Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Back to school and back to survival

It has been a few weeks now that my kids went back to school. Our summer was so relaxed and now we are slaves to our alarms and schedules. When we are forced into something our minds and bodies rebel don't they? I have noticed we are all more irritable and our bodies are tense. Can you notice when your body is handling a lot of stress? Stress for me, is especially bad. These past few weeks I have been more prone to emotional outbursts. I am tired and overwhelmed. I feel like I am in survival mode yet again! My young aborigines are getting restless and the mommy lion is ready to pounce. Life with children really can feel this way can't it? Our bodies really do act like we are in the jungle. Survival of the fittest!

The first day when I picked up my kids we were stuck in traffic due to construction. We were stuck and just had to wait it out. The kids were hungry and over tired. All of our patience was tested. The principal and teachers were  out directing traffic and trying to help in any way they could. Yet we inched along ready to break. Our car inched forward closer and closer to the end. I kept telling my kids we were almost there and to hang in there. I didn't know when we would make it. I just knew we are going the right way and the only way. We have no choice sometimes to travel the same road every day. We get up and do the same thing. We go to the same places. But we do not know what obstacles we might face. What detours or road blocks that will impede us. So what can we do when our plan is frustrated?

We can come up with a plan for the next time. Since I knew that the next few weeks would be the same with the construction I decided to have the kids walk and I parked somewhere away from the chaos. I was still nervous that there might be kinks in my plan. After all we never had done this before. The next day we carried out our plan and got home when we used to. It also felt great when I looked back and saw the long line of cars still in line and we were already on our way. It is convenient to drive in our cars and not have to get out but that just won't work if we want to be home at a decent time. There is a little more preparation and we have to walk in the hot sun. However we knew it was necessary to get our desired result.

We have to walk sometimes when we would rather run or drive, hypothetically speaking. I feel that way every day when my energy will only allow me to do so much. Where in your life do you feel like you are stuck in traffic? How can you make a change and a different plan?

First of all, just know that you are in survival mode and accept it. Accept that things are changing. Accept the mess and construction. When you are changing schedules it feel like you are under construction.Then examine your priorities. There are a lot of things that compete for our attention. What is the most important? Each morning I wake up I ask that question. It changes so I try to just go with the flow. When I start to feel rushed or panic then I know something is off. I stop and look at my plan. Sometimes it means I stop and rest. Sometimes I answer the sweet plea to "play with me". I have accepted that only the things I feel the most important gets pushed to the back burner.

We survived the month of August and that feels pretty good. Honestly I do not see how we cannot be in survival mode with little kids and busy schedules. We can however try to make changes and try to be less frazzled if we can. We can embrace the mess and chaos I stead of fighting against it. We can't do everything at once. So we need to stop cramming so much into our days, hours and minutes. How? Keep making course adjustments and little tweaks here and there until it feels right. Last, realize what season of life you are in and don't go faster than you have strength. Who ever told us we should do all these things. Wouldn't it be nice to take some of the pressure off? I think in 10 years I can have my house clean and organized but most of my kids will be gone. So what is really important? I put this question to you. After all, isn't it the most important question to ask? Everything else should fall in place when we have our priorities in perspective. It is like looking through a telescope. You only see what you are zoomed in on. Welcome back to survival!

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