We hadn’t been home from school five minutes, when I looked up from the kitchen to find this scene. (There was surely a choir of cherubs singing above) I hesitated to say a word, in fear it would mess up their groove, but I couldn’t help myself.
This moment needed to be recognized.
They had their water bottles, binders, and pencils, and they were focused on their homework like I’ve never seen. I don’t know if it was the solar eclipse, their growing maturity (fingers crossed!) or just Monday afternoon energy. Whatever it was, I was happy to take it and hope it would last all year-long. But my little hope balloon busted on the announcement that it was time to load the car to go to tutoring.
Instantly, the ambiance went from light and airy to thick, with moans and drudgery.
Even though it’s our Monday – Wednesday – Friday routine, it had somehow been forgotten, or maybe they were hoping I might forget. (Which could easily happen!) But let’s just say it wasn’t a very happy moment. The car ride was silent, no matter how I tried to resurrect the life back into it. I asked questions. I changed the music. I offered more snacks. All to no avail. That’s when I remembered the words my wise friend Melanie shared with me earlier in the day after a morning drop off debacle.
“You can only control you.”
I had an entire conversation in my head the rest of the drive, “Oh, yes. That applies here. No matter what I do, I can’t make them enjoy this day. I can’t make them happy, kind and grateful. But I can control me. I can be happy, kind and grateful. I can recognize their obvious breaking points with grace and love.” And so I did. It was no miracle cure for them, but it sure made a difference for me.
The entire evening was more peaceful, inside of me.
I took more deep breaths. I felt more in control. Not of them, but of me. And it was incredibly helpful. That light and airy atmosphere snuck back in, even if it was only in my mind.
Maybe you need that reminder from Mel today too.
You can only control you.
Your kids, your spouse, your boss, your colleagues, your neighbors kids, your friends . . . they might hit their breaking point today. You might be the one left holding the pieces. But you don’t have to fix it for them. You’re not responsible for how they show up in the world.
Take a deep breath, and stay focused on controlling what you do next.
to more love,
P.S. Of course, this is so much what the practice of yoga can teach us. That’s why we’re combining yoga with a hilarious good time for our upcoming Girls Night Out. Come join us. You can only control you. Take a step in the right direction and register today.