We are the types that tend to think too much—about everything. Thinking is good; it’s part of our responsibility as the humans we are to use our brain and to think—and to grow—and to learn. We must think. It’s the privilege we have for being the evolved creatures that we were born as. But there is such a thing, as we know all too well, of thinking way too much about things that don’t require that much thinking. It is here (the over-thinking of things that require almost an under-thinking) where we kind of lose our way—especially as it relates to our journey of child-friendly parenting and of living a life of effectiveness (which necessarily requires us to care about our health and well-being).
We know the feeling like the back of our hand—the murkiness, the muckiness, the molasses, the irritation, the restlessness. We could attribute it all to hormones (peri-menopause is alive and well), but you know, we aren’t being fair to ourselves if we do that. Part of the challenge of going through life’s changes (including The Change) is to learn how to adapt to those changes so that when we come out of it, we are better for having gone through it. We are building habits, with every choice we make in how we respond to things we come up against. We are building character, with every decision we make in how we want to be and who we want to be. And we are building a lifestyle, with every move we make within our sphere of influence.
When we have tough days where we just can’t seem to get our footing, we must separate ourselves from ourselves as if we were a helium balloon rising above the earth. Yes, it is crazy down here, especially with kids. But we can’t allow ourselves to get sucked into it. We know who we are, and we can still be who we are and want to be. We don’t have to let ourselves be swayed by stuff in the moment. It’s not easy by any means. But it is possible. We can do this. In fact, we’ve done this before. Remember life before kids? Remember that traditional career we had and all those people we interfaced with and all those “adults” with whom we were colleagues? Remember how we learned how to swim in all of that?
It wasn’t easy at first. It was the hardest thing we ever had to do (just like parenting is for us now). But we did it. And we reaped the rewards of having worked hard and of having done our very best. We didn’t let setbacks define us. We just kept learning. And adapting. And adjusting. And living. We kept pressing towards the goal we had of being the person that we wanted to be. And part of our secret is that we got really good at living out of our head. We have gotten way too good at living in our head. And so what helps us as we move forward in our present goals is to remember that the jolt we need sometimes is to get out of our head and to live in the present world without a lot of distractions or preoccupations.
It’s safe in a world of words and books and music and video. We can escape into someone else’s world for a bit (including our imaginary one, like when we write). But we are living our life in our world, and whenever we feel like we are out of touch with who we really are, it’s worth the effort to consciously turn off our inclination to plug our mind in to something else or someone else (classic codependency). We have to just be us. And we will see very soon after that, if not immediately, that all it takes is blinking ourselves (and breathing ourselves) back into this present moment. It’s where our children are and our spouse is. It’s where we are. The future can be whatever we make it to be. And the past is what it is. It is what made us who we are now. This present space in time is like a glowing gem—a true treasure. This is where real life, in all its wonderful glory, happens. If we will only take the risk (because this is vulnerability if there ever were such a thing) to live out of our head.