I turned into a bear on the eve of Christmas Eve.

I try very hard to maintain a positive attitude and remain optimistic. I make a conscious effort everyday to see the glass as half-full, to play, to be creative and have fun. I do a pretty good job (most days) rolling with life’s waves and finding humor in things.
However, on the eve of Christmas Eve, I turned into a bear…a growling, snarling, grizzly bear.
I felt the storm coming upon me earlier that day. As I was driving to work, the list of things I needed to get done that evening were already scrolling through my mind. Then, I started having anxious, stressful thoughts. You know, the “Christmas is in two days” thoughts:
Have I wrapped everyone’s gift?
Did I wash all the sheets for my houseguests?
Are all the holiday meals planned?
Did I put away the bras hanging in the hallway before my father-in-law arrives?

“Take a deep breath,” I literally said out loud to myself. “It will be fine.”
But I could feel myself sinking into the stress abyss.
“I am equipped to overcome this,” I thought.
I sent a few text messages to some of my favorite people telling them how much I love them.

Love conquers all.

This helped…my spirits were lifted. I forgot about the evening to do list and smiled about how much I adore my friends.

I made it home from work with a smile on my face (a glass of wine with a friend after work also helped this).

“I don’t feel good, Mom,” my son said.
The Stress Storm hit me like a tsunami.
WHAT?!?! A sick kid? This was not on my list of things to do tonight!
My mind started racing.

Deep Breath.

Love conquers all.

I was able to maintain my composure to comfort my son, do a fever check and make a bowl of chicken noodle soup.
I held it together enough to prepare a meal for my family and my in-laws.
I repeated my mantra:

“Love conquers all.”

I snuggled my son on the couch, then helped him get to bed.
“Stay in here with me, Mom, he pleaded.”

Love conquers all.

I snuggled next to him on his bed, stroking his hair as he dozed off.
Until…Little Sister entered.
“Mom, tuck me in!”
“No. Stay here with me.”
“Mom, tuck ME in!”
“No…don’t leave (sobbing)!”

“Where is your dad?” I asked.

“Busy. Just tuck me in, Mom.”

“Okay,” I said. “I will tuck you in, Sis. Then I will be back to tickle your head, Buddy.”

(Sobbing continues)

After tucking in Sis, I ran downstairs to find my dear husband getting a haircut from his Pop in the basement…
My mind raced…We have kids to tuck in, gifts to wrap, dishes to do, meals to prep, laundry to fold and YOU ARE GETTING A HAIRCUT!?!?
(can you hear the record stop?)
SCREEEECH

“MOM, WHERE ARE YOU?” I heard my son call from upstairs.

This is when I cracked.
Like a grizzly bear hatching out of a dinosaur egg I roared.

I said a few short words to my husband about needing help and the things HE needed to do on MY to do list. I threw around a few gift bags and rolls of wrapping paper, huffed at my dear mother-in-law and stomped into my son’s room still growling.
That is where I fell asleep.

When I woke up in the morning, I literally ached. What in the he!! happened last night?
I imagine this is how Michael J. Fox felt in the movie Teen Wolf, after he turned from werewolf back into a normal teenager.
Then, I remembered…the roaring, the growling.
Yikes, I had some emotional cleaning up to do.

I said my mantra: “Love conquers all.”
I sent an apology email to my husband who had already left for work.
I apologized to my mother-in-law for my outburst–and she said she understood and forgave me.
I forgave myself and decided to move on. I felt worlds better. More like a human-less like a bear.

We all turn into bears or wolves every now and then.

When you feel an animalistic rage storm coming upon you,
it helps to remember this mantra:

“Love conquers all.”

and follow these steps…

1. Try to shelter yourself from those outRAGEous thoughts by filling your mind with LOVE.
-text a love note to your spouse
-email an old friend to say you kids them
-hold the door for a stranger
-smile at a baby
-pet an animal

2. If the storm hits, take charge on clean-up duty.
-say “I am sorry”
-ask for forgiveness
-forgive yourself
-move on…the past is done…focus on NOW.

Did anyone else turn into a wild animal before the holidays? I’d love to hear your story.
If you haven’t cleaned up your mess after the storm yet, today is a good day to do it!

Love conquers all!

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