I have to laugh because this is SO NOT ME, not something I feel I can share the most remote thing about, but then as I was on the treadmill this morning a flood of ideas came about this very topic, mostly because I need it.
After chatting with several friends about this over the past few days, I have realized yet again that we women are WOUND. Do you feel that way? Do you wake up with a knot in your stomach or feel like you're walking on eggshells, waiting for the penny to drop, the clock to strike, the disaster to hit? A friend I talked to just this morning said that in a regular conversation the other person said, "Why are you clenching your fists?" This is a rational, nice woman who openly confesses that she is wound (which of course wouldn't be any of us...)
Living this way is not only tough on our bodies and emotions but it is a one-way ticket to panic attacks, primal screams, alienating all known forms of friends and acquaintances and losing our hair. So what do we DO about it? Stop right there. It's first and foremost NOT about doing (why all the CAPS?? To make Very Important Points).
Take an actual "time" time-out. One friend said that she literally sent her husband and many children to their annual Disneyland trip WITHOUT HER. This was completely intentional. For the first time in a very very very long while she had the house to herself (don't you want to run through it, dancing in your bathrobe??) It was joy. It was divine. It was sublime. Of course they came home and she is now back on cracking out the B12s as fast she can open them but THOSE FOUR DAYS WERE FABULOUS
Breathe. When your son says he has a broken foot, the teacher calls and says you have to bring him RIGHT NOW to finish official and very vital state testing, your baby has thrown up on you, your husband forgot his cell phone and needs you drive it an hour away and you forgot the spaghetti noodles you left boiling on the stove and because of the stench you all have to live in the food storage closet for three days, HEY, BREATHE. Truly, there are all kinds of boring statistics on how fabulous, utterly fabulous just breathing well and deep is for the soul. So right now as you read this, sit up tall, breathe from your diaphragm, in through your nose for five seconds, out through your mouth for five seconds. Do that three times. Either you have passed out or you feel great, either way you have a hit a new high.
Remember life is in 24 hours. Though planning ahead is a great skill, we women can get too ahead of ourselves and frankly, squelch the fun. If you're reading this and feeling relaxed, congratulations! You are allowing yourself to let go already. If not, if you are gripping the side of the computer desk or nervously pulling at your face or hair, I invite you to go back and read the tip, this time on a print out, on the grass, looking up at the sky...
All my best,
Mother of six
Copyright 2006 Connie Sokol/LIFEChange