May is a tough month for families. The wind-down of school is a frenzy of activities, events, and big end-of-year school projects. If that isn’t bad enough on it’s own, let’s add insomnia and a never-ending migraine. Fun times! 😬
Last week I had a 7-day long migraine. At times it was brain-crushing and I couldn’t get out of bed. But, somehow I still showed up for my kids, made dinner, sang in a choir, and did what I had to do. But … even though I “showed up” – it wasn’t always pretty. Some nights I counted sandwiches as dinner and no make-up with a messy bun was my uniform. I can smile when I’m in pain, so it wouldn’t be obvious to anyone that something was wrong if they saw me. And when I ran into acquaintances at school events and the grocery store, I didn’t say “hey, I have a terrible migraine, I can barely hold my eyes open right now.” It would have been so easy for others to judge my appearance.
Judging. Snap judgments are a common part of our culture now. I’m certainly not immune to it.
A few weeks ago, Matt was driving me to an appointment in Dallas. Traffic was intense to say the least, definitely bumper to bumper. We were a bit annoyed when someone was trying to pass us on the shoulder of the road. We were like “whoa – all these other people have places to go too.”
And then, a few minutes later, we passed a terrible accident (a vehicle was on fire!) and I saw a woman with two very small children, that she was trying to keep shepherded away from the intense traffic. And then I saw it – the man that had “poor road etiquette” was parking and running to the woman and kids. Considering his actions before with the new perspective of him rushing to help his wife and children in a sticky situation, what he did seems completely reasonable. We were instantly humbled by our annoyance after we had all the facts.
“Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle” – even the people that annoy you and inconvenience you.
My mom had a different twist to this common quote – she told me to “Treat everyone you meet like they may be going through something really tough, and you’ll always be right.”
On a side note – I’ll just say that a 7 day migraine isn’t normal, because I do have some strong meds that normally help. I just wasn’t allowed to take those meds this last week because I’m participating in a clinical trial and they were clearing my system of other meds. (I can’t say what clinical trial I’m in, but I can say it is for depression.) Insomnia, on the other hand, is just a normal part of my life and always grows worse during times of stress. May = stress.
Let’s be extra kind to each other. Life is better surrounded with caring and loving people – be that person.