On Mental Health


The wind is blowing in loud gusts this morning, I think we have storms rolling in. It’s a weird soundtrack to my morning because I live in a wooded area and I learned a long time ago that when the wind blows, the sounds of things hitting your roof are going to SCARE THE SHIT OUT OF YOU. But after going out and checking your roof in the the storms 10 times only to find it was a small branch or 5 large hickory nuts, you learn not to check unless the house shakes.

But even when the house shakes, sometimes it’s still nothing. I heard a sound one time in the middle of the night that I swore was a tree falling on our house. I ran outside in the rain with a flashlight, climbed up the terraced back yard to get a good look at my roof and…NOTHING. And y’all? IT WAS SO LOUD. The next day I saw a medium sized branch on the ground near the house so maybe it hit and rolled down but still, IT SOUNDED LIKE A FULL TREE.

So windy storms tend to yield a lot of jumping around here. I always wonder if people who live in newly built neighborhoods with nothing but seedling trees know HOW LOUD IT GETS when you’re surrounded by trees with nuts and broken/dead branches and twigs and…well, you get the point. It’s loud.

Yesterday was a crazy day and I’m feeling a bit contemplative this morning. We had one of those mornings you know well if you have school kids in the house…someone realizes there was a project due that they didn’t print up so there’s chaos on and the INEVITABLE dead printer (they know when to die to maximize an immediate purchase of a new one) and then the long drive out to the school because the child missed the bus and then afternoon drama between chess and piano and angry bus drivers all while trying to plan transportation in the evening because everyone has different activities simultaneously and you are back to being a 1-car family in the evenings and you find yourself thinking: Wait. Where did my patience go?

So I’m trying to start my day off a little more calm with a little more thought because there’s no chaos YET, and I don’t want to miss my chance to set intentions for my day. And today’s intention? LISTEN. I exhibited a lot of patience in the morning chaos yesterday but then it was like I emptied my tank and by the time the after-school chaos rolled around I was short and irritated and sarcastic and impatient.

Because I didn’t take a moment to focus or notice or listen to my inner voice warning me that I was emptied after the morning stress. I just pushed through my day trying to cram in everything I needed to get done after losing a couple of morning hours and then I was 100% depleted after school and 100% ill-equipped to handle more chaos and drama.


So I’m going to focus more today on being in tune with my levels so that I recognize when I get low and maybe find ways to recharge before someone needs me again. It’s kinda like this: My kids and husband needed me in the morning, my kids and husband needed me in the evening, I should have found time in between to be there for MYSELF. But I emptied it all because – while I’m always in tune to my families needs – I’m never in tune to my own.

So I want to magnify the sound of my own needs so that I don’t start ignoring them like I now ignore the sound of debris hitting my roof in the windstorm.

(You didn’t think I’d be able to bring it all together, did you? WELL NEITHER DID I!)

I don’t want to just hear the sound of my own needs and blow it off because it’s not catastrophic. My soul is not wailing with pains of depression or crippling anxiety so I don’t need to pay attention. It’s not a tree on the roof, it’s just a branch, so I can ignore it.

But over time, all of those small branches hitting the roof wear at the shingles and cause leaks. I want to hear the small sounds of my own needs and check on the roof a little and take time to make sure patches are put in or shingles are replaces before it comes crumbling down when I’m asleep in my bed.

Today I won’t ignore the sounds of the winds ripping debris out of the trees and throwing it on my roof. I’ll listen closely so that if there are needs to be tended to – on my roof or in my soul – I can make sure I take a good look to strengthen any weakness so that we are strong enough to make it through (inevitable) the next storm.

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