I looked at my phone and I saw the timer on my call counting up… and despite the fact everything in my mind was moving faster than I could register, the numbers on my phone continued to climb, unaffected by the chaos in the living room.
My oldest and the middle child were fighting, yelling over who got to sit on the new living room chair. My husband looked to me, annoyed by the constant bickering, and I lost it.
“There is clearly enough room for the both of you!!!!
What has happened to this family?
How can we not just get over a stupid chair… just stop!!
I’ve had enough!!!”.
45 seconds, 46 seconds, 47 seconds…
I don’t know who I was screaming at. I use the word screaming because there was no real purpose to the words I was saying. … The heightened volume was not due to a lack of hearing on my children’s part but rather a lack of listening from, what seemed like, every person around me, for the last year. The agony in my soul was being pushed out with such force, that flashes of every frustration, in every aspect of my life was bundled up into one ejection, like a pilot fighting for his life… escaping a nose diving plane.
48 seconds, 49 seconds, 50 seconds…
Fifty seconds does not seem like a long time unless you are at the other end of a phone call that clearly was not intended to be dialed. I froze. I didn’t know whether to throw my phone down, hang up or to start talking… Speaking didn’t seem like an option since, not only did I draw a blank but, I may have actually blacked out for a couple seconds.
It was a colleague from work. I felt completely exposed.
“Oh, hi!”, I stammer out.
“Is this a bad time?”
“It’s been a rough day. I am so sorry.”, I say to the young lady who has yet to start a family.
1 minute… One minute of my life.
I managed to muster up the strength to make it through the short conversation, trying to remain as professional as possible. Realistically, I had just experienced such a reality check, my determination to remain in control of the situation, simply was not there.
The white flag was flapping in the wind, hitting me square in the face.
All it took was one minute.
It was not the embarrassment of a butt-dialed phone call, but rather the shame it took a person, from the outside, to have a clear view into how I was dealing with my frustrations. It wasn’t the worse situation, but it definitely wasn’t ‘me’ at my best. It was time…
And in 60 seconds, everything changed.