Of all the things you give up as a parent, I think the sense of control is the hardest. Plans never go as you expect, nothing stays organized or cleaned long enough, there’s never enough time or energy to properly complete any task. Months float by with unfinished projects and unrealized goals.
It’s disheartening. Kids are little science experiments and their pressing concerns change rapidly, so trying to “get a handle” on it is like trying to catch a greased pig. Everyone is filthy and panting by the end of it and no one is eating bacon.
I try to apply a fucket attitude and stay “present” and “grateful” in my chaos. I totally get how blessed we are, and I’m trying hard to remember that and enjoy the messiness. I do alright, but it’s hard. The sense of being buried up to my nose holes is real. I want to sit serenely amid the sticky clutter and actively engage my offspring through their disagreements and meltdowns over which water glass is the right water glass for the use case, but I get overwhelmed by it all. I want to be comfortable knowing that this phase is the ‘messy, unproductive’ phase, and not feel an urgent panic when the to-do list is growing. Unfortunately (and, fortunately, in other capacities like school and work) letting go and chilling out are counter-intuitive to me. Although being present and grateful and calm align with my personal goals, and are qualities I admire in others, my version of zen is always oddly intense, and my meditation chanting tends to be through gritted teeth.
I’m working on it. Twitch, twitch. I really am. It’s better than it used to be…but I also am just copping to the fact that some of this is just me. I feel better with more control and less uncertainty.
Since the kids are such…children right now, and since we’re embarking on this new business venture that is just a big bag of unknown, I’m trying to find ways I can gain control of some tiny corner of my world.
Fitness and diet are what I’ve landed on. I can control my own body, more or less.
It dawned on me a while back, while I was chasing some french fries with a brownie and my fifth coffee of the day, that maybe I could be a titch healthier. I KNOW what it takes to be healthy. I’ve done it before a lot. I was just on hiatus. I had myself convinced that all the stress of life gave me a free pass to enjoy whatever food/drink I want. I just had given up on making good choices for my body between busy life and trying to eat cheaper and being a garbage rat parent, plate-diving for leftovers all the time while standing over the sink. While on hiatus, that little reasonable angel on my shoulder with her talk of healthier choices was threatened to back off or I’d cut a bitch. Now I realize that I should have been listening to her. Eating garbage and not exercising was making me feel worse- groggy and anxious and bleh.
So, I asked a friend of mine to help me be accountable, and bless her, even though she knows I am a hangry, mean person, she agreed. So, for the last week, I’ve been tallying everything I eat in the My Fitness Pal app and I’ve exercised 3 more times than usual! (So, 3 times. I’ve exercised 3 times.)
Just this little bit of progress, of gaining authority over this part of my life, has helped me feel calmer and better able to handle the rest of the mess. The goal is to drops some lbs, but more than that, it’s doing something consistent and reliable for me. I dig it. I’ll keep you posted.