Carrie Maldonado – Writer

Freelance writer, wordsmith, and novelist

So it finally happened. After years of juggling start-ups and motherhood and life and twins and all that I think I finally hit the wall this week. There was no big precipitating incident or anything, no dramatic fallout – at least not more than any other day, but I think this week something in me finally cracked and I realized I just can’t do it all. More than that, I just don’t even want to anymore.

Granted, it’s been a particularly difficult few weeks. We’ve been getting ready for the gym grand opening, and I’ve been busier than usual consulting. And school is getting ready to start, and, well, they boys are well into their terrible twos and Bisky is vying for attention too. And nobody is sleeping all the way through the night these days. And, and, and..

A subtle clue when I’m at my breaking point is I completely melt down and have the grown-up equivalent of a five-star tantrum, make plans to run away from home, and start planning radical and irreversible life changes – like moving to Fiji. When I start to notice these things, it’s usually too late, and I’ve done some damage to someone in my life. This time it was probably Dreamy who experienced most of the fall out – if only because he’s the only one who fully understands what I’m saying all the time (okay, most of the time).

After near daily amends-making, guilt, start-overs, tears, self-recrimination, I was feeling so low, depressed and inadequate that I was nearly paralyzed by it. You know that hopelessness where you know you can’t keep going the way you’ve been going but you have no idea how to get out of it? I felt so trapped by circumstances and by my own limitations that I just wanted to crawl into bed…only I couldn’t because doubtless there would have been at least one kid in there watching TroTro, Booga Boogas or Peppa the Pig.

At just the right time, someone very intuitive sent me a blog to read that was written about four years ago by a mom just hanging on doing life with FIVE kids (including twins). It shouldn’t surprise me anymore, but it still does, how much just ‘talking’ with someone who has gone through the same thing I have can help.

Earlier this week, my coach had reminded me that it’s not our circumstances that dictate our experience, but our perception of them.  Yeah, yeah, freaking yeah, I thought. That’s usually true but NO ONE could be serene in my circumstances unless they were high!

But of course he’s right. My problem isn’t all the kids, or lack of financial certainty, or NEVER getting to talk to my husband because someone is interrupting to demand something from me (blood, soul, dreams, you know). My problem is 100% that I have somehow slipped into a mode of thinking that if I just do a little more, try a  little harder, be a little more creative, that I can figure out a way to make everything easier. But like anyone in a high pressure situation, stuck in fear and running low on faith, I lose patience and go back to self-will and what I know. And neither of those work in my current circumstances.

The Carrie of 10 years ago can NOT help the Carrie of today. My goals, dreams, and requirements are not the same, so it’s not going to work to snip bits and pieces out of that person and try to paste them into a new environment…sort of like creating a superwoman Frankenstein and expecting that she will truly be alive. Instead, my serenity will only lie in accepting that all of my experiences has resulted in a new person who does NOT have to live by old expectations and old limitations.

So goodbye Superwoman…you can hang up the cape and half ass a couple things here and there in the spirit of getting by. It’ll be okay, promise…

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