Life understands our imperfect humanness and she generously and repeatedly offers us new moments to notice what happens when we accept the reality of the very second in which we find ourselves. She knows relief and peace await us when we pause our need to try and force this moment to be different than it actually is.
I wish I could say that I sailed through this day with total ease, but I would be lying! The kids are back to remote learning. And I found myself increasingly frustrated and anxious as the day went on.
You see, I tried to accomplish my work tasks WHILE also navigating their ongoing needs related to school and life. As well, I’d planned to write a blog and work on my book today and I hard headedly tried. And guess what? NONE of it felt possible.
My wife repeatedly reminds me that I’ll be happier if I let my to do list go when I’m home with the kids when they’re in virtual school. But I frequently reject her reminders, convinced that today is the day when I can pull it all off!
But alas, the harder I tried today, the more frustrated and anxious I became and the less present I was.
And then I walked into the room and found my 6-year old like this. She’d perched herself on the couch, underneath a mesh laundry basket as she munched on apple slices. There she was in self-confined quarters and she was blissfully happy!
I mean, guys! I couldn’t help but laugh. It ALSO made me notice that her self-confined experience brought her JOY instead of frustration or anxiety.
Yes, I do realize that the confined nature of remote learning is different from her self-confined laundry basket situation. But it did spark a bit of curiosity in me! I wondered how I might more easily build some joy into my day in the presence of distance learning.
I knew what I needed to do. And I’ll admit that it was UNCOMFORTABLE as hell for me to purposefully let go of a bunch of my intended work plans today. But you know what happened when I did?
There was suddenly more room to sit beside the Christmas tree with my cuties and drink hot chocolate. It was easier to take moments to chat with them, make funny faces, and sing silly, made-up songs. It even became possible to do one of my online exercise programs and have the younger one participate with me.
It’s a funny thing. Parenting can be one helluva challenging gig sometimes, right?! And yet it’s often these very kiddos who end up beckoning us back into the present moment, where more peace ALWAYS awaits us.
Does this mean that I’ve finally learned to spend all my moments in the present? Ha! Maybe one day when I’ve mastered perfection!!!! And maybe you feel this way, too.
But you know the best part about this lack of perfection we all have in this department? Life understands our imperfect humanness and she generously and repeatedly offers us new moments to notice what happens when we accept the reality of the very second in which we find ourselves. She knows relief and peace await us when we pause our need to try and force this moment to be different than it actually is.
So today was another gentle reminder that my work will ultimately get done. It may just have a different timetable from the one I’d planned. What if it turns out these alternate timetables will allow us to reach our goals with less frustration, less anxiety, and certainly more presence and joy?
I’ll try to remember this tomorrow as I embark on another day of remote learning with the kids!! Thank goodness these opportunities will keep on coming for us to tap into more peace and relief even when we so easily forget! Isn’t life thoughtful?! 🤣 ❤️.
P.S. If you’ve been enjoying my weekly blogs and are itching for more daily inspiration, friend me on Facebook (Emily Colwell) or follow me on Instagram (dr.emily_colwell). I post frequently and humor leaks into most of my posts!
Emily Colwell, MSSW, ND
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