I caught myself in the middle of packing sunscreen, water bottles and snacks for my day of taking the family to the ballgame. As a mom, of course, I was in charge of the logistics, tickets, snacks, extra clothes, gas in the car (which I forgot) and planned out bathroom stops for the day. I was starting to get overwhelmed by all the "to-do" list items and then something occurred to me. As I was rushing around, trying not to spill my coffee, this is supposed to be a day of family fun, right? The kids are excited, my husband is looking forward to seeing the game and here I was, taking everything upon myself once again and borderline frantic that I didn't have everything together.
This situation reminds me of one a few months ago when I was packing for a day at the amusement park. The situation was similar where I was self-promoted to event coordinator and snapping left and right that things weren't organized the way they needed-- er, I wanted-- them to be. I remember being pulled aside in my panic and being told "Calm down, you are making this such a big deal, and it's really not."
Not a big deal? Infuriating comment, anyone? I can only liken this to someone insulting me by telling me to "Relax!!" when I clearly was not in an emotional state of relaxing. It certainly was a big deal, since I seemed to be the only one concerned about the kids getting skin cancer! I was the ONLY one who was concerned about dehydration, heat stroke and the possibilities of death! Ok, maybe I was pushing the limits of rationality just a bit, but I was in too deep, I certainly couldn't back down now.
Or could I?
I thought for a moment about what the day represented for my 10 year old son, it was his birthday. He had been talking about the roller coasters and how proud he was to be able to ride all of them this year, how he was going to pick the cuisine of our dinner and how ice cream would be a perfect treat to celebrate this awesome day! I stopped and looked at the situation through his eyes and saw a raving lunatic that was yelling about not having enough tissues in her purse in case someone sneezed too much. What was I doing?
While putting my tail between my legs, I started to smile and let go of the panic, (even if it was against my nature to do so), threw a few snacks in the backpack and corralled the troops. It was, after all, the day ten years earlier that I became a mother. Why was I not enjoying in the excitement of which ride was the fastest, of how many rides we can squeeze in before we decided on lunch or how late we were going to stay up that night?
I wasn't going to let this memory sour. It wasn't fair to me and certainly not to my family or my birthday boy. This mom-lesson-learned sticks out to me because I would often get sucked into the craziness of worry and anxiety that a "fun, family day" would entail. I snap back to reality and let go of the struggle and enjoy being a part of the wonderment of this childhood memory-in-the-making. After all, in ten years I don't want my son saying "Remember my 10th birthday when you were upset that we only had 3 bottles of sunscreen instead of 2?"
I came back to my present day worries and made the decision that this was going to be an awesome day!! I did my best to pack everything that we needed and left the rest to the power of the universe to take care of us. Why should I be the one to suffer the anxiety of categorizing "What is everything that can go wrong?", when I wanted to be living "How awesome would it be ifs?" How awesome would it be if we saw 5 back-to-back home runs today? How awesome would it be if we hit no traffic? How awesome would it be if this was the best baseball game I have ever seen? (All of these things happened yesterday, by the way).
What memory are you creating today? I challenge you to make it a good one. Think of all the "How awesome would it be ifs". It will definitely bring a smile to your face and, well, "relax" you.