If anyone out there has had a senior in high school that is involved in, basically, anything at all, you know what our next week or two looks like.
Layer on the standard end-of-the-school year events for 3 additional children and the fact that we’re super social people that, apparently, want to be the frat house for our multiple circles of friends, and you can imagine where we land on the ‘busyness scale’.
Because on a scale of 1 to 10, we’re at at least a 55.
Next week, for example, we’ve had to hire a babysitter for 6 out 7 nights. And, that’s including us bringing the kids to Maya’s lacrosse banquet one of those nights.
I’m not going to drag you through the trenches and list it all out, but it’s happening. I guess I just had no idea how busy Senior Week was going to be even after all of the warnings veteran parents have given me about what it’s like.
My friend, Marion, even suggested we bring the grandparents in for the week so we could stay in a hotel and just focus on the graduation festivities because it’s that real.
This all landed on us when I had finally put focused effort on trying to fix my insomnia and was sleeping soundly, getting a solid 8 hours of sleep each night, and feeling the positive effects of that sort of recovery time.
After Ben and I sat down the other night to look ahead to our month of June, I could almost feel the microbiota in my gut revving their engines in protest to our upcoming schedule.
That night, I laid in bed for 2 hours “trying to fall asleep”, which was actually a lot more like me feeling the weight of the next month: are my parents going to be able to be here for Maya’s graduation, what if it rains for her graduation party, did I get a sitter for each night already or are the holes to fill, SHOOT did I book the Tobin Parents Cocktail Party at our house the SAME night as The Zac Brown Band concert at Fenway, I need to start brainstorming for Harley Love’s My Little Pony CrossFit birthday party, maybe I should invite more parents to the graduation party, I should’ve scheduled a playdate with Jess’ kids for this week, should I skip Bode’s jiu jitsu belt test this month because it conflicts with Maya’s last lacrosse game, and BLAH BLAH BLAH.
I, actually, think I’m getting a headache right this very second just thinking about all of the stuff that I was thinking about the night I thought I was having trouble trying to sleep when I actually wasn’t trying that hard at all.
I started realizing, while I was laying there, that spending your time thinking about how stressed out you are doesn’t make you less stressed. It makes you more stressed.
Like so many other things that we think we have no control over, it’s really a choice that is entirely up to us to make:
“Do I want to be stressed out right now, or do I want to stay calm and proceed with grace?”
Because almost all “stressful” situations can be handled in one of those two different ways. While it’s easier said than done, you can almost always choose to handle something with grace than with anxiety.
And, the people around you will be directly affected in one way or another: they will either be annoyed and resentful to be around you, or they will enjoy and appreciate your attitude and will want to help you versus avoid you.
For me, the best way to tackle this seemingly impossible approach is taking it one step at a time.
- Stop and recognize that you’re getting overwhelmed.
- Make the decision to proceed with grace.
- Control your thoughts, slow your actions down, and remember that patience is more powerful that immediate reactions.
That’s what I think when I’m sitting here like a rational human being, NOT in the heat of a messy moment.
When it’s a hot mess, I go simple like what firefighters tell us to do in a fire.
Stop yourself for a second. Drop your emotions. And, roll with it.