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Loosening the Reins



Have you ever had one of those days when nothing goes right? Every turn, you seem to run into a wall. Today was that kind of day for me. I was like a ticking time bomb waiting to explode. I did actually blow a few times with what we call “Grampi words.” At one point, I asked my youngest to walk away from me because I didn’t want her to hear me use these words. This, of course, was right after I realized that my new gallon of paint spilled on the floor of my car because I stopped short to avoid hitting another vehicle in the roundabout. I was also late to get to my massage, which I had no desire to go to because I had so much to do and my former Aunt-in-law was coming by later in the day for a visit. My plate was overflowing, and I had no reserve. Lots of “Grampi words” flew out of my mouth. 


While the day was a challenge for me, I needed to reframe it to see the good in it. We didn’t crash, and my parents and daughters helped me clean up my car (it isn’t perfect, but as close as I can get since I did spill paint in my car). I had an excellent massage, and I arrived home to my children laughing with such glee as they sprayed water at my father in the backyard. My former Aunt-in-law was a godsend. I was able to get back to Home Depot to get the paint color matched while she stayed home and looked after my youngest (which was a massive gift since the trip took over an hour and a half). Today I depended on others for their help, and it worked out okay. Today my children got quality time with their elders. The day was actually a good day, so why was I in such a bad mood? What was it that made the day so tight and overwhelming? It was me.


I try so hard to keep everything together. I am regimented, which is critical to my survival as a single mom, yet it constricts me. This rigid way of life leaves me feeling accomplished and on top of things. I can rest my head at the end of the night and know that things are ready for the next day, but it comes at a high cost though. I focus on tasks, and we march through the weekend like soldiers prepared to start another week. I don’t feel rested, and I haven’t made time to connect to my kids genuinely. Today I realized that I need to loosen my reins just a little bit. I will get the most important things accomplished, and one of those things is making time to play with my children and connecting with the people I love. If I don’t make this change, I will miss the most essential part of my life.


Message to my daughters: In life, you need to make time for the things that need to get done. Being responsible and following through on these responsibilities is important; however, you also need to connect with the people who are important to you. It is far too easy to focus on the tasks, but it is the people who count. It is the people in our lives that bring us joy, love, and laughter. Spending time with the people you love is critical to living a full and happy life!

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