Albert Einstein defines INSANITY as “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”. I agree with this, to an extent. Although lately, it seems to be failing me – in a big way.
In doing [seemingly] the same things over and over, I expect to feel the same way each time, and when I don’t I question EVERYTHING about what I’m doing, why I’m doing it and why I’m having this crazy, illogical reaction or response. I assume I am doing it wrong… this is the start of self-doubt and a shaky confidence…
Wondering what in the world I’m talking about? CHANGE! Normal change, the changes that happen when you grow up, and by default, when your children also grow up.
This week marked some new changes and transitions… And… right now, I am FREAKING OUT!
Mia started camp this week. I now get these “easy” drop-offs… I drive through the “drop-off circle”, pull up to the curb, a counselor opens the door, I hand Mia her lunch and backpack, blow her a kiss and off she goes. Hmmm.. that’s it? Not so fast…
Day one, upon exiting the circle, I promptly turned back into the parking lot, and sat in a spot that had a clear view – I watched Mia talk to the counselor and a new friend (does she look happy? Is she confused? Does she know where she’s supposed to go? Should I have walked her in?); I then drove through the circle again (inconspicuously, of course) to watch her walk into camp. Ok, I’m lying… I drove through the circle TWICE to make sure she got in ok. The next day, I repeated this, except I really only drove around once… This morning (having already started writing this blog and knowing that I would have to report back) I decided that I wasn’t going to drive back through the circle… and then I changed my mind. I was going to do whatever felt right and every fiber of being told me to drive back around to check on my girl, and I’m glad I did. By the time I made it back around she was already inside. I took a deep breath and realized that she was GREAT, and I wasn’t driving around in circles (literally and figuratively) because I doubted her competence or ability, but because I questioned my own.
It’s not just Mia, it’s all three of them – growing amazingly, exactly as they should, exactly as I would have expected them to, exactly as I wanted them to… and my emotions are all a big ball of contradictions.
UGH! Why is this SO HARD?!
In 2006 Karl and I bought our first home together. We closed on the purchase May 2nd; May 9th was my last day at my old job; May 10th the movers came; May 12th we left for a [planned before we decided to buy a house] long weekend in Chicago; May 15th I started a new job. June 30th we got married. And I was calm, cool and collected…
My assumption at this point was that I am calm in the face of chaos, grounded enough to be unsettled, confident and secure enough to glide gracefully through any changes or transitions thrown my way. Yeah, that seems funny, silly and downright crazy to me now!
Seven years ago I built a SHOULD in my mind… a BIG ONE!! An expectation of how I'm supposed to think, act, feel. In this case it was about changes and transitions, as if they were all the same... I eased through all of these changes and in my mind I believed (and repeatedly told myself and others) that change - of any kind - doesn’t really impact me, that I’m not prone to being stressed by transition. Except… that’s not exactly what was happening.
Fast forward to today and I am NOT gliding so gracefully through. This has taken me by surprise, because of the expectations I had set for myself, because of the way I believe I SHOULD move from one situation to the next.
The "should" of how I am feeling is dictated by all of the "shoulds" that have led up to this point – I should do this, I should want that… What I SHOULD do is take a deep breath and ask myself how I feel about each and every situation. Think about it, think about how I feel about it, make a decision and then act on that – with everything I’ve got!
My problem – I’m terrified of failing my children. And fear is no way to move forward. I set the tone for this family and what I am realizing is that I’m not alone – I’ve got love, compassion and unconditional, unwavering support from the people who matter most to me. I’m figuring out (slower that I would have liked) that my downfall is these "shoulds". I’m learning to let go of the expectations I set for how I’m supposed to feel about things and let it all happen as it will… I’m just a girl, figuring this all out, becoming ME, more and more everyday!