I’m so tired of being “fine.”
You know how it goes:
Some other person: “Hi. How are you?”
Or sometimes I upgrade “fine” to “good.” Rarely do I think about my answer. It’s automatic. Spit out an answer. Don’t take too long. Nobody’s interested in how you really feel.
Most of the time, I’m not even sure how I do feel. Maybe at that exact moment, standing in line at the grocery store without kids and everything checked off my list, I am fine. My overall state of well-being, though? Probably somewhere less than fine.
I’m obsessed with “fine.” And “OK.”
“Are you OK?” — I’ve noticed I ask my husband this question a lot. I want the answer to be “yeah, I’m fine,” but lately it hasn’t been. We’re working on some things to help us be more honest about how we’re feeling and our states of mind. He surprised me one day when he answered that question, “No. And that’s OK.”
Last week, the kids and I all caught some kind of stomach bug which one day resulted in our 20-month-old puking in the grocery store. If you’ve never cleaned up puke in a grocery store with people maneuvering around you to check out the produce offerings, let me tell ya, it’s a thrill. I think I used an entire roll of paper towels.
Because the illness had cycled through both kids and me, I thought we were done with it. The in-store puking caught me off guard.
The next day, I took the kids to the park for some morning fun and a picnic lunch. We had a great time, which I sort of didn’t expect. I’m learning that I associate leaving the house with things going wrong so having a great time at the park with my kids by myself was a pleasant surprise.
We had walked to the park, and on the way home, Corban started making some weird mouth expressions and my first thought was, “Oh, no. He’s going to puke again.”
So I made a beeline for home. Get home, get home, get home, was all I could think. I almost started to panic at the thought that he might puke in the wagon on our walk home. I kept turning around asking him, “Are you OK?” This must be part of my mantra for life. I’m noticing it more and more.
We arrived home safely, without incident, and Corban perked up like nothing was wrong.
I felt silly for worrying that something might go wrong. In all reality, something is always going to go wrong. I should be more surprised when things go right.
I hope that doesn’t sound cynical. I’m just re-learning that the world in which we live is wrong. It has been since Eve ate the fruit and gave some to Adam. It’s not a perfect world. Sometimes it’s not even a good world.
Bad things happen. Bad days happen. Sometimes I’m going to feel “fine” and sometimes I’m not.
And that’s OK.
Most people aren’t “fine.” And that’s OK, too.
So, how are you today?