My Accidental Preference for a Hamster Wheel of Stress

I have not been sleeping very well lately. But in particular, a few days ago it had been rough. Our alarm went off at six am and it felt like the middle of the night. I had this nagging cough I could not shake (don’t worry I’ve been tested, it’s not COVID) and it made me so beyond frustrated as I laid awake night after night unable to sleep. This particular morning, I forced myself out of bed. I let the dog out into the yard and started making the coffee in a sleepy stupor. Domi walked into the kitchen and looked at me as I stood with my head resting on my arms waiting for the coffee to finish brewing. Willing the warm brown liquid to move faster through the filter and into my cup.

“Baby, why don’t you go back to sleep?” Domi asked. 

“I can’t. I have way too much to do.” I replied.

He looked at me empathetically and pulled out two mugs and our respective kinds of milk. I went through my day just barely functioning I was so tired. Around two o’clock in the afternoon, I returned home. “I’m just going to take a quick nap for twenty minutes, okay?” I told Domi. 

As I started walking towards the bedroom, he caught my arm, in the most loving way, and pleaded with me, “Chelsea, you’re exhausted. Just go and sleep. Don’t set a timer. You have no deadlines that weren’t created by anyone but yourself. Just sleep. You’ll be better off tomorrow and more productive the rest of the week if you just take some time for yourself today.”

He was right. I was trying so hard to keep pushing through, but why? After a long nap and several hours of soul searching I came to the conclusion that I have always known was lurking in the background. I very often push through my exhaustion and refuse to rest because I am still, regardless of the work I’ve been telling others to do, obsessed with proving my worth. 

Especially since I started working for myself this fear of mine has kicked into high gear—that since I am not making money at this moment, there is nothing to quantify the work that I’m doing and therefore people may see it and therefore me, as worthless. They may think that I don’t work “as hard” as my husband or my Daddy or everyone else in my life because my hours or my monetary gain looks different.

I talk about wanting inner peace, but when I have the opportunity to access it, do I really want it? If someone handed me the easy button to inner peace, would I even take it? Am I afraid of losing my chaos? Do I define myself by my ability to run a million miles a minute even when it is to my detriment? Would slowing down feel like a loss of my identity?

I don’t think I’m alone in this. I think a lot of people talk about wanting inner peace, but when they are given the opportunity to access peace they would rather tirelessly work to prove just how much they can do by being tired and stressed because it’s easier than letting go. 

Changing your perception of yourself and who you show yourself to be to the world is no easy feat. However, if on the other side of that is being able to be comfortable with who you are and the life you live isn’t it worth fighting yourself for? 

I know in my heart of hearts that I am enough. I know that I am productive enough. I know this intellectually, but there is a disconnect between my intellect and my fears. Or maybe my fears are preying on my intellect. 

My friends, to me, this is the hardest lesson that exists…to stop trying to prove to ourselves that we are enough, and to be okay adapting our vision of ourselves to create a healthier version, but I think this may be the most important lesson of all. If you need someone to hold you accountable let that person be me and goodness knows please hold me accountable. It’s okay to take a breath. It’s okay to need time…even when there isn’t a global pandemic. Ask yourself what you really and truly want–to continue trying to prove your worth or to give in to the peace that is beyond. I don’t have an easy button for this, but deciding in each moment where your worth comes into question that you want to choose peace is a good start.  

I love you, I’m hugging you, have a wonderful weekend. XOXOX, CAMDW

  • This is big stuff. Really big stuff. I am insanely in awe of what you do but I know it will feel better when you don’t need to hear it!! Happy day.