The straw almost broke the camel’s back today. Teddy’s hip severely dislocated again last night, and I managed to wrangle everybody up this morning at 8:30 and get out the door for a 9 a.m. appointment they could squeeze us in to.
Side note: You should have seen me trying to get everybody from the car to the vet’s office. Hadley stood on the sidewalk as I yelled not to move, Sadie went into the stroller, and I wore my purse like a book bag. I carried my 20lb roly poly of a dog under one arm and pushed the stroller with my other, all while trying to keep tabs on Hadley. It was comical in hindsight, but not at the time.
Anyway, Jamie and I agreed in July that if this happened with Teddy’s hip again that we would bite the bullet and do surgery, and the vet agreed that this surgery needed to happen ASAP. So I walked out of the vet with a surgery date and hefty estimate and just wanted to burst into tears.
But I got on the phone with my mom and told her I was choosing joy; I didn’t want to be down and out today. It’s too gorgeous outside and I have two amazing girls in the back seat who deserve a happy mom.
I’ve always been a very glass half full person, and I’ve lately started not to recognize myself and the negativity I’ve been feeling. I don’t like it. Teddy’s injury comes at the very tail-end of a challenging few weeks for me. Parenting without Jamie stinks. It’s plain hard taking care of an infant and a toddler alone in the dead of winter. It’s even harder doing it when family is so, so far away. But I don’t want to wallow in self-pity all the time. That’s such a miserable way to live and not who I am at all.
I’ve always completely believed that some of the happiest people are the people that choose to be happy, and vice versa. Sometimes it’s so painfully hard to choose joy during the most excruciating seasons of grief, exhaustion, worry, and despair, but the option is always there.
So today, when I could feel those thoughts of “It’s always something! Why?!”, I pushed them aside and chose joy instead. I chose to have uplifting music on all day long in my house. We went for an extra long run/walk. I took a long shower while the girls napped and then put on my comfiest baggy sweats while my hair air-dried. I read a few extra books to Hadley and cuddled Sadie a little more like she begged me to. And now I’m treating myself to a night on the couch to do something else very therapeutic, which is to write and write and write.
How do you tangibly choose joy?