Learning from kids….my “To Do” list for life…
In my work as a child and adolescent counsellor, I’ve seen and heard stuff that could break even the hardest of hearts. Child abuse, depression, anxiety, eating disorders…the list is endless. They come to me, not broken, but bent and misshapen, and they trust in me to be able to straighten them out again. That’s a ton of responsibility. These kids though, they’ve become a part of me, a part of my life that I couldn’t live without. I treasure each and every one of them, and hope every day that I’m doing something…anything…to help. The question, “am I helping or making things worse?” pops into my head every day. It was answered for me the other day when one of them threw her arms around me and thanked me for everything I’ve done and for giving her a relationship with an adult that she’s been craving for years. She touched my very soul with those words and I won’t deny that she brought me to tears.
Through it all, these kids can still smile. They still laugh. They play. They hang out with friends, do their homework and keep up with their sports and hobbies. They love their families regardless of the hell that they’re put through, and can still hold it together, sometimes even better than adults do.
I am yet to learn the resilience that these kids show. I go to pieces when things don’t go my way, or when my dreams are stifled, or when I’m just tired and cranky after a long work day. I admit that my “self care” is seriously lacking. I don’t look after myself nearly as well as I should. I don’t meditate anymore, I don’t have regular health checkups and I don’t even know how to relax anymore.
This is affecting nearly every single aspect of my life. My work suffers due to me needing to take days off because of yet another chest infection or whatever other bug has worked its way into my system.
My marriage suffers because the slightest thing pushes me into a rage, and it’s not his fault. He is fighting his own fight right now, and I need to be there to support him, but it’s hard to do when I’m constantly exhausted. I’m doing what I can though, and the rest is in his hands. He’ll succeed at this, I have no doubt of that, but I always feel like I should be doing more.
My relationship with my own kids is also not as ideal as I’d like it to be. I have no patience with them right now, and boy do they know it! They smile and laugh and hug me and say “I love you Mom” anyway, even when I’m pretty sure they’d much prefer to strangle me.
And my writing. Oh god in heaven, how it has suffered. I can’t find the time or the determination I need to carry on with it. But deep down, I know that’s an excuse, and a bad one at that. The fact remains, I love writing. It’s in my blood. And it’s like crack for the soul! And yet I don’t have the energy to get that hit. *Sighs*.
So…here’s my list of things I’m going to achieve by my birthday in July. I’ll give you updates as we go along; that makes me not only accountable to me, but also to you.
1. I will go to a Doctor for a full check up. I’ve noticed I haven’t felt “right” since I had an accident in July last year, where I fell off a horse and slammed into a metal fence. Three surgeries later and I’m here to tell the tale, but it’s left long lasting scars, and not just physical ones (although they’re pretty damn cool to look at!) I’ve also suffered on and off from post natal depression since my oldest daughter was born in 1996, and it’s about time I had that addressed. I’m kind of tired of being in this black hole that has no exit…
2. I will make time every day to meditate and reflect on where I am in my life and where it’s going.
3. I will make time to hang out with hubby, without stress, fights or anything remotely negative. We need to take time to rediscover that spark…that thing that brought us together in the first place. That begins tonight (yes the kids are at my mom’s place!)
4. I will play with the kids every day. Without fail. Hell to be honest, I think I need that more than they do.
5. I’ll continue to learn from the amazing kids in my life, and try to be as resilient as they are.
6. I will continue writing my novel. And I will finish the first daft. I will shut off that damn internal editor that’s telling me I can’t write and asking why the hell am I doing this to myself.
So that’s it. My “To Do” list for life.
What’s on YOUR list???
With hope and peace,