Let The Canaries Sing
I Was Thinking…
It’s time for our annual “because we homeschool so we can” getaway. We take advantage of the reduced prices after Labor Day and go to a resort I used to stay at as a kid. Canary Beach Resort! It’s just a small place with pretty cabins on a quiet lake. Most of the kids love it and the grown-ups mostly love it!
Transition is always hard for a couple of our kids so it can be bumpy at times. The bumpy times are the times when the grown-ups only mostly love it. This once a year trip is really about finding balance for our family. While it would be easier for some of our kids if we stayed home, the other kids would miss out on such a great experience.
So, in order to make it work we have to be ultra intentional! We stay in the same cabins every year. The kids sleep in the same rooms every year. We bring lots of their stuff from home. We eat the same thing for breakfast, lunch and dinners as at home. We have the same beach toys. We keep the same schedule for waking and sleeping. We even keep some of the same chores. We paint the picture of years past as reminders of what they can expect this year too. It really helps to keep the anxiety to a dull roar.
Of course, there are some differences like the lake right outside your front door. And we can’t control some things like the weather so there are bumps. But after almost 10 years of going there and creating a predictable experience, it has become pretty uneventful! Which I guess tells us it meets everyone where they are at!
The most interesting part to me is that as I look back to when we went there as a family versus as I bring my family now it is a VERY different picture! I really have to do it differently to make it work for my family. As a kid, the resort was much bigger. Not in acreage - just in my experience of it. My cousins and I went from the playground to the game room to the tall field of flowers to the lake and back around again. But, unlike what some of my children would do, we checked in with our parents, we regulated our bodies – what we ate, drank and got into. We understood nuances like how to respect other people’s campsites and other kids’ beach toys. We hadn’t lost our primary attachment figures; we hadn’t experienced trauma. So, now as an adult and a Mom of kids with multiple experiences, I have to do “it” differently! It is not good or bad….just different!
The reality is that it is still fun, relaxing and mostly peaceful. It is great family time. It is great grown-up time. It is great kid time. I am really looking forward to getting there and settling in to enjoy a few games of cards, time to read my book, the sound of the kids laughter on the dock and the sunsets over the lake. We’ll do it differently, but the canaries will still sing the same as they used to!
Taking Care of You!
I Was Thinking…
Take care of you! I have to say I don’t do “it” well. I take care of everyone and everything else before I get to me. It used to define me…I used to be proud of this way of thinking. I really thought it made me a good mom, wife, daughter, friend, employee and volunteer. I’ve learned maybe the before part is a mistake.
Typically, I used the left-over time and energy I had to take care of me…and I’ve got to tell you there wasn’t much left! Lots of times there was nothing left! Sure, every now and then I’d go to a “Mom’s Night Out” or a class, but that was after I had every meal made and ready for while I was gone, the schedule all laid out and everything in place to prop up each one of my family members in order to assure success. By the time I got there, I was exhausted! Don’t get me wrong; it IS extremely important to get away, but I think we also have to learn to take care of us right in the middle of it all!
I started to put more time into reading a couple of years back. I love to read. I especially love to learn. So I ended up reading anything about trauma, abandonment, the brain and so on. I love to talk about all of this stuff too so I started talking to anyone who would listen….you can see where that has gotten me. It fills me up – at least emotionally!
Now, I need to concentrate on the physical piece. I have done the eating and exercising in fits and starts along this journey. However, I have never done it very well! I have decided that I need to really dig deep and be even more intentional about taking care of me in that way! I want to have a healthy body. I want to live a long time! This journey has been very hard on me physically and emotionally. It is high time I MAKE A CHANGE!
SO, watch me friends, cause here I go! My new focus is to eat right, exercise, rest, listen to music, take baths…personal stuff. Those things that fill us up! That energize us. Help us be creative and think clearly. I don’t think we can help to heal others very well if we are broken or empty ourselves.
My hope in writing this down is two-fold…It will motivate me to keep my commitment to myself because I have said it out loud and it may motivate all of you to shift your focus and take care of YOU too!