I had a little argument with Olivia on our way to school this morning.
I didn’t have time to make her lunch and I was a feeling a little vulnerable since I knew I have not been a model parent these past few days. I was on a training course and we were off our usual routine. Although I get home earlier than usual, I do not seem to have enough time to do laundry, put away the dishes, or go for a run.
Although…I seem to have time for two glasses of wine and cheese, check the Raptors game, do some Amazon surfing for some retail therapy, sleep later than usual, etc…
At any rate, some consequences have certainly been felt the mornings after….I’ve been oversleeping, Olivia scrambling for clean jeans, no time to sit down and have breakfast (or even packing lunch), and both of us grumpy and testy in the morning.
I knew she was going through a rough patch too…she was worried she didn’t study enough for her Spanish test, she has a history project to work on, a finance test for DECA Ontario (an extracurricular finance club for young and upcoming junior executives), a math test to study for (trigonometry, as I recall) and she was having some trouble prioritizing which one to deal with first….
Anyway, she said, “I’m hungry.”
For some reason, I took this negatively. I immediately responded that we should really do better at planning our mornings or even consider laying out our clothes the night before and she should give me some ideas on what she would want for breakfast or lunch instead of relying on me to read her mind…and how late did she stay up last night that maybe she should be waking up earlier in the morning?
…all in my “pissed off” and “accusing” tone.
Silence on the passenger side.
Then I realized that with all the mindfulness practice and mantras I have in my arsenal, there are still times when I fall off the wagon and I revert back to old habits of mindlessness.
Anyway, I dropped her off and said, “Have a good day, honey”. At this point, I was hoping that she had forgiven me for my outburst. As I was waiting for the train heading downtown, I remembered one of the simplest techniques in my arsenal that I should have done:
S–stop and take a time out; pause
T–take a slow breath in and out. Take another one, for good measure.
O-observe what is happening inside you. Were you holding your breath? How about your shoulders–were they tense and up? Just notice. No judging.
P-proceed; having checked into what is happening, continue with whatever you were doing. Maybe, just maybe…you are feeling calmer and clearer to deal with the present situation.
Anyway, as I write this blog on the train on the way home (the course finished early! yay!), I remind myself that there will be times when I will fall off the wagon, but it is okay.
I can always begin again.
Next time, I hope that I remember to STOP… before I blow things out of proportion.
Hopefully, you will too….
Have a good rest of the week, everyone!