I read a book several years ago by Dennis and Barbara Rainey called "Building Your Mate's Self Esteem." One of the first chapters is all about overcoming your "phantom", the image you have of yourself, the unreal expectations you set for yourself, your unreachable goals. In reading this chapter I realized that my own phantom was waaaay out of control, or more precisely, in control of my life. Though I am aware of this issue, I still have days when my phantom comes out to haunt me. Today was one of those days.
From the moment I woke up this morning, everything felt off. I had a headache, which is never an indication of an easy day. My kids had been awake for over an hour and had completely demolished the living and dining rooms, both of which had been clean the night before. By 9:00 am, the phantom had taken hold, mentally preparing my overwhelming list of achievements for the day. Before I knew it, I was behind. By noon, I was feeling so overwhelmed that I sat down to crochet, knowing I could never get caught up again. And when my husband left for work shortly thereafter, I burst into tears at the failure I had become. In my mind I kept playing out my failures as a parent, as a wife, and especially as a homemaker. I'm pretty sure that's when I took a fork to the birthday cake in the kitchen. Add healthy lifestyle to the list of casualties in my day.
Now I know that I can't possibly be a failure at everything, but days like today really make me wonder. I did finally get the kids to do there chores, after much prodding and annoyance. I did cross a few things off the list myself. I realize now, though, that my phantom did its best to make me doubt myself and my abilities. With a clear head, and a dirty kitchen, I will drift off to sleep tonight knowing that it will all still be there tomorrow so I can try again.