I’ve been having a hard time trying to figure out how to write about the way that I’ve been feeling lately. I wanted to write a fluffy piece about all the things that I am thankful for, but it is not what my heart wants to talk about. I have been suffering lately with anxiety
I first discovered the magic of horses at five years old, and, as the saying goes, we were off and running. By age seven, I (literally) landed my first pony-related concussion and sutures. Undaunted, I climbed back into the saddle the moment a doctor gave the OK. My parents were initially in some form
My perfectionist streak means that I often try to be everything to everyone. I am Super Mom. The one who always volunteers to bring snacks for soccer practice. And bakes her own bread, muffins, and pie every weekend. And makes applesauce from scratch. From apples that she picked herself. And tomato sauce from the tomatoes
After our hike, we ate a great meal and took a pint at a rustic hiking lodge with a clear view of our mountain. I could not help but think to myself: This is the kind of person that I want to be for my daughter. This powerful, determined, caring, supportive woman. We were changed and it was good.
Looking back I wish I could have been kinder to myself. I wish I could have just said to myself that it’s okay to lay down all the time, it’s okay to take a break, and to have actually believed it. But self-care is hard for me. I think it comes down to being a perfectionist and also living in a society that so strongly values productivity and busyness.
Much of my early life was guided by what I seemingly NEEDED to do. When you can only see one path for yourself, you don’t agonize over decisions because The Most Important Decision has already been made for you. Going to college seemed right for me, so it became my only path. Proceeding next to
The variables are so variable that the plans never go as planned. So with that truth in mind, I am hoping that these short and specific goals — one week at at time — will help me improve in the ways I have been trying for.
So, this parenting thing. It’s a learning process for sure. For her and for me. I have to step up the teaching. And not take it personally when she points out my missteps. Because I’ll continue to make them.
Some of us don’t have the luxury of being able to take a break, some don’t feel worthy of a break, some may have forgotten how to take a break, and some just don’t make the effort. But one thing’s for sure – we all deserve it, and we all need it.
We certainly have had some missteps, in particular once my daughter started school in the fall. But we recover and hug it out. I made it a practice to stand my ground as a parent, but to do so as gently as possible. And to readily admit my mistakes when I made them.