I have a tiny vendetta against pressure/stress/circumstance-laden Overwhelmed. I’m tired of things stealing from me, from us – the kids and my friends and people in general. There are so many examples. Huge things like the legitimate uproar over kids and smart phones. Jean Twenge recently authored a study/book on the dangers of smart-phone use, specifically to the point of destroying a generation of kids who are “on the brink of a mental health crisis.” I see the articles. And my heart aches at all the repercussions and the enormity of the situation. Medium things that look huge since we live in the days of instant (instant gratification, instant results, instant judgement,… ) like grades. It’s the end of the semester – a few low numbers threaten to make that fragile, yet powerful GPA an indictment rather than a golden
This morning as I parked in front of the house upon returning from a Top-Pot donut run (funny thing about having kids, donuts re-entered my life – I know that’s not the case for everyone, but they’re just so yummy and life’s short and I have such fond memories of weekend donuts when I was a kid, and well, enough excuses/justifications just don’t judge me :) I noticed something that I so wish I had captured on video – integrity and doing the right thing at its finest. Standing on my neighbor’s sidewalk, bent at the waist, staring at the grass stood a neighbor (TS) from a few blocks over (I know he lives a few blocks away because he’s our friend.) Behind him two leashed dogs sat, waiting. He looked and looked. Stood up, scratched his head, then looked some more. He absolutely couldn’t
The college domino affect started a few years ago in our house. With five kids, we knew it loomed on the horizon since the days when they were little tykes, convinced that swimming in a plastic pool in the front yard was as close to paradise as one could get. Now those early years of making a dollar stretch a mile, making life-altering decisions (like which Mother’s Day Out is “best” – as if), birthday parties, carpools, sports teams, … fill in the blank – all seem like child’s play as we face daunting. Not only the cost (seriously – what happened?!) but also the huh?!-factor. Huh?, as in – since when did co-ed dorms sound like a good idea, for young adults – who may or may not be at the height of their wise-decision-making ability. But along with daunting comes exciting. Seriously exciting. These kids are amazing.
Sure death and taxes are inevitable, but so is change. I don’t about you, but we’ve got a lot going on in this house. New schools (new college, new high school, middle school), new teachers for everyone, Driver’s Ed, teams, hair styles, puberty (‘nuff said!) … seriously the list could go on and on. Some change is fun. Other change – not so much. And, how we meet change, how we handle change can have a major impact on our attitudes, our stress level and our contentment. The thing about change – it’s not just the landscape shift that determines the ripple affects, dormant emotions (of which we may not even be aware) can drive anxieties or reactions that come with change. Over the summer we had lots of change. One of my favorite friends passed away. It really surprised me at how I couldn’t shake it. For over a month I had trouble