My kid, Thing 2, always has a bit of trouble with Mondays. On Sundays he starts mourning the passage of the weekend and the dreaded morning comes and something along the lines of this recent exchange occurs.
"I am experiencing once-in-a-life time comfort. How can I possibly leave such wonderfulness mom?"
"I know you don't like Monday's Ben. You aren't the only one."
"Can I have breakfast in bed?"
"Um....NO! Unwrap yourself from that lovely little blanket burrito you are in and join the hard cruel world. But I can offer creamy coffee."
"I know. Every 7 days the world is cruel, including me."
"You got that right."
I get it. And while this is a pretty typical thing for many of us....ah, Monday! I do know some of us just spring forward much easier. I hold on tight to many things- people, ideas, places. It's not all bad, but in the holding on I can prevent myself from making progress, from moving FORWARD. To be resillent, we need to be able to let go and to understand what best serves us in where we choose to focus our attentions. I found THIS article interesting. I understand that it might be a leap for some to go from lessons learned from POW's to parenting, but I know in my own struggles that practicing not becoming my emotions is a big deal. Having them is good, acting on them can sometimes be quite useful or even inspirational, but as I see that I am raising a sensitive child, I am re-thinking how I help him cope in the world we live in. We listened to Unbroken as a family on a long road trip and Thing 2 is currently reading a young reader's edition. When I stumbled upon this article, I found some things to consider as I navigate my personal and parenting life.
In another find I am rethinking, what is your best? Are you doing your best? Mommy blogs are full of affirmative phrases and (some would say) whiney voices that suggest, "I am doing the best that I can." I think we think we are, but when you get to the things that matter most, I wonder, am I doing my best? Life pulls you in a million directions and it can be easy to lose sight of the actual effort put into the things you say are most important.
Do you see how the first and the second article relate? I can choose what I focus on and I can get real about my efforts. I have not always, if ever, done my best. This is a bit heartening, really, because I can see now what I can do in the areas that matter most to me. It doesn't mean all of life will be awesome and perfect, but it does mean that what matters most to me can be given my most and best efforts.
Books I am reading right now include All The Light We Cannot See (fiction) and Daring Greatly (nonfiction). All the Light We Cannont See is gorgeous. I am reading it slowly because Doerr's prose seems like poetry sometimes and I can't take it. Have you ever read a book that makes you sort of ache because it was just so beautifully written? That's how I feel about this. It's a story of two kids, a blind French girl and a young German boy whose paths collide in occupied Frand during the devastation of WWII.
Brene Brown is the it girl in nonfiction and TED talks. She is making us all think more closely about how our real lives and work lives are intertwined and suggests that much can be learned by using the meaningful practices in both.
I am finding all sorts of connections within my reading and work and parenting life to almost everything I am doing in my work with The Red Boot Coaltion. For now, I am staying focused on the steps. I am taking each step each week as it comes and trying to focus. It's hard at times not to want to rush ahead, but in a change of pace I am choosing to stay focused. All my reading and working and parenting are supporting what I am discovering and so that keeps me grounded to the now.
Maybe I won't ever convince Thing 2 that Monday is a funday, but maybe I can help him to not dread it by simply stating as I did that he wasn't alone, and that it always comes around, and most of all we will get through it.
And seriously....creamy coffee works, especially icecream-y coffee. To Monday!