Headspace

IMG_4261One of my favorite quotes ever is by Robert Frost who said, “We write to find out what we didn’t know we knew.”

Well, sometimes I see Dr. O, thinking I won’t have much to talk to her about, and then bluuuuuurrrrrppppppppppppp!

Emotional eruption. I’d like to say to Robert Frost, “Yes, and we talk to therapists to find out what we didn’t know we needed to know.”

That happened this morning.

After only 2.5 days back at work, I was on the verge of a panic attack because I kept thinking about the following week when I’d have to juggle my own full-time work schedule, with my kids’ two different school schedules, along with their two sports.  Furthermore, I now live downtown from their schools.  Oh, and I still need to grocery shop, and keep my house clean, and work out, and do laundry…and spend quality time (whole-heartedly) with Matt without seeming so frenzied.

Like any good therapist, Dr. O has plenty of tissues in her office.

She gently reminded me that I was a single parent.  Like it or not, this was part of the collateral damage of getting divorced.
I made my bed.  I will lie in it.  But we could make that bed more comfortable.

Here’s how:

  1. Even though I have more custody, I need to ask Eric to help out with the back and forth of sports.
  2. She encouraged me to get back to running.  It had helped me through the divorce, but I had swapped it for yoga. Wrong for me!  Not only is running a more symbolic way of “running away” from what’s bothering me, but it’ll allow me to release my breath in a more visceral way.  Let it out, girl!  And my running playlist is hardcore motivation: Imagine Dragons “Natural”, Eminem “Till I Collapse”…you get the idea.  Also, the running would help abate some bad habits I’ve recently picked up.  Swap a good habit for a bad one!
  3. Next up: schedule on paper the first two weeks back to school for everybody.  I needed to see who needs to be where, on what day, at what time and plan for it.
  4. Since Tuesday nights are my busiest, I should always have the same family dinner ready to roll: spaghetti it is!  Now I can even see when I can shop and prep for it.

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Once that all came together, I was left with a few gaps, which I boxed out.  This is what Dr. O wanted to me to carve out within our hectic schedule: time for SELF-CARE.
Some SELF-CARE ideas for parents:

  • write with intention
    • in my personal journal just for myself
    • on my blog to share with others
    • for freelance publication of articles and essays
    • create a book
  • run fast to motivating music
  • get a mani/pedi
  • get a massage
  • take a bubble bath and listen to a podcast
  • pick up takeout from my favorite restaurant
  • watch Netflix
  • snuggle Frankie
  • make vision boards
  • make word art
  • clean a closet
  • do our laundry…if I want
  • Also check these out!
    • https://singlemothers.us/self-care-tips/
    • https://www.todaysparent.com/family/self-care-tips-for-solo-parents/
    • https://health.usnews.com/wellness/for-parents/articles/2017-10-24/self-care-for-single-moms

Dr. O also reminded that it’s okay to enjoy the small perk of being divorced: my own down-time. Why was I always filling it anyway?

That all sounded great except I still wanted to be a good partner for Matt.  (No, I hadn’t forgotten about him!)  Our relationship is a HUGE priority in my life.  So I added in some QT on the schedule: date nights and special weekends, just for us.

I have no idea how next week will roll out in reality.  But it looks great on paper!  And I feel better.  And once sports season is over the end of October, I can re-evaluate things.
So for now, I’m going to lie in that bed I made for myself and enjoy the higher thread-count.

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