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Every Morning, I Feel the Weight of the Day on My Shoulders

Photograph by Twenty20

Waking up this morning, I could feel a buzzing throughout my body. It made me move fast but I felt like I was moving through thick, golden honey.

While making the bed, I started to think about how it's Monday, how it's going to be a long week, how I need to get the car serviced, the tax stuff together, there are parent-teacher conferences to attend and where the hell is my favorite sweatshirt?

Then I realize that buzzing—the feeling that makes me search my brain for exactly what's wrong, yet I can't come up with anything concrete—is my dose of morning anxiety.

Sometimes, it makes me feel weak, tired and hopeless. There are mornings when it tries to keep me in bed but I know better. I've learned if I don't face the day, my anxiety will triple and, before I know it, I'll be lost in my own sea of procrastination. Then, I'll be anxious about that, on top of all my other reasons.

Why do we feel the weight of our lives in the morning? I want to open my eyes and have nothing clouding my brain. I want to take five minutes and enjoy the view from my bedroom window while my kids are still sleeping.

I try. I try every morning and yet, it feels as if I'm not allowed. Life's duties pull at me like I'm walking through a field of burdocks. As the day moves forward, I have moments where the weight I felt earlier gets ironed out a bit and I begin to flow.

Why don't I remind myself of this in the morning?

Why has it become a thing to tackle a whole day in the first moments after I open my eyes and can barely see straight?

I'm reminded the day isn't all about "have to" and duties and working.

Putting one foot in front of the other, to take those first few steps in the morning, is always one of the hardest part of the day.

Then I see my kids smile and my daughter asks me to braid her hair. The smell of waffles floats through the downstairs and I notice the birds scattering away from a branch after dropping off my kids at school.

I'm reminded the day isn't all about "have to" and duties and working.

I shop for food to prepare a dinner my kids will probably complain about. I work, I make the appointments, I run the vacuum and notice the dust on the crown moldings that I do nothing about. I remember it's time to go see the gynecologist and get an oil change. I pay a few bills, I text my best friend. I argue with my kids to pick up after themselves.

And I fall into bed and realize, once again, I did it. I made it through the day and, really, I didn't need to be anxious this morning.

Nothing bad happened because of the things I didn't get done. No one expected me to be perfect. Honestly, nothing felt like I imagined it would have this morning, when I was full of heaviness and dread, feeling like I couldn't quite face the day.

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