Sending my daughter off to college this year has trained me to be more mindful of the time I have. I have wasted so many minutes, hours, even years on the things and situations that drove me crazy but that I would never have the power or control to change. I traded quality time with the people I love for the nonsense that would eventually pass after I finally learned to take my attention and focus off of that one thing that made me, my life and everyone around me so miserably uncomfortable. When I became fixated and obsessed with that one situation, everything else took on less value. The saddest part is, people and relationships suffered and I can never get that time back. It’s easy not to value time when you think it is limitless but once it is rationed, reality provides a very hard blow to the most sensitive part of your face. Sometimes lessons are learned quickly and others take years but this girl walks away from conflict, stress, negativity and drama quicker than ever before. I have a long way to go but when I look back on the journey, I am always one step closer to where I want to be. Cherish what’s important and make sure you know the difference between what is and what is not.
You know you’ve been living your life all wrong when you wake up feeling a sense of dread instead of the excited energy that makes you want to jump out of bed. This week has been a much needed break from the daily responsibilities of life. We don’t realize how much we do or how stressed we are until we get a little break from our usual routine. This spring break has been a time of hope. A reminder of how life is supposed to be and how happy and grateful I am meant to feel. I hope I can carry this snapshot back into the “real world” as a motivation to live a better, happier, more relaxed way of life. I sometimes focus on so many small things that they become so much bigger than they actually are. This is a reminder to keep things in perspective and not create a narrative bigger than the story has to be. Happy Sunday everyone. May your day be filled with joy and purpose.
I failed miserably yesterday. Only moments after leaving the house, I let the negativity around me flood my boat. Eventually it sank. Those people that wouldn’t let me over when roads merged into one lane won yesterday. The few people that walk in the middle of the track who evidently don’t know if they belong in the walking or jogging lane did me in. My sons bad test grade, dishes and garbage in the bedrooms, annoying wind, teachers that will never understand all landed me in bed last night with a painful migraine. It’s like I stepped out of the house and screamed,”Here I am! Come at me bro!” So how do we build up our defenses so we are unscathed by the things that really shouldn’t matter? At least not to the point of ruining a perfectly beautiful day. For me, it comes down to being grounded and feeling balanced. As soon as I start feeling like everything’s spinning out of control I clam up and panic. I long for my toes to feel heavy on my yoga mat and feel that connection to Mother Earth. So today, I will try to ground myself so those little imbalances will not loosen the grip of my feet planted firmly underneath me. No more wobbling or weak knees for me. I will stand confident and strong and remind myself the sky is not falling. It really wasn’t that bad of a day. My mind tricked me into believing it was so I lost my way for a second or two. The connection of the body, mind and spirit is truly amazing. We have to know ourselves well enough to know what lane to get in so we can move full speed ahead on the right one that will take us home. When one falters, we have the other two to fall back on. Just get in the right lane and hit cruise. You will survive and tomorrow is another day.
This week I am having a relapse. I can feel the anxiety building a little more each day. This is a stressful time of year. Not only are the holidays approaching that bring with them shopping, packing, traveling, family but also final exams. It’s been a full on study-fest here the last few nights along with writing and editing papers. I am relieved that this will all come to an end on Friday and then we can finally move on to eating cookies, singing Christmas carols, and packing. I struggle often with the pull I feel toward education. I really believe my calling is the classroom and the more I watch my own kids go through the system, the more I see the need for some new ideas. I watch these kids trying to fill out packets of questions to review for their exams fully knowing that no one intends to go over it with them. If these kids struggled through the information on previous tests and quizzes, how in the world will they now magically understand it for a final exam? Does no one consider the answers on their “study guide” will most likely be wrong and they will waste time studying information that is just not accurate? Does it not make sense that the reviews should be teacher lead to possibly make the information stick this time? Is it realistic to give kids three class periods to sit and work independently when a review is meant to go over what has already been learned and not spend countless hours searching for answers that will be too late to study? Does the review really have to be handed out the week of finals? Wouldn’t it have made since to give it the weekend before? I don’t know. I guess having a kid who struggles in school has forced me to see the education system a new way. The bottom line though is every teacher has the freedom to run their class a certain way and I don’t see much benefit or value the way my kids teachers are running theirs. So much wasted time. So much busy work. Quantity without quality. I just don’t get it. Many of my kids teachers are kids themselves so they view the process from a different set of eyes. I guess they too will see the many flaws as they watch their own kids enter middle and high school. Oh the joys of being a stressed out parent. Time to hit the treadmill and run away from it all.
I’ve ducked out for a little while, hiding underneath my blanket while the world spins further out of control. It hurts to watch it happen on every level. The complacency, corruption, manipulation, dishonesty, and lack of accountability are all around me. I want to shut it out but it knocks on my front door and although I choose not to answer, it just won’t seem to go away. Sometimes I feel like the responsible adult in a world full of incapable, incompetent, selfish children. Being the adult sucks the fun out of living sometimes. Being responsible and accountable and concerned stifles the wind beneath my wings. Slowly and steadily I start to fall until I reach that place of almost impossible to return. Taking care of everything wears me out and I mean that in a literal sense. The me fades away and all that is left is this robotic clone who has mastered perfection in going through the motions. I am there under the mask, close to numb, quietly breaking apart inside my shell.
We are all connected and sometimes the cross we have to carry for those who are unwilling or unable to do their share is impossible to bear. What choice do we have but to pick up the slack, hold our head high and keep inching forward. Sometimes I lose sight of my own purpose because I am so intertwined in the lives of people around me. Sometimes I put me on hold while everyone else goes full steam ahead. Sometimes I forget that I cannot do it all and need to find a way to forgive myself for the person I become when I am drowning in responsibility and the depression starts to work itself through my veins. Sometimes I need to escape the weight of the world that holds me back. Sometimes I just need a moment to breathe. Sometimes I just need to feel like the me I was years ago before I became the me I am today. Sometimes I need to say, hello it’s me until I remember again.
It happened today. It kept creeping inch by inch until finally I found myself completely lost in the most familiar surrounding. I remember the first time I was driving and had no idea where I was going. Not only was it scary as hell but it left me wondering, what in the world is wrong with me? It wasn’t long after that day that the palpitations and panic started to show themselves. They were like two friends that no matter how hard I tried, I just wasn’t able to shake. Today was a warning sign that even I could not deny.
School starts for my kids in 17 days. Each day that rolls closer is a day I feel I can catch my breath a little bit less. For those of you that know the struggle I have faced when it comes to my son and school, this probably comes as no surprise. I cannot have another year like last year. I cannot allow myself to fall into that place of depression and panic that becomes so dark I cannot see a way out.
So many people face demons that nobody knows about. Be kind to everyone you meet and go out of your way each and everyday to make life easier for atleast one person in your path. Be empathetic and pay attention to the signs of anxiety and depression. You may be the difference in a good day or bad one for somebody else. Be the friend you wish you had and the ear you wish was there to listen. You can make a difference. Will you do it?
Have you ever been through a time that almost destroyed you? It could be the end of a relationship, loss of a job or just a situation that nearly drove you over the edge.
Last night while I was trying to fall asleep, I kept rehashing a time like that in my own life. I kept thinking about how the situation should have gone differently and replayed uncomfortable conversations in my mind. A few minutes turned into hours and I could feel the anxiety growing out of control.
I had a fleeting thought that caught me a little off guard. Why in the world would you want to go back and revisit that hell? No matter how much I thought about it or replayed it inside my head, the fact is it was never going to change. I realized how much time and energy I spend in a time or place I don’t want to be because I make the choice to go back there. It’s time to make the choice to walk away. Leave it behind and stop looking back.
How many times have you done this in your own life? How did you finally disconnect and walk away for good?