Thunk! Bam! Thunk! Pshhhhh.
As my car screeched to a halt, my purse and a large grocery bag went sliding off the seat, flinging all their contents onto the floor. Credit cards. Makeup. Veggie chips. Carton of almond milk. Basket of peaches. Everything.
“What the f**k, you f**king d**k?!”
I shouted, honked, and threw up my middle-finger at the blue mini-van who had abruptly cut me off to exit the I-294 off-ramp. If I could have reached one of the five peaches rolling around on the floor, I would have thrown it at their car.
Continuing to curse under my breath, I was livid that this inconsiderate jerk was willing to put lives in danger to dart across the highway, instead of just waiting for the next exit.
Turning the dial, I blared my music to drown out my frustrations, then rolled the windows down for a burst of fresh, suburbia air to slap myself back into my previous happy-go-lucky state.
Clearly, this wasn’t one of my most proud moments. Unfortunately, those kinds of outbursts would happen a lot. Road rage. Impatience. Frustration. Throughout my adult life, I was overworked, underappreciated, stressed, and anxious.
Then, what I thought was a good life graduated into an even grander life: motherhood.
I am not that person cursing at the cars around me feeling like I somehow have it harder than everyone else. I am not that person rolling my eyes when I must wait for more than a few minutes in the grocery line. I am not that person who gets frustrated when a friend cancels plans last-minute. I am not that person who splurges on clothes, makeup, and getting pampered, striving for perfection.
That person is not me anymore.
I’m more compassionate.
We’re all fighting battles. Sleep battles, identity battles, work battles, potty-training battles, financial battles. Lots of different battles. When I encounter an angry person now in the store or an agitated mother on a playdate, I try to imagine the hurdles they may have faced today, yesterday, or in their life overall. We can’t perform optimally 24/7, we all experience mechanical breakdowns. I have learned to exercise compassion to those whose battles have caused them to run out of fuel.
I’m more appreciative.
I’m tired. I’m sore. I’m exhausted. I have a temperamental baby on my hip. Whether it’s brewing my morning cup of coffee before I make it to the kitchen or offering to push my cart of groceries to my car because I must console my screaming baby, I so appreciate you. I’m no longer invincible, taking on every task under the sun because they say, “if you want something done right, you gotta do it yourself.” I accept help and have the utmost gratitude for anyone who wants to make my life a little easier. Thank you so much.
I don’t need that new Anthropologie dress, that $125 miracle shake, or that new, hip cell phone. I am content with giving my all to my little one. Having a child has brought so much joy to my life that, in the grand scheme of things, nothing else matters. I can live without this and that. I can meet you here or there. Do you need to borrow some diaper wipes? I can do whatever works for you because, honestly, I have all that I need in my arms. Even that bag of peaches.