I have witnessed this phenomenon myself with my toddler. The weeks we have too much going on she is more resistant, whiney, and acts out more.
This week is admittedly chaotic. I am overcommitted but thought I was "handling" it well. But when I arrived home yesterday afternoon to find property damage and the need to file a police report I began to feel the weight of it all. At first I did some deep breathing, I let my husband take lead with the police while I canvased for witnesses. I was thrilled to find my high school aged neighbor had witnessed the whole thing and gotten the license plate number. My daughter was thrilled to get to meet a policeman and get a sticker badge.
In the grand scheme of events the process was smooth. I felt the stress but managed to still get everything done that needed done despite the delay. Yet when my daughter had a meltdown in the middle of the grocery store, usually one of her favorite outings, her overwhelm and my own was painstakingly obvious.
We can't always prevent the bumps that we hit along the way. We can't control every outcome, every snag, or any other person that plays a role in it. All we have is our own reactions, our own self-care, and our own health.
After listening to the speaker yesterday I had been focused on how to help my daughter and start stripping away some of the stress that has accumulated in our lives. It will take some time to reorganize and reframe some aspects and yesterday's events reminded me how important it is toe keep simple the parts I can control.
My focus was on my daughter, my husband and how to smooth and simplify our lives. But as I wake in the middle of the night, unable to sleep, I see the accumulative effects have touched me too. I am that same sensitive child that I am now raising. The change is going to have to begin with me, for all of our sakes.
I'm grateful for our amazing neighbors. I'm grateful for the timing of events that allowed my neighbor to be witness and his diligence in recording the event so memories did not have a chance to cloud. I'm grateful for the officer that was prompt and optimistic. I'm grateful for Kim John Payne's message and to recognize the irony of my higher awareness of others' stress effects than my own. I'm grateful to begin looking at ways to simplify and declutter both our schedules and our home. I'm grateful to have a husband that is an excellent partner and whose strengths are often opposite to mine to help balance us in times like these.
What is accumulating in your life? What areas of your life could use simplified?
May today allow space for deep breaths. May we slow down and listen to the subtle, or not so subtle, cues that stress is building and take the steps necessary to begin clearing it back out. Have a beautiful day!