“Sorry for being so tired, sad, and overwhelmed,” I quietly said to my husband as I stared over at our two youngest kids doing cartwheels and dance moves in the pool. I hate being tired. Being sad and overwhelmed is even worse. It's the trifecta of emotional drama. So much of what I was creating emotionally and physically in this moment originated in my thoughts, and yet I was having an especially hard time recalibrating today. No judgment, I reminded myself. Ha! I downed a second cup of coffee midday to stave it off. No luck. Maybe if I managed my mind a little more closely, my day and my overall mood would improve. Easier said than done.
But CB seemed unfazed.
“Mart. You've got this!” he said kindly.
“Yeah, barely, but right now I'm doing the best that I can,” I said, holding back tears.
“Well, it's all good. You're showing up. That’s all that matters,” CB said with his usual sweetness.
I sighed deeply, and gazed off in the distance. Tears cascading down my cheeks. Why was I so tired? Every muscle ached, and my heart felt so sad. Although I was physically present, my head was a million miles away trying to grasp our new reality. I missed Ellie and Ben, our two oldest, whom we said goodbye to weeks earlier as we dropped them off for their senior and junior year at Culver Academies. I missed our home on Twixwood Lane and the very best neighbors anyone could ask for. I missed our dear friends and family. I missed my Notre Dame clients. I missed the familiar. The known. I missed driving places without needing my GPS. I missed my routine. I missed being on autopilot a portion of my day so that I wasn’t so fatigued by the end of it. It was only 3 weeks earlier that we had bid farewell to our beloved Midwest, our home for the last 17 years. All of this for a new adventure, new growth.
CB touched my leg and looked me straight in my eyes.
“Hey babe,” he said with intense seriousness.
“You’re doing an awesome job.”
"No use fighting it. I am just trying to sit with all of these yucky feelings. These too shall pass. It's all good.”
It's all good is our family mantra. It came into being when we lived in Guatemala for a year, and it seemed to encapsulate being human on a daily basis. It’s all good meant that the struggle, the unknown, the beauty, the rawness, the exhaustion, the real, the awesome, the confusion, the learning, the fear, the messy — it was all good. Nothing more, nothing less. Whatever it was, big or small—I, we, dear friends who knew the saying declared: “It's all good!” It has become our go-to, a catchphrase, like a secret password, reminding us to slow down, to breathe, to question our crazy thought patterns, to stop being so perfectionistic and relentlessly hard on ourselves, and to celebrate all the highs, lows, and in-betweens in life. No harsh judgment allowed. It’s all good.
Your volleyball coach is an ass and he basically told the entire team that you are his favorite player because “even though you have no talent and no athleticism, you have a good work ethic and a positive attitude.” Wow. Although devastated, you are holding your head up for the most part and keeping a perspective on things. You might quit. Or not. You are focusing on what you can control and making eye contact and inroads with the other players. It’s still awkward. You are questioning your thoughts that are making it personal, and choosing to soften those with not making it all about you. You are beautiful. You are strong. You are resilient. It’s so hard. It's all good.
A work colleague loses his temper and holds a grudge based on a mistake you made. You owned the mistake, but felt rattled by his reaction. It threw you off your game for a few days, more time than you would have liked, but you rallied. You're learning to not rely on and seek out external validation as the only barometer for your performance. It's really an inside job. It's a process. Baby steps. It's all good.
You say something that your friends interpret as strange. You feel weird. Insecure. You want to crawl into a hole. You don't. You own your weird. It's all good.
Your ACT score is lower than you would like. It will likely hold you back from getting into the school of your dreams. You remind yourself that it is just a number. One very small piece of you. There's so much more to you. You're crushed. You recalibrate. You consider your 2nd and 3rd college choices. You get back to work. You hope. You pray. It's all good.
Your Mom struggles handling constructive criticism. She takes it personally. She gets hurt easily. You are frustrated. Angry. You bridge the gap by recognizing that she is doing the best that she can. So are you. You realize that you are becoming an adult and sometimes your parent is an emotional child. The roles are reversed. How and when did that happen? Welcome to being on the verge of adulthood. You realize that your parents are human. It's all good.
Your heart was broken by a boy, but you conjured up the courage to start talking to another boy and join him and his friends for dinner. You’re nervous, and feeling vulnerable. It's all good.
You’re struggling with depression and it’s hard to do much of anything but you shared your struggle with your roommate and walked over to the counseling center and scheduled an appointment with a therapist. You go, sister! It's all good.
If you're having a crap day, if life is just feeling like too much, if things are just crazy...remember, it's going to be okay. Get a handle on those thoughts that are creating the tired, the crazy, the overwhelm. If you’re able to, shift them to something a little softer, a little kinder, a little more forgiving. If not, sit with them and know that they will pass through you. Know that you are going to make it. Even in the messiness of it all, you are going to be okay.
It's all good, people.