Basketball, Basketball practice, tutoring, homework, family concerns, therapies, birthdays, workouts, voice lessons, bakery visits and our list goes on. Trying to figure out what Elizabeth is going to do when her brother has a game 40 minutes away. Trying to make sure to spend time talking each day. Trying not to look stressed when all I feel is pressured to be somewhere other than where I am currently. Even though where I am is somewhere I need to be too!
Our family, and I am sure your family, is busy. But sometimes “busy” just never gets “unbusy” by that I mean sometimes it is not just the event that comes and goes and should then clear the schedule but it is the mindset that we seem to get into that keeps the busy there. If you are anything like me, I find myself able to accomplish more when I have a full schedule and I seem to get into the mode of ” sure I can add this or Yep! one more trip out to get this done, no problem!” Which I guess is a good thing but then I think my mind, those of the family and the energy in the house takes on a frenetic pace and we don’t seem to be able to slow down our minds.
I think we all know the feeling of having one day sort of flow into the next and then before you realize it, it is Friday then Monday then Friday again.
I guess I thought all was well, busy, but well until our Elizabeth started showing signs of stress. I let is go a few days after all she is 18 and moods and emotions can run high. but when she started to react in anger or frustration over the simplest of requests, like asking her to go upstairs and get something. I figured out we needed to talk.
Our conversation went like this
Me: “Why are you so mad these last few days”
E: “I am not mad, just frustrated”
Me: ” Okay, so why are you frustrated, is it something with your schedule?”
E: ” No, I like everything. But is just so busy”
Me: ” Busy, Elizabeth, you said you wanted to run track, and you said you loved the bakery and voice lessons”
E: ” I do, it is just that it is so busy”
Me: “I don’t understand, what is so busy”
At this point, I truly did not get what she was saying.
E:” We have basketball, and practice and going everywhere”
Me: “Wait a minute, you mean WE are busy, like all of us. Not YOU?”
E: ” Yes!! it is just too much. and your heart is purple”
Now for those who don’t know, Elizabeth is so sensitive as are so many Dyspraxic children, that she sees your emotions in colors. She has an association between the color of your heart and your emotions.
Purple is frustrated.
And she was correct.
My frustration was my inability to shut down the busy mode and “BE” in the moment. To enjoy fully the dinner conversation instead of looking at the clock often ane thinking We HAVE to hurry to get to______. or finding no time to read to Michael when I was sure we would have those moments. Or lacking the energy to sit with Emily and discuss her thoughts about her future. My frustration at the lack of time/energy for those things that matter the most was growing. And it was Elizabeth who brought it out to me.
This is yet another reminder of the gifts of Elizabeth.
I let what she said sink in a minute and I gave her a hug.
Later that day, I talked with her again. And I thanked her for letting me know what she felt and I thanked her for being so aware when we all got a bit too sidetracked.
She smiled and I think I could actually see her relax a bit…kind of like There I got my point made…things will be better now.
Sure we are all busy, and truth be told, it is far too easy to add that one more thing, that one more practice, therapy or obligation. I am just so thankful for the reminder to stop and “BE” but I am even more thankful for its messenger.
Wishing you all a peaceful week.