Thursday, January 31, 2013
The picture above is now a part of our hallway. It is from an activity today where I had my kids use their crayons to demonstrate certain feelings or emotions. As I named an emotion they let their crayon move over the paper in whatever way they thought expressed that emotion. When they got to ANGRY or mad they scribbled and scratched. And with HAPPY they started humming cheerfully, almost like a chirp, as they moved their crayons in the way they thought happy would move. I especially loved this activity for helping my son continue to identify feelings and learn to communicate them instead of acting out in other ways. Now we have it on the wall as a reminder to me and my kids to be more aware of emotions. Tonight when my son was being sent to his time-out as a consequence, I had him stop in the hall to identify what emotion he was feeling. This not only helped me feel in control so that I didn't resort to YELLING but it helped him identify with his feelings so that he could have more control and ownership over them as well as feeling validation from me acknowledging how he felt. We will see how this works. I hope it serves as another tool to helping us deal with the THREES and THIRTIES more effectively.
Just as I'm trying to help my kids communicate their feelings, I need to continue do the same with myself. As adults, I think we sometimes repress our true feelings as we forge on ahead. All in the name of "getting things done", "moving on","keeping a hard shell" or just being uncomfortably being honest with ourselves. But these stuffed-in feelings can eventually cause our world to start crumbling bit by bit. They show themselves in stress which leads to all sorts of things...sickness, injury, irritability, lack of sleep, etc. For this reason, I am conscious of making reflection and self awareness a big part of my world. I try to address my feelings through writing, verbal communication, etc. TRY is the key word. I think I've actually gotten pretty good at identifying my feelings and figuring out what is going on with me so that I can move on in a healthy way. The good feelings like happy and excited...these are easy to be open about and embrace. It is emotions like anger, fear, jealousy, resentment, and depression that are sometimes the more tricky ones.
As this time for us to move to North Carolina gets closer and closer, the to-do list gets longer and longer. With this comes stress and LOTS of emotions (for all of us). Add to that a marathon coming up in March and the normal obligations that come with motherhood and you have a barrel full of emotions that I need to be acknowledging, processing, and communicating. So far so good. But I'm thinking I need to be making a chart like the one above that is JUST FOR ME! It would have quite a few more emotions/feelings listed. The emotions wouldn't be even close to all crummy ones either. So many good things going on.
In light of asking my kids to identify their feelings so that they can feel a better sense of control over their world, I think I'll do the same:
EXCITED: I'm feeling very excited about this move across the country. Something new. An adventure. Traveling. I love these things. I'm also excited about my upcoming marathon. Things are looking good.
FRUSTRATED: Lots of frustration has been in this heart of mine lately. Raising kids is HARD. And my three year old son is quite the bundle of energy. He has challenged me on every level and all my mommy tricks that worked before have proven to be pretty worthless. Ha! I've had to find new "super power tricks" to put in my mommy bag. Wooooo Weeee! Someone please tell me that story again about boys being harder when they are younger but then being easier as they grow up. Please. In the meantime, I'll be using my last post and calming myself with deep breathing or smelling flowers and blowing out candles.
GRATEFUL: SO SO much to be thankful for. Motherhood, running, healthy, a home, financial stability, friends, love, education....I could write many pages on this.
WORRIED: This move is a BIG DEAL. Yes, it is temporary but I find myself asking again and again "What are we THINKING?!" when I realize that we are leaving our house, friends, family, community...all in the name of LIVING LIFE to the fullest and taking advantage of opportunities. Yes, I think this is a good thing and I know we will grow from it as well as discover new sides to life that we never knew. However, I have lots of worries that come right now. Normal worries. OK worries...Where will we live? Where will the kids go to school? How will I make friends? But things will all unfold as they should.
SAD: This is the house where I've had all my babies in (well brought them home to from the hospital). It is our first house. The kids have their best friends next door. They know their favorite places in the backyard. Their favorite hideouts and trees to climb. It is a place that is ours and we are happy. There are definitely waves of SAD that rush through me as it hits me that we will be making such big changes and saying a temporary good bye to people and places we love. And a most likely forever goodbye to this place we call home.
HAPPY: Happy to have a family, so much love, friends that I cherish, the opportunity to travel and stay home with my kids, and so so much more. Just really happy right now.
Right now...this present moment... I'm relaxed and feeling a great sense of satisfaction and calm.
I'm happy and optimistic.
Life feels really good for the most part.
I have a fun workout tomorrow that will be just enough hard to leave me with that tired and accomplished feeling and just enough change up to where I will be far from bored on the treadmill.
I will run my longest training run ever on Sunday.
My body feels strong.
I can hear the dishwasher running...which means a quiet house.
The kids are asleep.
All the crazy kid dust from the day has settled.
My epsom salt bath awaits me.
And I'm feeling better for having addressed my feelings.
Happy Almost Friday!