Maybe this is a midlife crisis. Maybe it’s been a long time coming. Maybe it’s because my child’s ability to be successful in school and adjust well this coming year seems to depend on it. Maybe it’s all three. (Although I’d prefer not to think of myself as being middle aged, but I suppose that’s the truth by traditional standards).
But what we realized rather quickly last year the child whom we will call the Magpie (for now) is extremely sensitive to our stress, mine in particular. So much so that when I hung my head and pinched my nose and let out a deep sigh, she started crying. And last year was full of stress. This fall will also be stressful, but my hope is to mitigate it as much as possible.
We will slow down. No after school program. No days booked to the brim with after school activities. For the fall, we have one. We may increase it to two, max. While I will have to wait until winter to radically adjust my schedule, I will adjust my schedule to hopefully something that will work better for all of us.
This is the beginning of what I imagine to be at least a year long project. Part of what slowing down means for me is getting rid of stuff. I don’t want to spend all of my spare time cleaning. Magpie does not function well amidst piles of laundry and dishes. She actually really likes a clean, uncluttered space. I notice that my stress level diminishes significantly when the kitchen and bedroom are clean. But despite best efforts to control the flow of the mess, there’s always just too much.
For now though, this is what slow looks like–letting go knowing that it will eventually get done: