So, last week’s blog was all about life lessons learned from trauma. Go home and love you family; Be present.
This week, more lessons burgeoned as getting cut with a shard of glass resulted with me on the couch for 2 weeks with 4 stitches in the arch of my foot. With all the kids home, hubby at work, and our basement being cleaned out for construction.
How was I going to navigate this one?
Well, at first, I was all gung ho – mommy day camp just got simplified. No need to coordinate activities and outings and all that. :) We were down to “whatever can be done while I observe/participate from the couch.”
Yeah, well, it was a good initial response. Go me! and Great attitude! and all that. Lasted about 24 hours. ;) Frustration, stir-craziness, helplessness, and a deep need to take care of myself and not run mommy day camp came in waves, each taking a turn as my overriding emotion.
OK, plan B. Take a few days to focus on myself and just keep things running smoothly for the kids; then I’ll be ready for full-on mommy fun. So here I am, on Saturday night, sitting between the two time zones: Nurture Yourself and Be Full On with Your Kids.
The past few days, I read, worked on the online Flower Essence course I am taking, watched shows, chilled out. I did all these things with the kids around, playing, doing easy-whatever-they-could-reach-and-get-by-themselves arts and crafts, coordinated some cleaning around the house. I even got some loads of laundry in with some assistance from the nearest family member available, folded laundry, and did cleaning that could be done while stationary that didn’t pull the arch of my foot…
I tried to take my frustration in stride when there was something I wanted to do, or help my kids in doing, and couldn’t. I tried to keep my requests of please bring me this and please get me that to a minimum (that was still no minimal number…). I allowed myself to do what was right in front of me, even if I didn’t really want/need to do it, just so I wouldn’t go stir crazy. I tried to not be a burden for my family, and reminded myself how much I have done and do for them when I was a burden. And, maybe most importantly, once I recognized how my emotions were up and down and very much focused inward, I figured out what to do to help ground me and my emotions so I could be a fun member of my family.
It is not easy to be healthy and fit and not be able to do stuff. It is not easy to be an active person and have had all these plans and wind up sitting until your butt hurts. It is not fun to watch life from the couch.
Happiness is a choice. Happiness is a choice.
I can sit and allow these emotions – which are all normal – get the best of the situation.
Or, I can be classically me, and figure out what the lesson is here for me to learn.
After being in a situation now for the third time in sixth months in which I need to be lying down or resting for a week or more, I would have thought that I already got the lessons of channeling my energy homeward, “being” instead of “doing”, allowing others to care for me and receive that care with open arms (read: no guilt or shame).
But it seems I need to learn them some more.
I have already been funneling my energies homeward. But there are so many levels. We can physically be at home, with the intention of being with the kids, taking care of the house and home, but then allow ourselves to stay distracted from that with such things as house projects, a small work project, etc. On the surface, it seems we are still taking care of home and hearth, but we are still employing diversionary tactics. I can BE home, but my mind and energies can be elsewhere. Now, with this deepening lesson, with this further peeling back of the layers, I see that I can BE with my kids so much more than I am. I have learned that it is hard for me to just BE. If the kids are playing happily and don’t “need” me, I am opening a book, going to wash some dishes, opening my computer. Then a few minutes later they want me, but I am involved in this other project. What stops me from being able to just BE and not DO?
This is my big question this week. Does this happen to you, too? Am I/are we being swept up with the ADD society? (Multi-tasking all the time, not able to focus on just one thing...) Am I tying my self worth to WHAT I accomplish instead of WHO I am?
Am I so uncomfortable with me that I need to keep doing to distract myself from the most important parts of my life?
That is a tough question to ask, and the answer might be even tougher to face. (My knee-jerk reaction is to soften the blow by saying, “Of course I am not uncomfy with myself.” I meditate, I pray, I study and practice stillness. I know my faults and don’t need to distract myself from them…)
But what is the real answer? It will be different for everyone. And it is not so important what the answer is, but that we listen for it and internalize it. We are not judging ourselves here, only increasing awareness.
Is it hard for you to be still? Do you find yourself moving from one task to the other, always trying to be efficient? Do you only feel satisfied at the end of the day if you’ve crossed everything off your to-do list?
I am on a new crusade. It might take time, but, hey, that’s ok. I want to sit outside with my kids and watch them play and interact and not feel the need to grab the crossword. I want to play with my kids and not feel that I am not being efficient because this was not on my to-do list. I want to BE and value myself based on how I am BEING, and not on what I am DOING. My greatest daily accomplishments are not how much I have done, but how I am behaving and who I am bringing to that behavior. (My best self, my second best self, or my totally scrunchy faced Mama self.) That is what I should be contemplating when I go to bed at night. How many fun memories did I make with my family? How many fun memories did I catch and get to hold on to for forever, because I was watching instead of getting busy? What did I role model for my kids today? What positive lessons did I teach them?
Yes, the house needs to get cleaned, yes, my homework needs to get done. Yes, I need to have my down time. But there is a great balance to be found, and that is my lesson from this week.
Now, I am going to implement.
Facepainting. :) A butterfly and a clown.
While looking for paints to color the rocks they brought home from the park, they found the face paints instead. Fun-filled activity, with Mama observing from the couch.
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