The Collapse And Crumble Condition

“For a star to be born, there is one thing that must happen: a gaseous nebula must collapse. So collapse. Crumble. This is not your destruction. This is your birth.” ~Noor Tagouri

Photo by Nathan Anderson on Unsplash

I committed to writing here every day, but on some days that is a tall order. Today, for example, was not my best day. Still tired from my travel and long weekend, I woke up and took my son to school. This trip takes me about an hour and ten minutes round trip. Made it home in time to get in a quick shower and turn around and get back into the car to drive 35 minutes (one way) to therapy. I had a productive, but emotional and exhausting, therapy session. Left therapy and drove home to grab an apple for lunch. I finished it and a few slices of cheddar and hopped back in my car to go to my hair appointment. When I left the salon, I had just enough time to make it to pick up at my son’s school. I grabbed him and drove home. I was home for about 30 minutes and was able to sort through some Amazon packages. I then went with my husband to pick up take out Mexican food for dinner because I haven’t made it to the grocery store since returning from our trip to Portland. We made it home around 5:30. While carrying the food in from the car, the bottom of the paper bag gave out and all the containers dropped onto the floor. Some sauce splashed out but, thankfully, the majority of the food remained in its containers. Still, the incident made enough of a mess on the entryway rug and floor that I had to pull out the steam mop before dinner. We managed to get all the food plated and warmed and served by 5:45. At the dinner table, it was noted that I haven’t cooked a meal in a while, well, since last Wednesday, the night before Luke and I left for Portland. Sigh. I finished my meal, put dessert on the table, loaded the dishwasher, wiped down the placemats, table, and counter, and thought I would get a minute to work on an actual blog post, but then the puppy got angsty so I took him outside. He pooped and peed and rolled in the snow, so I thought he might be ready to settle. Instead of settling as I had hoped he would, though, he tore around our bedroom grabbing anything within his jumping range. He then chewed up a KN95 mask before heading into the bathroom to pee on the tile floor (and partially on one of the rugs in there too because why not). I pulled out the steam cleaner again, and then folded a load of someone else’s laundry to clear up the washer and dryer so I could put in a load with the towels I had used to clean the puppy mess and the bathroom rug. When I finally sat down to attempt to write something here, it was 9:45 p.m. So, here we are with me simply providing a litany of complaints about my subpar Monday because that is all I have energy and brain power for. I know I live an incredibly fortunate life and, as a rule, I try to focus on the gratitude I have for that fact; but today was not my best day, so I’m not feeling very grateful. I’ve also learned that just because someone is fortunate does not mean they are immune to struggles, frustration, sadness, and exhaustion. Everyone is entitled to a bad day.

In an earlier post, I mentioned my word for the year, the one I wanted to focus on, is boundaries. It’s clear from my day today that I am not doing an exemplary job of establishing those thus far. I am worn out, physically, mentally, and emotionally right now, so much so that I broke down and sobbed while cleaning up the puppy pee. It’s safe to say I am a little overwrought. So, while boundary setting is on my list and will be set in motion soon, for tonight and the rest of the week the word is self-care because I am feeling stick-a-fork-in-me done.

There is some good news, though. I have known for weeks that I was heading towards this emotional breakdown, so I planned a weekend away for myself starting this Friday and ending early Sunday evening. I hope to read, sleep, meditate, write, work on a vision board, and eat raw, healthy food. If the weather holds, I might take a long walk or two. My last solo trip (one where I had zero responsibilities to anyone other than myself) was in September 2020. My introvert brain is due. With any luck, I will be able to return in a better headspace and with a plan to establish some boundaries that will make my life more peaceful for the remainder of the year. Fingers crossed.

Post script: Not two minutes after I had finished this post, the older dog decided she needed to be let out. So, I opened the door and went out with her into the cold and dark in my socks and pajamas only to have her stand out there for two minutes. Then our house alarm went off because apparently we’re setting it again now.

Is it Tuesday yet?


  1. You had quite the day. I admire you for writing every day and I have to say, I do look forward to your posts. I tried it for one month (writing every day) and decided it wasn’t for me but I sure do respect and sometimes even envy people who do it. It requires discipline for sure. And darn, what is it with puppies and cats chewing masks? And a KN95 at that! Last Christmas, I ordered several cute Christmas masks on ETSY. I was so excited when they came and took them out of the box and laid them on the couch to look at them. I had to go to the bathroom, was gone from the room for maybe 6 minutes or so, and when I came back, my cats had chewed the elastic ear loops off of three of the six! I was sick… chewed them completely in two before I could even wear them. They will chew the blue medical masks too if I happen to leave one laying around. Always the ear loops! I now have to keep them in a basket in a room the cats are not allowed in. I hope you have a restful, relaxing weekend Justine. You deserve it.

    1. I wonder what it is about the elastic they love so much? Sorry about the masks. I too would have been sick to discover they had been destroyed before even one wear. Sometimes pets really test us. I think it’s good for me to breakdown and weep every once in a while. I reason I am like a pressure cooker and if I don’t release some steam once in a while someone else might get hurt.

  2. Yes, I agree about releasing that steam. It does help us to have a good cry every now and then. I am reading a book now about therapy called Maybe You Should Talk to Someone. (It seems people either love that book or hate it- I LOVED it). I cried hard during two of the chapters and was crying so hard I had to lay the book down for a while. I finally had to ask myself was it what was in the book I was reading making me cry or something else. I realized it was both and that I was mourning therapy being over for me and that my therapist, who I was very attached to, had retired.

    1. It’s good to work through things, but it’s even better when you are doing the work before you realize what it is you are working on. Having a good cry is always exhausting, but it’s amazing how feeling the feeling allows us to move through it more quickly, to make sense of it and make peace with it and move on. I will have to look into that book. I’ve had four therapists now, two I really liked and two who were adequate. It’s hard to let the good ones go.

  3. I’ve had three therapists, well four, if you count the hospice therapist I went to for grief counseling after my mother died. I got very attached to my first two and then the last one I went to just wasn’t a good fit for me. My priest, at the time, told me before I started therapy with the last therapist, to give her three sessions to see if she was a good fit for me. I actually gave her more than that, and ended up going for about 8 sessions and then quit because I was convinced she wasn’t a good match. At all. Her appointment system was whacky and it was exhausting just trying to get in to see her.

    1. That’s never a good sign. Sometimes you have to look around to find the right person, but the right therapist makes all the difference in the world.

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