Your Happy May Not Look Like Mine

Once when I worked a 9-5, I was in the middle of a stellar yearly review. Receiving top marks in every category. I felt proud, seen and appreciated. As the paper work was stacked and paper clipped, there was a pause. There was just one thing my supervisor wanted to discuss. There was a concern: when I walked in, in the morning, I was never smiling. I looked unhappy and therefore unapproachable. This was not seen as professional and inviting. This little piece of critique hit me hard. I worked in the field of people!! I was the support person of the organization. I was the one who understood the thoughts and feelings of others. How could I be unapproachable? The review ended amicably and I was left alone with my thoughts. True to form, in solving this problem I had more questions than answers.

Why did I look so unhappy? I loved my work. I loved going into an office full of creative minds and many colleagues I was lucky enough to call friends. Was I unhappy? It was then when it all hit me, and literally the pictures and video clips of my memory flooded my mind. What happened every day before work?

I got out of bed. Sounds simple enough. It's not. I'm never rested. Add in an auto immune disease that included chronic fatigue, that was medicated by a pill whose largest side effect was fatigue and yep, I'm tired. I usually finished mommy duties between 9 or 10 in the evening and would work while I "relaxed" before bed. One of the drawbacks of continuous accessibility and connectivity of modern business.

I hurried the kids through the morning routine so they'd make it to the bus.

I hurried the kids through the morning routine so they'd make it to the bus. One, two or three of my kids always felt sick. One, two or three were always nervous about social situations. One, two or three were having a particularly difficult time about school being hard academically, socially or behaviorally. Because as any parent of multiple children can tell you they don't always take turns.

The cereal, pancakes, waffles, oatmeal didn't taste right, was not at the perfect temperature, didn't exist inside the empty box that was put back in the pantry or freezer.

I prompted the kids to do their household responsibilities, clean up after their breakfast and so on.