Even as an adult, I have a lot to learn! I had a big disagreement with my oldest son over the Holidays. I didn’t heed my video advice of renewal: I stressed too much and wanted a perfect week’s visit for all of us. My younger son was visiting us from New York, and my oldest son and his girlfriend were in town. I wanted everyone to be happy with all the activities I had planned. Little did I know how much pressure I was setting myself up for.
Oh my, I was frazzled and yet desired these picture-perfect, flawless family interactions. I tried to take too much on, and I expected too much of myself physically and mentally. I also expected grand feats and compliance from everyone else. I was burnt out. We did get through it all and things are better, however, I need to reassess how I use my energy and take responsibility for my self-care.
How My Brother Taught Me About Self-Care
I missed the whole reason for my two boys coming out. I missed being in the moment with them. This was disappointing for me because I have been trying to live more in the moment. Instead, I planned, I controlled and I didn’t get what I wanted.
Yes, my brother, David’s teachings eluded me when I could have used them. (David is my brother, who happens to have Down syndrome.) David understands what it means to appreciate the time spent with others and even by himself. He knows by being present that joy will rush in. He is fully available for each moment, especially with his loved ones. He doesn’t have to work at creating an enjoyable holiday. In fact, being around him is like a holiday from the everyday. His willingness to love is everlasting and enormous! But he is gifted, remember. I am not gifted with his natural abilities.
How Do You Create a Self-Care Routine
The holiday drama also made me think about the families who have extra duties due to their children that have different abilities. I thought of my parents with their 10 children. How did they do it all? How do all of you keep yourselves together during a stressful family time? How do you manage with the pressures of modern life? How do you enjoy the moments? How do you make sure you’re taking proper care of yourself? Share your self-care routines with all of us in the comment section, so we can all learn to be better to ourselves and others. To all of you who kept it together during the holidays and embraced the moments, my hat goes off to you. I recognize your ability and I celebrate it with you.