Sunday, June 28, 2009

Re-set Button

There are days when I get so caught up in the week, in all the chores and lists and ideas I have in my head. They can almost lead to inactivity. There seems to be endless options, not enough time and not enough energy to do it. But I have found the best way to approach it is to get up and go. Grab something, ignore the piles and thoughts and dreams and obligations and choose one thing and go with it.

Friday was one of those days. I had my day off and there were so many things I wanted to do and needed to do. We started off well enough, lots of hustle to get to the early yoga, navigating a gym kid care double meltdown, running through Target ripping open snack bags for the boys who absolutely detest shopping, especially with me. I was that Mama, the one sheepishly handing over the open package of snacks while wrangling a protesting twin who wanted more ‘nienie’s’ (their code name for treats).

Once back within the confines (or maybe the comforts) of our home and backyard walls the boys chilled out and so did I.

Took some time to do a few things for myself, pulled out some long neglected sewing projects, had a long cool drink of iced coffee. And re-evaluated.

Finished half of a sewing project, worked to get a knitting project done for a baby shower, bypassed the laundry in the hall, caught my husband working out. Sometimes it takes picking up the camera to help me pause a bit, reflect and breathe and see. The camera can be a guide and a comfort, sometimes a challenge. And I like looking back at a mundane day captured in a different light. In a special light.

Today started as one of those days. We had plans to take the boys on their first camping trip, spent all day yesterday packing camp gear, telling camping stories, replacing missing camp items and cleaning an ungodly filthy car in preparation. Tim prepped his bike for the planned 16 mile downhill that the area offered up, we had PFDs ready to brave the river, my parents had a hotel room booked less than a mile from our campground. Then I woke to the sound of retching at 3:30 p.m., not me but Tim hit by some bug,. And it dawned on me that things would not go as planned. A bleary early wake up and a few hours later and there is me, stomping through the house, pissed about all that work done with no fruits of the labor, so to speak. But the hotel room was canceled without charge and the morning moved on without too much pain (well, not for Tim).

And I stopped for a minute to re-center and re-calibrate. My expectations are mine to control. I heard myself in conversation with my parents say that we can bend our thoughts to change a difficult situation. And so I did.

And now the day has held a leisurely trip to the Farmer’s Market where I met a real live roller derby girl and found some inspiring produce. And now I have time to take down the ridiculously jumbled fabric and refresh the way I see my sewing corner.
in need of attention
in need of organizing
And maybe slip in a few stitches and seams.

And laundry, damn you, laundry.
(not) laundering
You will get done too. Right after a refreshing dip in Grandpa's pool.

I rarely do this, but I have a question for you. What do you do when you need to re-set yourself and your expectations? And does it work?


jillian said...

Hope Tim's feeling better!

Sometimes when I need to reset, I find my problem is perspective. To get the needed perspective, I remind myself that the world will not actually end if X doesn't get done, right then, or that day, or that period of time. It can, in fact, wait, in lieu of something more fun or better for my mental health. Sometimes I have to tell myself repeatedly to get it to stick, to let it go, but it usually works.

LauraC said...

I find I have three different ways I reset, depending on the situation.

Way 1 is to get some time out of the house by myself doing something unrelated to kids. Since I work from home and Jon travels, I find I often feel "stuck" when I spend too much at home, so I will go browse a bookstore or meet a friend for coffee. Really anything to regain a sense of me, instead of the mom me.

Way 2 is to give myself the permission to spend the entire evening doing nothing productive, and let myself do solely what I want to do. As a working mom, there is constant guilt and constant busyness. I find sometimes I need to stop all productivity and relish in leisure. I literally do nothing on my to-do list. I give the kids mac and cheese, I let them watch tv, I don't bathe them, and when they go to bed, I drink some wine and watch hours of tv or surf the web.

Way 3, and this one became huge as the boys progressed through the 2s, is that sometimes I need a WIN with the boys. I need to know they are still so sweet and wonderful, and not just fighting battling crazies. So that is when Jon and I split up with the boys. I take one with me to a bookstore or the grocery store or we walk through a park and it is SO EASY.

There are rarely any battles or fights or problems. Then I come home with so much love for my boys. I think this also helps them.

Sorry this is so long. I have just found that sometimes my batteries need recharging in different ways depending on what is going on.

Jen said...

I LOVE that re-set button. And its usually something small, like a cup of tea or just a little time to myself. I've found the hair dryer can be quite the can't hear anything - just me and my thoughts!

And hee, hee about the roller derby girl...I'm related to one myself ;)

Anonymous said...

I go for a walk--even if it's just for ten minutes. I call it "noisy head syndrome," and getting out of the house is usually the best way for me to quiet it down. I feel like that way, even if the rest of the day is totally shot, at the end of it I can be like, "Well. I went for a walk today. And that's not so bad."

Poor Tim. Glad he's feeling better.