I Got Stuck in a Coat: A Lesson in Happiness

As I begin writing this post, I can’t decide if I want to title this blog post “Crying in a Conference Room” or “I Got Stuck in a Coat” – because both of these events happened on Friday.

Friday was a bad day. An emotional, horrible day. After nearly two weeks off with Cooper for the holidays, I was used to spending my days with him. I loved waking up on our own schedule, staying in our PJs all day, and enjoying his laughs and stories all day long.

But that wasn’t the case on Friday.

It was back to work.

Back to reality.

My emotions built up VERY early in the morning after I got a phone call from my boss. He was (as always) very supportive about everything. But we chatted about a situation that completely drove me crazy.

Are all jobs filled with such incredibly lazy, rude, and self-entitled people? I’m in complete shock at how people treat other people – and all the backstabbing and smack talking…it’s mind blowing. I usually do NOT write about or share stories about work because I want to keep my professional and personal life separate on this blog…so that’s all I say for now.

Anyway, I broke down.

“I’m giving up days with my son for THIS!?”

My hands were buried in my face. I was crying hard at my desk. And I was hoping no one would hear my deep sobs and gasps for air.

Eventually I realized I needed to unloadΒ  without interruption or fear that someone could hear me.

I ran into a conference room and began sobbing uncontrollably.

I had a flood of emotions and many triggers for the tears. I suppose it all started when I forgot to set my alarm and only had 20 minutes to shower, get myself ready for work, and take Cooper to daycare. I somehow managed to get to work on time – I credit Justin for being so helpful in the morning.

I also think returning to work on Friday morning was like going to work all over again for the first time. Except I didn’t have any supportive messages, phone calls, texts, or treats on my desk when I got to work. Instead, it was the complete opposite.

I still tried to keep my crying under control as I gathered my composure. I text Justin and told him my situation. He immediately replied and asked if I wanted to talk to him, but I knew I didn’t even see the point in explaining the entire situation. I just needed a good cry. And I really missed my boy.

So I pulled up a video of Cooper laughing. And I watched it about 15 times (check my Instagram or Facebook page for this video).

Eventually I was crying tears of happiness and I was reminded about what REALLY matters in life.

My son.

Coop

My heart.

My family.

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My beautiful boys.

Randomly my friend Gina text me to check on Coop. Her text message came at the most perfect time. I’m so thankful for friends like her…

I also emailed my friend Mel for her advice and perspective. She always seems to know exactly how to cheer me up. She’s wise beyond her years:

“Oh bb 😦 this time of year is so, so hard. But there is always a bright side: tomorrow is Saturday and you’ll get two full days to be with Cooper! The weekends take on a whole new meaning when you have a baby. You look forward to it even more than partying in college!

One thing that has helped me is to break things down into small chunks. How many hours until you get home? Even count down to positive distractions! How many days until our lunch date next week? How many days until date night? Etc.

Lazy people are the bane of existence for women like us. And they’ll never go away. I like to use them to show my bosses how hard I work. The cream rises! Lazy people are annoying, but they definitely make you look even more fabulous!”

I walked out of the conference room with bloodshot eyes and smeared make-up – so it wasn’t obvious at all that I was crying (sarcasm). But I had an extra hop in my step. And I felt much better.

I also work with my best friend, so I leaned on her support. Cayla made me laugh and feel better, but I realized I needed some fresh air. I decided To run some errands at my lunch time and get out of the office for some “me” time. I returned some clothes at Old Navy and decided to look around at their winter coat selection. I knew a big snow storm was heading our way and my winter coat doesn’t fit me.

I am still in that awkward stage where pre-pregnancy clothes are a LITTLE tight, but maternity clothes are noticeably too big for me.

I grabbed a coat off the hanger and decided to try it on in the middle of the store.

What’s the point of walking all the way to a fitting room when I can just try it on right here?

I’ll tell you what the point is…to prevent embarrassment of something not fitting properly.

So there I was …in the middle of Old Navy…stuck in a coat. I tried to move the zipper, but it was stuck on the inside fabric.

If you’re ever tried on a ring at a store and got the ring stuck on your finger, you know that feeling of panic.

OMG, the ring is stuck.

Does anyone have a stick of butter?

Can the clerk please just look away so I can shove my hand down my mouth and try to pull this thing off?

Yes, those are all things that go through my head when I get a ring stuck on my finger.

Now the coat situation didn’t require butter or extra saliva, but I still panicked. I was trapped!

SOMEONE HELP ME!

I started to pull the coat up over my head (remember I am still in the middle of the store) and my arms got stuck over my head. The coat was blinding my view too.

I couldn’t see.

I couldn’t move.

I was 100% stuck in the coat.

You win, Friday.

You.

Win.

I honestly don’t remember how I got out of the coat. But I did- even though I wanted to cry (again) and feel sorry for myself, but I decided the extra tears and stress wouldn’t do me any good! And hey – at least I didn’t rip the coat like the dress I ripped at Target. You can read about that hilarious story here: Just Call Me Chris Farley.

Later that evening, I saw a friend post this quote:

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Words to live by.

So as I wrapped up that awful, emotional day- I was quickly reminded that I am in control of how this day (and everyday) ends.

And when tomorrow comes, I can’t dwell about the past or worry about the future.

So what do getting suck in a coat and happiness have in common? Well, sometimes you will feel stuck and trapped in life. But only you can control how you move forward and pull yourself out of the situation (or coat).

And keeping things in perspective is important too! Because in the grand scheme of things, an emotional breakdown and getting stuck in a coat is nothing compared to the challenges many people face each day.

I tried to make Saturday better by eating cleaner, fueling up with some Starbucks, and having dance parties with my family across the living room. That dance party was honestly the highlight of my week.

We put the iTunes shuffle on and “My Humps” played by Black Eyed Peas, which I haven’t heard that song since high school / early college. We were all dancing around the house. At one point, I looked over and Justin was booty shaking on the couch.

I live for moments like that….

And Coop just sat in his chair looking at us like we were crazy!

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Not impressed. He eventually started smiling and dancing along when JT started playing.

And later on, he was still judging me:

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“Remember that one time you danced really embarrassing across the entire house? Oh yeah, that was today.”

And today- well today, we will probably get snowed in and enjoy more dance parties together.

I am reminded that life is what you make it- and happiness is a decision.

You have to choose to be happy- happiness doesn’t just come to you without having the proper attitude, outlook, and perspective. It’s up to you to remove negativity from your life and surround yourself with positive, uplifting people! And when I say “you” – I really mean “us” – because I need to work on this lesson about happiness still too (obviously).

Now stop reading this blog post and go have a dance party of your own. If you’re in a bad mood, you’ll instantly feel better. And if you’re in a great mood- well then – you’ll get happier and make those around feel better!

I’m going to make my husband breakfast in bed and enjoy being trapped indoors together. Stay safe today with the winter storm heading our way- and please, please bring any outdoor pets inside.

That’s all for now (I’ve officially started rambling).

Now – go love, believe, do, live, and DANCE!

Much love,

Ashley

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