A song for tired single moms

It has been an exhausting day. I'm wrapping up a big, fat financial document I hand over to my son's father every year in hopes that he will reimburse me for his contribution to the medical bills and school supplies and all the things we outlined that we'd share years ago. We will see what happens.

The whole thing is just business. But it wears me out, gathering receipts that have lived at the bottom of my purse for too long and reconciling each spreadsheet column and knowing that no matter what portion I am paid back, tomorrow I will go back to signing up for swimming classes and replacing glasses and finding a way to pay for a second week of amazing but spendy summer camp.

And so, as I log off tonight and go to bed, I will focus on letting both my body and brain be still. The words in my head will be to a song I heard, by chance or luck or just playing Pandora for hours and hours while thumbed through bank statement. 

There's just one message in this song. And really, only one line you need to know.

All I can do is keep breathing. 

It's true. Whether it is business or something bigger, a greater good or necessary evil, one long day or one longer night, we get through it one deep inhale and one cleansing exhale at a time. 

No matter what money comes in or slips away, what jobs we do or give up on, how many hours we spend in doctor waiting rooms or courtrooms or little kid bedrooms, through the the quiet moments and ranting screams  and shrilly laughter and complete silences — we get through just breathing. 

All I will do is keep breathing.

What are you breathing through tonight? 

What happens if we let the slow rhythm of all our breathing lift us up and through whatever worries or wonders or works at us or keeps us awake? What if we let the collective inhaling and exhaling make it all just a little more OK for all of us?

All we can do is keep breathing.