One of those days.

My ambitious plan for this particular day was to enjoy a day of shopping at the outlet mall, get a pedicure, and end the outing with a trip to Costco.  All by myself!  
Doesn't that sound nice?  Yes, I thought so too.
It did not work that way.  The problem started when I was crossing the border and the CBP guy threatened to take away my SENTRI card (fast pass through the border) because of a problem they had with my car being improperly registered.  The CBP man dangled my card in front of me and told me he didn't have to give it back, but he was going to give it back this one time.  He told me that I better fix the problem immediately, or I will never be able to cross the border again.  Dramatic, yet effective.  (Life here in Tijuana would not be as comfortable without SENTRI.)  I called Ben to get me the address of the SENTRI office.  I turned on the trusty GPS, and ended up at a border crossing I had not been to and a sign that said "MEXICO ONLY".   Fortunately, the next sign was "U-TURN to US", which I had to cross several lanes of traffic to get to.  After a few failed attempts, and yelling at the GPS to help it work better, I finally made it to the SENTRI office.  I had to wait three long hours for the problem to be taken care of.  By the time I was finished, I didn't have time to go shopping at the outlets, so I headed straight to Costco.  Then  just because not enough things had gone wrong, my phone battery died, and my car charger stopped working.  It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. 

I started feeling depressed and anxious.  I was quickly spiraling into negative thoughts; things were getting worse quickly.  I knew that I needed to change my thinking, but it was really hard.  The good thing is that I talked to my therapist about these types of moments and one of the things that she suggested was to recognize the feelings, embrace them, and realize that they won't last forever.  Before, when I would have these negative thoughts, all I could think was how horrible my entire life was, it would never be better, and I would never be happy again.   This time, I told myself that it was a terrible day, but not every day is terrible.  As soon as I accepted that tomorrow could be better, I was able to look at the good things of the day, even though there were not very many.  For example, I didn't have the kids with me in the SENTRI office or at Costco (which was really busy), and there was no traffic crossing back into Mexico. By the time I got home, I was in a pretty good mood and ready to face dinnertime. 

Life has been wonderful the last little while, I have been able to enjoy the good moments, and I am able to find happiness in things I found difficult to do. I look for the good in my kids, not the bad. I don’t dread my life.  I quite like it. 

I am grateful for the bad days because they help me appreciate the good days.  I am grateful for the good days because they give me strength to make it through the bad days.  

I have hope that this is the beginning of great things.  I am able to apply the skills I am learning to make it through my hardest moments.  I know that my life isn't perfect, but it is pretty great.  I wanted to share this so friends and family will know that things are getting better.  I still have tough moments, but I am pretty sure most people do.  

(As I re-read this, I realize this particular day does not seem that bad, but it was all quite dramatic at the time.  Part of the problem was the opportunity to go into a dressing room without a stroller does not happen very often.  I was feeling really bitter that I didn’t get to do what I wanted to do.  Pout.)


Liz said...

Thank you for sharing this Emily. It is nice to know that other people have bad days too, and that I am not the only one who struggles with negative moments. I am glad that your day got better by the end of it, and that things are getting better for ya'll.

Just US said...

I appreciated reading your thoughts. I had forgotten exactly how I learned to make it through those moments because I have been doing it for so long. Thank you for putting it into words for me!

jasonandjodie said...

I'm so impressed. I know how hard it is in the middle of that kind of moment and thinking to change it for positive. I've had some recent moments where I should have done that. And maybe one day we can get together and go to the outlets without kids. I sure can't do it here either.

Emily said...

Gah!I just wrote out a long comment and it disappeared!
So I wanted to say I'm proud of you!
I'm annoyed with the SENTRI officer for dangling his power in your face...NOT nice.
And I feel SO sorry you didn't get some precious, much-needed and ever so cherished alone time. I hope you'll get some time again soon!

Jill said...

Oh do I remember the idiosyncrasies that plague life overseas ... because really, you are overseas and dealing with things that you normally wouldn't if living back in the States.

So glad you got it figured out so quickly. Sucky that you didn't get your pedi in - I'm a true believer in doing stuff for yourself! And I think you rock for being so in touch with your thoughts, feelings, and emotions.

Janalu said...

whoo I have to say that just the threat of not being able to cross the boarder would have been enough for me to lose total control so way to handle that like a true professional! ( hey at least you didn't have to run out of the Costco crying leaving behind a cart of bulk goods!)I say success!