Our Ten Year Old Selves

  Okay people, are we still sane? This is such an immensely crazy time I barely even know where to start, and we are only in the first week of remote learning. So, I went ahead and scratched my original topic for today. This post will have nothing to do with organization and everything to do with helping yourself find some calm amongst the chaos.

     Recently I have been doing a lot of self work. I’ve been learning to have compassion for myself, and in times of negative self-talk and doubt, imagining myself as ten-year-old Jenny. Would I talk to a ten-year-old, let alone my ten-year-old self, in a destructive or unfavorable manner? It would be ludicrous to do so. This has been helping me tremendously and leads to way more peace and believe it or not, increased productivity. I’m not going to get into it here but follow this crazy thought trail and see where it landed me yesterday.

The remote learning schoolhouse decked out for Easter.

     I was sitting at the dining room table with the kids, or should I say, I was at school with the kids, and we were all doing our work.

      At one point, Luke mumbles under his breath, “I think I’ll deep fry something today…” and I immediately think, what the hell is this kid talking about and when have I ever deep fried anything? No, we are not deep frying while remote learning.

     Then Karlie pipes up with a comment about wanting to do independent reading later, and can’t we just get it done in the afternoon. No, we can’t.

     Jump to when it actually is later on in the afternoon, and I have them on schedule to come outside and help me rake the itchy balls. Ohh, that didn’t sound too good. You know what I’m talking about. The scratchy little brown things that fall from the sweet gum trees. Needless to say, I waited a half an hour for the kiddos to appear, despite all my coaxing and cajoling. It was also after a long stint of free time so don’t feel too bad for them.

     As I was breathing deep, remaining calm, trying not to engage in negative self talk about parenting skills, I imagined ten-year-old Jenny. And when I did, I pictured my fabulous little self in all of her not so fabulousness.

     Now I was basically a good kid. I studied really hard and excelled at school and extra curricular activities, but was I the model child for my parents at all times? (I guess this is where my mom is going to get back at me for talking about her hoo-ha on the internet….try not to decimate me in your comments, mom.) 

     No. I was not. I eye rolled and I slammed doors. I slammed my door so hard once, my brother’s championship baseball trophy fell off the shelf on the opposite wall and broke. I still feel bad about that. I was also stubborn. In fact, I do believe that’s who Karl gets it from. I’m not going to go on and on, but you get the picture.

     And so now, in the midst of all this turmoil that is certainly affecting these kiddos whether they are aware of it or not, I am expecting them to act like perfect children. Not a good plan. 

     Here’s the remedy to that plan. I am still envisioning that 10-year-old Jenny, but for a different purpose. I am imagining myself…I can’t hang with my friends. I can’t see my teachers. I’m stuck at home with my mom, dad and brother, learning from a computer. I’m definitely feeling down and out. How would that 10-year-old Jenny want to be treated in this situation?

     It’s that child I need to remember when I’m at wits end, when I’m trying to get them to do something, and when I’m just interacting in general. I know, I know, easier said than done. But in the long run, I think it will be good for the sanity of each and every person in this house. 

     So when I’m holding out for them to come bake with me today, which is on the schedule at 3:30, and they show up at four, I will breathe and have patience. We will all get through this, 10-year-old selves and 47-year-old selves together. Stay well my friends.

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