Miserable Life? Malala Has That, Not You.
Kristyn Meyer is on a journey to make herself the best human that she can be. These posts are a reflection of that. She welcomes your support via reading and through commissioned affiliate links within her posts! To stay up to date on all of her shenanigans, please subscribe to her email list! (psst…there’s a free gift involved)
I don’t know when I have been able to start a blog post during this personal journey with this absolutely genuine feeling.
I am so so happy.
So very happy.
I truly do not know when I have had this feeling before. If I think back to the past decade, I really cannot come up with an example that paints my life as cheery and wonderful as I view it right now.
The other night the spousal unit went to bed early and I was binge-watching “Born Behind Bars” with the baby (trying to show him how grateful he needs to be for his cushy life, and for his mother who abided by the law during her pregnancy with him. I think it had an impact). He ended up falling asleep, so I stayed on the couch with him for the night. At 4 am, I woke up to him stirring around and I noticed that I was smiling.
I had been smiling in my sleep. Who does that?
Certainly not me, I have never noticed myself doing that before. But I was just so calm and relaxed and feeling warm and fuzzy over how my life is right now. It just naturally brought a smile to my face. I was laying on the couch in my beloved home, with this snuggly and beautiful baby on my chest and the rest of my family sound asleep upstairs. I found myself just feeling so appreciative for everything that I have and the way that things in life are going right now. And my external response to my internal feeling was smiling in my sleep.
Things aren’t perfect, and things will never be perfect. But perfect is completely subjective anyway. Actually, it is probably just an illusion if you really think about it. I was doing this writing exercise a couple of weeks ago for a class that I’m participating in. I was to close my eyes and reflect on the room that I was in, paying attention to all the different details inside it.
Then open my eyes and write about what I saw.
What I noticed was my countless attempts to make my house look as perfect as possible, including the living room that I was sitting in. I first saw the bronze basket next to the blanket ladder that is supposed to contain two throw pillows. It never actually does because the children are always taking them out and throwing them around the room. Next, I noticed our strategic entertainment center design. It is for hiding the many cords that we possess for our electronics. This is in an effort for the world to think we own all wireless, cordless television accessories presumably.
Combined with all of this are the toys hiding in the closet. This is so that we can throw them all in there at a moment’s notice and have the brief appearance of a child-free room when company comes over.
Add in the box behind the couch of completely random items that we can’t find a spot for and also can’t seem to throw away, and you have a cluster of a room.
And while writing that out, I realized that I work so hard to make things look perfect. And though in actuality the amount of time that the room looks the way that I want it to is quite brief and typically during sleeping hours, it is still perfect.
Does it look like it could be a centerfold of Better Homes and Gardens? Absolutely not. But looking around the room and having the stories and memories of the items around the room is perfect. Remembering my daughter creating a bridge out of the throw pillows and watching the baby mimic her crossing it is so much more valuable to my heart than seeing them sit in a basket permanently. The toys that are supposed to live in the closet being on my couch and all over the floor. They remind me of the different stories that we all have to share. The ones about the games the kids have made up and played. And that makes the clutter worth it.
The weeks leading up to now haven’t been easy.
It was my mom’s birthday, which is always difficult without her here. And we were edging close to the end of a very long chapter in our lives. It was stressing me out even more than I realized. I was short with people around me, I was having difficulty sleeping, I had a level of stress that I could not control. When I find myself stressed or anxious, my muscles throughout my body tense up. I don’t notice it completely when it happens, it often takes me being deliberate about taking a time out and noting how my arms feel. Also if my hands are clenched, how stiff my shoulders and neck are, and whether or not it appears that I have a rock hard stomach when really it’s just the distress talking.
When I notice that, I can normally do some deep breathing and force my muscles to relax. However, in the past few weeks, I haven’t been able to do that.
I don’t blame them – it would have been the equivalent of cuddling up to a wooden board, and I can’t say that would be warm and comforting to me either.
It got to the point where my children wouldn’t even snuggle with me.
But I’ve been trying to remind myself of all the work that I have been doing for myself to get to a place of happiness in the past few months, and also of a quote that I read in my most recent reading adventure. Shonda Rhimes writes in her book “Year of Yes”:
“You know who gets to be miserable? Malala. Because someone shot her in the face. You know who else? The Chibok schoolgirls. Because the terrorist group Boko Haram kidnapped them from school for forced marriage (which is just like regular marriage except exactly the opposite and full of rape) and no one cares anymore. You know who else? Anne Frank. Because she and about six million other Jewish people were murdered by Nazis. And? Mother Teresa. Because everyone else was too lazy to treat the lepers and so she had to do it.
It’s pretty shameful of me to sit around saying I’m miserable when there are no bullets in my face and no one’s kidnapped me or killed me or left me alone to treat all the lepers”.
Miserable Life? Malala Has That, Not You.
Doesn’t that put it in perspective? I mean, I know we are all grateful when we and our loved ones have good health and the means to support ourselves and have love in our hearts. But even when it’s not that, we still have so much to count as blessings. I’m not allowed to be miserable, or have a miserable life. I’m Kristyn Meyer. I’m not Malala. Or Anne. Or the Chibok girls. I’m not Mother Teresa. Or so many others who have life so much worse than what I do.
My life is nowhere near miserable.
I in no way have a miserable life.
And now the appearance of having amazing abs is gone, but my baby was so comfortable in my arms that he fell asleep on me the other night. And I’m smiling in my sleep.
I’m so happy that I’m smiling while asleep.
That’s a whole new level of life satisfaction that I haven’t experienced before. It’s amazing to see and to feel. I don’t think this level of contentedness will be an everyday occurrence, everyone has bad days and mediocre days, but I hope with the other items that I have been working on in my 34th year, and the other items that I still have to work on for the remainder of this year and the rest of my life, that this will be more common than what it has been.
Because life is good, and I love this feeling.