so pumped up about, yet here I am. It’s safe to say I have more of a vested interest in what our house looks like than Justin. I pinterest my little heart out. Half of the accounts I follow on instagram are interior designers (the other half are probably dogs LOLLLL). I want a beautiful, unique, put together house. I want our house to be on Apartment Therapy or Design Sponge or a home design book or all of the above. I borderline obsess over it. We’ve done renovations before. I expected hiccups and delays and things running behind schedule. One of the windows we're supposed to be installing is completely MIA, and I feel like I've taken that news like a champ. This isn’t my first rodeo, but this is our first renovation since bringing Teddy into our home almost a year ago, and I was wildly unprepared for how he would respond.
Teddy is a pretty chill little guy, but he’s a velcro dog. He was abandoned as a puppy and since I'm the one that brought him home to live with us, I am his person. The only thing he really cares about is me leaving the house (or being alone in general). And since someone would be here with him during the repairs, I assumed he would be as gung-ho about getting new windows as the rest of us!
He was fine the first day. I planned on sticking around here because I am a control freak, but I actually ended up leaving because he and Scarlett fared so well. I’m not sure what happened on day two, but it wasn’t good. I had a big meeting that I begged to get scheduled, and I got a call the night before that they could see me the following morning. "This is it!” I told myself. The contractor agreed to start on the window in our bedroom first thing in the morning so he could finish up in time for me to corral Scarlett (my less sane dog) back into our bedroom before leaving for the day. Scarlett, unsurprisingly, barked for a solid 3.5 hours straight while he was installing the window. It’s not a great substitute for coffee, but it does work. Despite some concerns he may not finish in time for me to leave, he completed the bedroom window, and I was getting ready to go when the contractor had apparently moved on to the living room window. I heard a loud banging sound and saw Teddy scurry across the carpet to the kitchen. I looked down to see some mystery poop on the floor. Then more poop partially hanging out of Teddy's butt. Which I tried to keep my chill about. Until Teddy sat down in it. (((WHY GOD))) So I cleaned his business off the floor and wiped his butt, and then there was more banging on the window. Teddy ran to the back of the house. So I chased him back there to open the bedroom door and let him in with Scarlett. I ran up front to make them each a treat and then went back to the bedroom to give those to them when I noticed Teddy was nowhere to be found. After some searching, I realized he was all the way under the bed. I could not deal with that at the moment, so I threw his treat under the bed and bolted out the door. Also, my meeting was almost an hour away from my house, and I was going to be 15 minutes late for it. And I’ve never been late to a meeting with a client. Especially not one I begged for. Jesus, take the wheel!
I should note that this is funny to me now, but at the time, my nerves were shot, and I was FURIOUS. When I finally made it to my meeting, I gave myself a quick pep talk in the parking lot before going inside. No matter what else was going on around me, this was my main priority at the moment, and I needed to (Tim Gunn voice) make it work. GET IT TOGETHER, GURL. Thankfully, despite everything that heppened, the meeting was amazing and I locked that account down. #humblebrag #silverlining Justin and I got home at the same time that night, and we’d prepared ourselves for our bedroom to be a massacre. Teddy doesn’t get crated because he’s an escape artist, and he hasn’t been quarantined to our bedroom since he was a puppy and escaped aforementioned crate to destroy the carpet and the blinds. We didn’t know what to expect, but we knew it wouldn’t be good. What I saw was actually worse than I imagined because while nothing was damaged, Teddy was nowhere to be found. Justin and I called him, but we couldn’t see or hear him anywhere. And then we looked under the bed. He’d been hiding under there - exactly as I left him - traumatized. I nearly broke down on the spot. My job as Scarlett’s mom is to keep her from going cray cray, but my responsibility to Teddy is to make him feel as safe and protected and loved as possible. And I failed. Big time. We pulled him out, and he kept trying to crawl under the bed. He was frightened beyond belief, and his little elbows had carpet burn from trying to dig further and further to a safe hiding spot. I couldn’t stand it. I sobbed in the bathroom that night thinking I irreversibly damaged our dog in some way. Had he not already been through enough? I never should have left him. I kept berating myself.
He wouldn’t eat or drink anything in the morning. I got him sedatives from the vet, and he still hid in our bedroom. He trembled at even the tiniest sound. He seemed as broken as the day I found him, and it wrecked me. I had to fly out for work that afternoon, and the guilt I felt overwhelmed me. Justin described him as “manic” and said he wouldn’t eat that night. The next morning I tearfully texted my neighbor that I was heartbroken and felt helpless being so far away. She and her husband dropped everything they were doing and took Teddy and Scarlett to their house. Teddy had a complete change in demeanor. They sent photos and videos of him running around and playing with their pups all morning. It was such a relief to see him thriving after a rough few days, and it helped me regain focus for work while I had to be away from him. He even ate his food for the first time in a few days!
I’m now back home and am trying to mentally process what happened and what’s on deck the next few weeks. I know there are still rough days ahead. Work won’t always be a cake walk. And the contractor comes back tomorrow to start the next phase of our renovation. But we’ll get through it. It may take some extra treats and sedatives and Advil and cookies, but we’ll make it.
Something that helps me when I feel like my mind is a mess and my emotions are swirling around is looking for the truths in a situation.
This is what I know:
🍋 You can’t control people anymore than you can control the weather. You can only control yourself.
I’d be 1000% lying if I said I held it together this week. There have been lots of tears and emotions and Advil and tears and screaming and more tears. But I am committed to getting back out there and showing up and trying, and that's all I can do.
🍋 Not everyone is going to like you.
This is a hard one for me! Even writing that down I'm like "Ughhhh! WHY NOT??" I feel like I’m pretty easy to get along with. And this translates beyond work. Sometimes I’m nervous to post certain content on here or other places online because of the way someone may perceive me or the fear of what response I may generate. But all I can do is be myself. And if someone isn’t into me, that’s on them and that's okay. It doesn’t affect me unless I choose to let it.
🍋 You can actually have the crap scared out of you.
It’s a saying for a reason. Now we know. (Thanks, Teddy!)
🍋 If you need help, ask for it.
My neighbors are THE best. They literally got an 8am cry for help on a weekday, and they both rushed to jump in and alleviate a few meltdowns that day. If y’all are reading this, please never move away from us because :((((((
🍋 Focus on the good.
While this week was mostly garbage, there were some really great parts! And focusing on those things is what carried me through when I wanted to go all Alanis Morissette on everybody. Even when things seem like they’re at their worst, I promise there’s some good in there somewhere if you look closely enough.
🍋 A change of scenery can do wonders for your soul.
On a week when I just wanted to get the F out of here, I was able to. And even though it was for work, it still got the job done. (It worked for Teddy, too!) I’m guilty of letting myself get completely burnt out. The next time I feel that way, I’m going to try to make a quick getaway to the mountains, or a nearby city with a friend who will let me crash on their sofa because it’s cheap and good for my psyche (just like Chick fil A!). Physically removing yourself from a stressful situation helps you breathe easier and see it more clearly.
I’ll share pictures of the house later. Weather permitting, they'll start painting the exterior next week! The before and after will blow your mind, y'all! But for now, I’m inside snuggling the puppies on this rainy day because that’s what Sundays are for. Thank you for reading along, asking about the blog, and being so encouraging as I figure this thing out. It means the world <3 I promise I'll get back to skincare and home projects and all our other favorite things soon.