This is the right phrase - but it has nothing to do with shoes. (Things rarely do for me - i missed many of the essential girl genes.)
I mean that, at a time when i should feel on my toes, i feel caught out flat footed or back on my heels.
Part of this is my professional life. I had a fleeting moment where i felt like i might be juggling everything pretty well, only to look again and realize that what I was achieving wasn't really very impressive and - well - that's work and not the part of my life i bring here really.
I sometimes feel it isn't my place or is somehow wrong to try to figure out my husband. There is the sense that watching him or trying to understand what he does or how he acts or what he means by what he says is the same as questioning him, that it is too unsubmissive.
Realistically - of course i watch him. I listen. I gauge his moods and try to accommodate, follow suit, maybe even anticipate.
And really - he's about as wildly fluctuating as a mountain range. There is depth and breadth, new scenery unfolds. But he doesn't change suddenly. I have a fair idea of how he will view my behaviors and of his likely responses, as well as a fair idea of what he will like and find pleasing. I typically know what to expect.
So - with all that rock solid, unmovableness - even small changes are huge and really shocking to the system. And that's what has me back on my heels.
He's been different recently.
I had gotten quite used to having a decent amount of control. We've been, for a good while now, riding along smoothly with a really nice connection and a warm glow between us (yes - insert a big *aaawww* here.) It had been very nice - and very easy for me.
And now - it's not hard, but day to day is somehow different. He has, in a lot of small ways, upped the game, tightened expectations, pushed here and there. There are some hard edges where there had been all warm fuzzies. I know - poor me.
There is a sharper edge to his ownership of my body too. There is a level of need and intensity, an un-masked glee in my pain, the pain pushes to places i am not so easily sure i can go, he is a more distant persona with me in this than previously.
And none of this is poor me - but it is change. And it's hard to catch up from back on my heels.