It has taken me a while to work up the courage to put fingers to keyboard. I imagined that I would be able to write some quirky, funny story about the hilarious things my children had done and my equally hilarious reactions to them. But life here has been the usual combination of overwhelming demands mixed with absolute delights.
Since I set up this blog, I have sewn kangaroo costumes for the school concert (my son didn’t realise that I owned a sewing machine – he was most impressed!), attended the Child Care Committee Christmas party as outgoing President (read here: so it was my right to make an overly long and onerous speech to a captive audience), instigated the re-vamp of the company website (with help of course), organised the work Christmas Party (sensational event) and kept the household running like a well oiled machine (or perhaps a gritty roller like the ones you see making the new roads). Quite a feat. Throughout these activities I pondered my ability to undertake the actions I had promised in this blog. It also made me think about ALL those parents out there, and perhaps most often, mums, who are juggling all of the myriad of activities associated with our family life.
No wonder we need to find the space to contemplate our thoughts, actions and reactions but how do we make that time? I believe my mother used to take that time when she went to the bathroom – perhaps that is too much information! I am finding, that through the ideas in Sarah Napthali’s books, that the best time for me to make time for myself within my own mind, is when I am emptying the dishwasher, hanging the washing on the line, making the morning lunches. It is in these moments, when I can be nowhere else but undertaking these menial albeit critical tasks, that I can take a moment to reflect on my inner thoughts. I take the time to get a gauge on my current emotional state and consider what lies ahead of me so I can be mindful of the demands of upcoming situations.
Of late I have been amazed by the repetitiveness of my thoughts. The recurring patterns that just aren’t useful or inspiring. Wondering whether my kitchen drawers are organised well enough, what the children will think of me when they are older, whether I have forgotten something for school and the like. As I said, not particularly useful or inspiring…. I am sure I am not alone, in fact, a few of my friends have admitted to thinking similarly odd things. Our well known ‘monkey mind’ that jumps from tree to tree not settling anywhere long enough to realise that all the jumping is achieving nothing.
It has also been incredibly useful to gauge my emotional state. Am I feeling uptight already and it is only 7am? Do I feel relaxed and comfortable ready for what the day will bring? Am I harbouring any anger or resentment towards my husband or family that will cause me to have a short fuse so therefore needs to be resolved? There is such a large difference in my emotional state and my ability to control it depending on how much sleep I have had, what I have eaten, and whether I have had time to go for a run.
Based on my emotional state I can then assess the day for likely situations that will cause me to either get some time to relax and release or make me more uptight and likely to result in something unpleasant. This means that I also have to rate the states of my husband and children as well in order to get a view of the bigger picture. If the kids are already tired and I am not at my best, then I have to choose very carefully how much I try to get done.
Obviously, I spend too much time inside my head. That is what I love about running – just me, my shoes, my ipod & the pavement. Peace. Non-attachment.
I fundamentally believe that it is critically important to be mindful of our thoughts as we do get what we focus on. We have to ensure that we are not critical of those thoughts and learn not to take them so seriously but allow some of them to pass through as clouds across a sky.