I found the answer in the arms of my 6 year old best friend.
In the past few days, I have let my sour attitude define my days. I have been robbed of enjoying bike rides, cuddle time, and conversation. My brain has been working overtime, but barely functioning. I have felt like a zombie going through the motions, and have hated every minute of it. Earlier tonight, as I headed out the door after a typical day of nannying, I felt like I was just the shell of a person. I figured I would waste an hour at the gym before finding a place to crash for the night, then repeat again tomorrow. And as much as I tried, I couldn't help feeling as though I was wasting away. Not even pathetic and hollow Facebook statuses could drag me off the ground. As I climbed into my car feeling miserable about how miserable I was, I saw his face. Zz, only 6 years old, had escaped from his bed and snuck out the door behind me. Peering out from behind the corner of the garage, barefoot in pajamas, was this little rascal. Being past his bedtime, and very cold outside, I opened the car door and yelled for him to get back inside and go back to his bed. He quickly scampered out of sight.
Then it happened.
Maybe I hesitated before shutting the car door. Maybe a part of me just knew. But before he made it to the door I could hear his cries. Of the dozens of times he has snuck out to say goodbye, this one was different. Leaving my keys in the ignition, I jumped up and followed him the door, and found him standing in the doorway, heartbroken. Here is the 6 year old tough guy, my best adventure buddy, with the most genuine tears I've seen in a long time. It was a rough bedtime, one in which cuddles were lost due to a small spitting incident, but kisses and "love you's" were doled freely, yet here was the face of a 6 year old missing his mom who is off traveling. I'm a distant second as the nanny, but I scooped up my little nugget and as he tucked into my neck he told me between sobs that he didn't want me to leave. So I carried my buddy up to his bed, tucked him in, and climbed right in next to him.
As I lay there, rubbing his back and thinking about how self-centered and pathetic I felt just moments before, it all clicked. I was letting my fear and tendency to over think dominate my last days. With ski season officially over, I was just days away from taking off for hiking. And I don't feel ready. Emotionally or physically. There are so many things still on my "To Do" list, and yet nothing will slow down until I am sitting on that plane. But I need to just get on with it, accept it for what it's worth, and keep moving forward. Standing here frozen and overwhelmed won't fix anything. And when Zz hugged me, I needed the hug just as much as he did. I also needed to feel safe and okay in the world; I needed to feel connected again, to feel love.
So no more crankenstein. I vow to enjoy my last few days before the trail. I'm excited to get out there, but I'm also excited for tomorrow, and the next day. I'm going to pull myself out of this funk and get on with living. And of course, get on with playing!