Juggling toddler boys when I have a few chronic illnesses can at times be, should I say mop me up in a pool of self-pity, blood, dirt and tears kind of overwhelming. Especially when they don’t sleep, which is most nights or they’re sick or your illness flares.
This is just normal every day life with a scoop of autoimmunity, side of stress from a house that’s perpetually a mess, bills that haven’t yet got paid, laundry and dishes to be cleaned. Did I mention school crafts, extended family obligations, prescriptions to be filled and doctors appointments?
I didn’t know the real definition of burn out until I had kids and became an old lady at a young age.
Recently, I stumbled upon something fun, an unexpected pattern with the potential to cure all my stressful tendencies and they all begin with the letter S.
It’s a fun thing to teach your kids too.
When you’re on the verge of a breakdown, focus on sleep, single-tasking, silence, slowing down enough to say, “Thank you,” simplifying your life and finding your sweet spot.
Let me explain.
When we’re overwhelmed it’s usually because we’re trying to do the bills while eating dinner or emailing while we’re watching TV. We’re usually rushing from one late appointment to the next. We’re trying to do it all, and that in turn invites chaos, and leaves little room for the things that really matter.
Silence is what rejuvenates our spirit.
Gratitude is what reminds us that every moment is a privilege and gift. We don’t know if we’ll be given another day so the joy in this moment, this particular one no matter how grievous is everything.
These S’s helps to filter through the clutter that tends to complicate our lives. It’s also about self-care. When we find our sweet spot, something that makes us excited and reminds us of our love and purpose in life, it can hold our hand through those difficult, but inevitable times. It does not have to be huge milestones. It’s all about showering yourself with joy.
Life isn’t meant to be about getting things checked off our to-do lists. It’s an opportunity to feel deeply, love generously, grow through difficulty and share what we’ve been given. All of it even the things you wish you could exchange, return and give away.
I don’t know what tomorrow holds. Some days, I’m a pessimistic, grump about the future. But I believe in love. I have faith in God. And I know that I don’t know everything and usually that’s a good thing. Because something’s bound to be good coming from the shadows. As I read Stephen Colbert say in the recent edition of O magazine, “The light always wins.”