My husband thinks I’m crazy. I know I am. I blame it on a bunch of factors, but mostly, I know it is my job. I love teaching, but the pressure to get the most out of every thing I say and do has seeped into every other aspect of my life, making even the small “mistakes” opportunities to compulsively worry or criticize. For instance, last week, while driving me to work, my husband pulled into Dunkin’ Donuts for coffee. He asked if I had my wallet, since he had left his, and I nearly jumped out of the car while it was moving to get it from my nursing bag as quickly as I could. Seeing the “OH MY GOD MY WALLET IS IN THE BACKSEAT AND I CAN’T REACH IT OMGOMGOMGOMG” expression on my face, Brandon looked into the rearview mirror at the boys in the backseat and told them, “I hope you two aren’t like your mommy!” Now I know this might seem a bit of a harsh comment, but I have already wished that myself. I know that I will do anything possible to not teach this behavior to my kids; it is a crippling mindset that makes even the best moments kind of crappy. In addition to being more open about it with my family and colleagues, I plan on doing the following when I need a minute to catch my breath and catch up with reality.
As Melissa suggested in her post Frugal Lady 101: How to Save Money Fast – No Coupons Necessary!, I’ve been showering in the dark before I go to bed. The darkness, combined with a candle, the scent of shampoo, and hot water, is an absolutely amazing stress reliever. I may never take a shower in the day time ever again.
I will engage in play. Watching the boys is always a hoot, but actually participating, like helping to build castles, is therapeutic.
I will use every ounce of the weekend as I please. The weeks are so chaotic. Many times, I feel that I work non-stop on SOMETHING during the week, but no matter how much I get done, my to-do list keeps on expanding. So on the weekend, I’m no longer to going to “make time” for the things I really want to do, like take the boys on a hike, visit family or go for coffee with a friend, or even go on a date with my husband. Instead, the things that are most important to me will be the only things that I have time for on the weekends.
Plan my meals. Make the easy. Just like Sarah Bernhardson does. I recently discovered that I really enjoy cooking. Making dinner is actually one of the times when my mind stops frantically racing. So I’m going to make sure I have a plan for dinner.
I’m going to engage with my husband and force him (… and me!) to turn off the television and smartphones for the 90 or so minutes that we get to spend together each weekday. First of all, the guy is never stressed out over anything, and secondly, he is awesome at helping me step back and switch perspectives about the things that would otherwise drive me crazy.
And during my “drama queen” moments, I’m going sing Disney’s Hakuna Matata to myself. And maybe even dance a little.
So how about you? What do you do to remain levelheaded even when things are not going your way?