“Do you think they’ll fire you?????”
That was the response my 6 year-old had to me talking about feeling nervous about something at work.
See, I’m a believer that the Facebook problem of Their Highlight Reel v. Your B Reel starts long before Facebook. I think that it starts in all of the ways that a child’s emotions aren’t seen/named in the adults that they admire. The hair fidgets, trips to the bathroom, strange times of being short-tempered without the accompanying “I’m nervous about a presentation at work” just leaves a gap.
The gap, I believe, fills in with the idea that what runs through my mind isn’t even sort of similar to those around me. My nervousness is abnormal. If nobody else feels this, then I should not either, and I certainly should not talk about it.
Sunday I was nervous. I felt behind in getting ready for a big visible thing at work. I didn’t want to leave my guys to go to work on a beautiful day. I didn’t want to leave my sort-of-sickly with my working-super-hard so I could do something that felt like it could have been handled within my 8-5 but it hadn’t been.
If I’m going to be honest, there was something else too. It was one of the first times I had gone into work on a weekend since I toyed around with anxiety at my last job. I am glad for the degree to which that event was situational, but also that it opened my eyes to an emotion that I do have on occasion and had never really named.
Anyway. Kiddo asked if I was going to be fired. The look I gave him sent him straight to “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it” land, which felt a little yucky but also … DUDE??!! Really??
Monday I asked if I could borrow his walkie-talkies for the event, and after we agreed on a replacement plan if I broke them he agreed.
Monday my husband went to the make-a-shirt place and ordered just the right thing for me. Wednesday he picked it up.
The good news, it went really well. I definitely did not get fired. The better news was seeing kiddo’s face when I said it went well because he knew that it was something different, that I had been nervous and now I was celebrating the successful completion.
The best news? After a week where I was mentally and physically absent more than I am used to – we are returned.