I swallow a frog first thing in the morning.

Different people do different things to “survive.” I swallow a frog first thing in the morning everyday! That is what I do to survive the day; day after day; everyday…

I am an army wife with two kids. Life has been hard for me for the last two and a half years, with my husband faraway, in a hard field posting. My circumstances have forced me to become both father and mother to my kids.

I love my kids. But truth be told, I find them exasperating! Now, this forced single parenting thing doesn’t come with a “how to” manual!

To be honest, my kids take me for granted, all the more because I am the only adult in their lives right now. Many a time, I find myself at the receiving end of their high pitched tantrums and slamming of doors right on my face. And to make matters worse, came the Corona pandemic.

I have been suffering hyper-anxiety for a while now. I have a tendency to overthink and imagine worst case scenarios every now and then. So the question here is, how do I survive this pandemic? How do I survive my circumstances, without depleting myself?

Well, here comes my survival mechanisms! For instance, I usually escape a high-pitched scream fest from my kids by running to the bathroom and shutting myself in for a while! When the screams die down I slowly come out of the bathroom. At times when the going gets tough, I wallow in self-pity with one or two tubs of ice cream, binge watching ‘Moneyheist’ in Netflix.
But the most effective of all survival techniques, that I have discovered in the course of my “forced single parenting journey” has been EXERCISE! And here comes my swallowing a frog daily!

As Mark Twain puts it “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”

Exercise has always been the hardest of all tasks in my “to – do” list of things. To my utter delight, I have discovered that once I get that done first thing in the morning, the rest of the day somehow falls in place for me.

Everyday, my alarm goes off at 5 am, I get up, go for a run, come back, make breakfast, wake my kids up and begin the day. That is my first win of the day. I “swallow the frog” first thing in the morning. I am in control of myself and my day now.

I have realized that discipline is “my” choice, which is in “my” control. It is what I do to “myself.” Not something others force upon me.

But what if I choose to hit the snooze button, sleep in and wake up late? Oops, I am only human and I have chosen to fall into the inevitable randomness of life.

Some days it is really hard to “swallow the frog,” especially if it is too hot or raining. On those days, I beat myself really hard to get going. On other days, I choose ice cream tubs to wallow into!

P.S – I live in the middle of a tea estate. Though there aren’t many people loitering around at 5 am here, I still use a mask whenever I go out for a run..😁

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