Focus On What Lasts

Things have been hard lately. I won’t pretend that a bunch of that hardness hasn’t been manufactured solely in my own head. But it still is real, regardless.

It’s the end of the school year, schedules are exploding, high stakes tests are everywhere, some friendships/relationships seem to be fading, and I am so tired of packing school lunches I actually told Biggest that “I am tired of feeding you people lunch.” To which he replied, “We’re tired of eating, too. It’s so boring.”

If I had Bailey’s in the house, I’d be spiking my morning coffee.

I told another mom that I am in desperate need of the updated parenting book – What To Expect Now That They Are Big. Of course, we all know those books are lies. They should be titled either What To Expect The Average Children Experienced But Your Child Ain’t Average, Now Is S/He? or You Think You Can Know What To Expect They Will Do? Ha! Serves You Right For Buying The Big Bag Of That Cereal. The truth is, parenting books never really helped me that much.

Having read practically every book written at the time on the subject of sleep, I finally decided that if I were to ever write a parenting book about sleep, it would be something along the lines of Finally Found Something That Worked For My Kid: Things That Will Never Work Again But You Can Hope! Thank goodness our collection of non-sleeping children finally got through that particular fresh hell. But let me tell you this: it wasn’t because of a single thing I read in a book.

It is easy to focus on the hell of today, right? After all, the saying goes, “The days are long but the years are short.”

But what we have to focus on is what lasts – not what kicks us in the feels today, but what makes us feel for the long haul.

So I am taking a big gulp of this cup of black coffee and changing my focus.

  • Yes, Biggest is approaching final exams for the end of his freshman year in high school. It is easy to focus on the number of tests, the importance of grades. But the truth is, his story arc is way bigger and greater than anything that happens in the next few weeks.
  • Yes, the schedule for the next three weeks is making me crazy and more than a bit anxiety-riddled. But my smartphone has a calendar system with an alert function. Praise be to the tech gods.
  • Yes, there are 12 days more of school, which equals 36 school lunches to pack. They won’t starve no matter what in those lunches comes home uneaten.
  • Yes, it is hard for them to get to sleep what with the sun still so bright at 8:30 pm and they are too tired for polite conversation in the morning. But soon we will be on a more civilized schedule.

I’m hoping a change of focus will do the trick. Because I need to focus not on these minutes of ire but on the lifetime of good stuff that is ahead…Biggest doing math in whatever astrophysicist way he aspires to math, Middlest playing the drums to the rhythms of her heart, Littlest giving me the best hugs ever. That stuff will last and in doing so, will get me through these long days and these short years.

I’m focusing, I’m focusing…

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  1. Pingback: The Gifts of Love and a Dog | Ten Minute Missive

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