We had a rough weekend. Rough isn’t even in the same neighborhood of the right word, but let’s use it for now. My kindergartener has a cold. Not a big deal in itself, but with feeling slightly under the weather comes increased behaviour, in the lovely form of non-functional play (read: DESTRUCTIVE) and lots of tantrums and meltdowns (they are not the same thing, trust me), and a whole cycle of quoted movie lines and songs, like a cheap broken record that WILL NOT STOP.
On top of that, my 13 yr old got sent home from school on Friday, and spent the weekend in a very sullen state, refusing to do anything (make his bed, eat more than junk food, get dressed, move from his computer, go to bed before midnight). No I can’t force him, he weighs more than I do, and I’m all there is. Choosing my battles has never been harder.
Monday was so much fun, shuttling back and forth between schools, putting out “fires” at one, then relieving overwhelmed teachers at the other. And today they seem to have switched places, with my kindergartener managing (so far) to be engaged and cooperative at school, and my teenager employing his acting skills to stay asleep and refuse to go to school, even after we worked so hard yesterday to get him going again. It’s like the East Coast here, with emotional snowstorms just piling on top of the one before.
So my first reaction this morning was to have my own meltdown, just frazzled and crying, and unable to solve any problems. But I had to stop, and get the little one off to school. And its Tuesday, parent coffee club at the school, so I stayed to eat quiche and bannock and take my mind off the problem with no solution.
And then I just stopped trying to solve it, or at least I stopped trying to find an immediate solution. Even if I don’t call it survival mode, it’s close. It’s mindfulness, and just dealing with this moment, this hour, etc. because it’s all I have control over. It’s something it took me 20 years to learn how to do, and something that has been essential to managing the stress I’ve become accustomed to. I’m single again. I have two kids with autism. I live with my mother in a teeny 1 bedroom apartment. I can’t work outside the home so I’m trying to build a business. There’s a lot going on all the time. And in major crises, I have learned how to deal with just the immediate moments (even when I forget I should, or forget I’m even doing it) because it’s all I can do.
Depression often comes from regret and focusing on the past. And anxiety often from worrying about what I can’t control or about things that haven’t happened yet. (Granted, I speak for myself, and this may not be the case for everyone.) Neither of those places helps me move forward. And neither of those places exist except as a perception. It’s all moments. That’s maybe a little deep for this post, but it’s a reminder to myself, that right now is what I have to deal with. Now, this moment, is all I have.