This is it, we’re back. Back home, back at school, back to work…
Back to – our routine!
No more summer freedom, being outside, living without an alarm clock or almost. And also: no need to be there all the time for the family, some quiet time for writing, no need to negotiate client appointments with everyone around the table.
So, there’s a lot I gain and a lot I let go of in this transition from summer freedom to the daily routine of the family. And I felt how these past 3 weeks, between leaving and arriving were not very enjoyable. Why are my kids so stubborn these days? Why are they so stressed and emotional? Why is my husband asking me all these things?
Well, maybe, because I am stressed, I anticipate and I stubbornly try to get everything organized. In these weeks, I feel regressing to a point I thought long left behind. All my capacity to be calm and understanding with me and my environment seems to have vanished with the approaching return to our routine.
I start realizing that it has a lot to do with my expectations of how things should go, how we all should feel and behave. I realize how unrealistic this is. Why should the kids not be anxious to go back to school, even if they are looking forward to seeing their friends? Why should my husband and I not be a bit nervous about how business will be once we get back, what challenges we will face? And why should we not all feel a bit shaken as we adapt our free style summer dance to the rhythm of everyday’s life?
For me, one part is to realize right now and every day that it can be a lot to receive requests and face expectations from many sides. It helps to be OK with being less than perfect. I also feel the need to recalibrate my own expectations of how things should run and take one objective into consideration: how do I want me and all of us to feel in this?
I know that by Christmas, we’ll all have grown into our new environments and things will get quieter. I will probably have forgotten these bumpy weeks. And, this blog serves as a note to me to view and welcome this period in the future as the yearly personal stress test, as a moment when I can learn to prioritize intelligently with our wellbeing in mind.
How about you?
As a practice, look for stress periods in your own life that are not necessarily obvious. How would meeting them consciously and with some mental preparation change the way you act and feel while in them?