It is really hard for people who are type A personalities to stop. Just stop and relax.
I know that it is something I have struggled with for the last 17 years (okay, probably longer…) but it hit me when I knew that I was pregnant with my oldest daughter. I, all of a sudden, got focused on trying to relax and calm down. Take it slower. I knew that life would change and even though I was the oldest of 4 children and I had helped care for (feed, change, bathe and entertain) my younger siblings…being a parent would be different.
For me, work had been so important to me; it had taken me 12 years of school, plus 5 years of college and 10 years of industry work (some overlap there with work-study from Drexel University, not to mention helping my dad in his own business for several years) to get where I was.
How could I just stop doing all that to have a baby?
Being a mom was going to be such a big change and back then, even though I knew it would be different, I had NO idea how different. I was never afraid of labor and delivery. I was consumed instead with the concerns of raising a child for the next 20 years…
…yea, think about that for a minute.
Meanwhile, my office was not helping so much…work with crazier than ever. I tried meditating. I tried breathing. I even changed my screen saver.
“Breathe. Just breathe.”
My co-workers, who were dads or moms themselves just laughed…in a kind-hearted way. But they also watched me as I left early (at 5:30PM) to go down-town for my MBA classwork once a week and logging in for my online class on yet another evening (from 7PM to 8PM.)
Wait… did I tell you we were also renovating our 130-year-old home to create a nursery? Yea…that was in process, too.
Sure, looking back on this it may sound crazy…and while I do fully realize that my life is still quite full and busy…I have actually learned how to relax; at least sometimes. I know am not an expert. I have many more lessons to learn and a lot of times, I need help from a professional; the massage therapist, the acupuncturist, the chiropractor and on St Patrick’s Day a Jameson and Ginger Ale (or two).
Around me, I see that there others who are worse than I am. Yes, worse than me. On this day, that I love so much…I had five meetings and/or conference calls in addition to two things for the kids and book club (which got cancelled due to illness and spring-break-itis.) There still others who are far worse off than I. I was able to sit down to the table with my family for a dinner of corned beef sandwiches, potatoes (3-varieties), steamed & buttered green beans and they all chatted nicely about their day for about 12 minutes.
We will work on keeping them engaged for a little bit longer…but they had homework, showers and maybe a bit of Netflix to attend to this evening.
The reality is that no one can go from 60MPH to FULL STOP and be able to do so gracefully. So, to you I say… learn the easy way. Try a little at a time. Take time for yourself. Take vacation. Learn how to stop doing it all.
So, with all of that said…It’s my dad’s birthday and while I wish that today had been a better day for him (not spent working, transitioning mom to rehab post-op and eating Irish dinner “to go” rather than surrounded by all of his family…as we like to do) I wish everyone else the ability to just stop and relax. Take a few minutes to count your Irish Blessings and enjoy the moment. Slainte.
~ Dawn aka Hat Girl
PS If you get the chance…try going to Ireland once – the lack of internet and cost of electricity is easily offset by the breathtaking views, the craft beer and the amazing food found everywhere you go.