Monthly Archives: March 2021
I go through phases where I mentally beat myself up for not getting done all the lofty plans I make for myself. I was laying in bed this morning before the kids woke up and found myself thinking, “Okay, how can I put this unknown amount of ‘me time’ to use before Dad mode has to kick in?”
Then the more I thought about the projects I could start or continue working on, I thought to myself, why do I have to fill every waking moment with some sort of accomplishment? Getting the kids up, dressed and to school on time is an accomplishment, having a productive day at work is an accomplishment. Finding time to play with the kids between making supper, doing laundry and hopefully staying on top of keeping the house clean is an accomplishment. That last one sometimes slides for a day or two! I came to the conclusion there in my bed that it was okay to take a few unknown number of available moments and let the world exist without me trying to improve it in any way.
So what do I do? Grab the computer and decide to blog. Another thing I’ve been putting off forever. Haha. What a hypocrite!
Don’t worry, I’m not writing furiously. I’m pausing a lot to take in my surroundings and bask in the tranquility. I hear the sound of Luke’s radio in his room. It’s funny how he sleeps with a radio, and Emma doesn’t. The hum of the refrigerator. And the faint sound of birds chirping through the closed living room window. The sun is just on its way up and I look forward to the mornings here in just a couple weeks where I can sit in this spot on the couch with a warm cup of coffee and open up the window and let the outside in. We’re not quite there yet. It’s 31 outside this morning!
A stark contrast to last night. I’ve never fallen victim to a panic attack, but I definitely hit my sensory overload yesterday. Luke had some friends over and they’d been playing, but it was getting close to supper time so everyone headed home. Luke was sad and angry that his friends couldn’t stay and that energy was being directed my way. I was folding laundry and wanted to get that task accomplished before I moved on to supper myself, and Emma asked for a hot dog. I informed her we were having ravioli and she lost it, and started crying like her dog died. She’d been a little short on sleep the night before, so she’d been quite the pistol all day. I also made my own mistake of having a YouTube video in one ear while I was working on laundry.
So all at once, I had an angry 9 year old accusing me of being the reason his friends have to eat food, a 3 year old crying desperately for a hot dog, and guy trying to fix a Commodore 64, all hammering at my mind simultaneously. It was so frustrating in the moment. Like everyone had a problem that I was supposed to fix for them, and I had my own stuff too!
I pulled the earbud out of my ear first and just stood there for a second, listening to the sobs of “Hooooot dooooog! Hooooot dooooog!” I looked at Luke and asked him to give me a hug. He’s pretty easy to talk down with hugs and that worked. Emma I just calmly doubled down on the no hotdog business and started the ravioli water boiling and went back to laundry.
Emma wandered into her room and continued to cry, not for a hotdog, but now mourning the loss of the hotdog that could have been. I’m not sure how long she cried, but I finally noticed she had stopped sometime halfway through the ravioli. I went in her room and she was passed out in her bed. Tuckered out from the day. The meltdown wasn’t really that I wouldn’t give her a hotdog, but rather, she was just tired. But being as it was only 5pm, I thought Oh Hell No! Were not going down for the day at 5, she’ll be up at 3am! SO I had to lure her out of bed. But I couldn’t offer her a hot dog of course, so I settled on a cookie. The offer no kid can refuse.
Luckily she hadn’t fallen hard asleep yet and the cookie didn’t spoil her dinner. We all ate ravioli, and Luke’s friends showed back up after supper time, so he got to go back to playing. And everything sorta just took care of itself.
It’s so hard in those moments though not to just get angry at your circumstance. To feel like “this isn’t fair”. And in those moments I just try to think instead, “this is happening right now”. Disassociation is definitely my favorite coping mechanism!
As it got later and friends went home, bedtime routines here got started, I really wanted to finish my SE/30 video I’ve been working on. But I decided to play some Minecraft instead with Lucas after Emma went down. Later as I tucked him into bed he said his prayers and he thanked God for getting to play Minecraft with Dad. Nothing quite melts your heart like hearing something like that. I ended up feeling pretty good about my choices for the day.
It was now about 10:30. I still had high hopes of getting the rest of that video shot, but before I knew it, it was morning. I made the mistake of laying in bed until Luke fell asleep, and darn it if I didn’t end up asleep too.
So Sunday remains. Will I get that video done? I dunno. I mean it will get done someday and in the meantime I’m going to probably get a lot of other useful things done too. Everything has an opportunity cost and you have to come to grips with not being able to do everything in the world ever. Choose goals that are important sure, but don’t forget to choose what’s important in the moment too when life presents you with the choice.