It was the Mouse, I Promise
I remember it quite vividly, one of my favorite books from my childhood. The story ("Who Sank the Boat?") involves a bunch of large and pudgy animals (cow, pig, donkey, sheep and a tiny mouse) getting into a small rowboat one at a time. The boat holds as the final large animal makes his way onto the pile of creatures in the raft, and then the tiny mouse shows up to the shore, ready to take his place. With wide eyes you turn the page as the mouse hops onto the raft, and though it holds for a moment, all of the creatures tumbled into the water and are left to scramble out of the pond and onto the shore.
The evidence is clear, it was the mouse, everything was fine until the mouse showed up.
I found myself stacking my raft yesterday, the activities and goals and events were ruthlessly squeezed into my Sunday. So when I found myself, about ready to tear up from the exhaustion I was feeling while making some paleo chicken nuggets for the week, it was easy to blame the small pile of chicken waiting to be prepared. Let's not think about the four hours of work earlier in the day, or the hours given to other meals prepared, or the two hours spent at a fundraising event. It really was the chicken nuggets that needed to be cooked...
Oftentimes we get so overwhelmed by the tiny mouse that we miss what happened prior to the little guy jumping on board. I did not do the best job at handling the emotions that the mouse brought about, with his actions bringing the weight of my day down on my shoulders at 10pm. After stewing a little in my frustration, the impact of my choices became pretty clear. I had taken on too much and I had dragged Kyle down with me.
I think there is so much power in knowing how your actions have impacted your day and the way that you feel. I know for me the buildup can be gradual and sometimes it is more difficult to recognize who or what sunk the boat. I am often quick to blame or point fingers at the mouse, when really it was the collective weight of my choices that brought me to a tipping point.
I get it, you may be reading this wondering why it matters or what is the point of paying attention to how things make you feel. Building your self awareness can a huge key to unlocking a next step in your development. If you have trouble connecting the dots and understanding why you do the things you do. Start to take notice when you experience unease or discomfort, where are you feeling it in your body, what is happening in your stomach or your head or your chest? Tightness? Strain? Pain? Start paying attention to what is going on and maybe you can get some clues about your own tendencies.
My goal in writing this blog is not to illuminate you to my fantastic ideas or stories, my musings are not meant to be immortal pontifications . I want to assist in building your identity and increasing your awareness. We are not meant to trod about this world with our eyes closed, wondering why things keep poking or bumping against us.
Please contact me with questions that may have been stirred up in you!
Happy Monday. xoxo