It was a family dinner. It’s usually my favorite time, but my patience was shot. My son had fallen out of our hammock a few days earlier, on his head, and while we knew he was fine, we were “watching” his headaches to make sure he didn’t have a concussion. Which was okay with him whenever it agreed with what he wanted to do, but when he wanted to play Minecraft or basketball, taking it easy was no longer a priority. I had just suggested that he go a bit slower, and he had begun to fight me. I was losing my cool.
Instead of yelling, which is pretty much all my frustrated self wanted to do, I excused myself from the dinner table, left the room, and headed upstairs to sit in a nook and breathe. I gave myself a time-out. I needed to calm down. And reflect on how much I loved my son, and loved life, and loved sitting alone while my family cleaned the kitchen.
My daughter commented the other day on how I’ve never put either her or her brother in time-out. Instead I put myself there. I guess I figure that it’s not really their misbehavior that sets me off. Or maybe it is their behavior, but it’s mostly my reaction to it. My son’s need to not sit still and take it slowly any longer was understandable. So was my frustration with his seeming inability to listen to me.
There are times I need a break, a breather, a moment to myself. There are times I need it more than just about anything. I’ve learned to take it. To take time. To take space. To take a reframing of my current situation. So that’s what I generally do. I find something to smile about. I remember what I love – even, or especially, about the person or situation that seems to be driving me crazy. I remove myself from the challenge at hand and look around for the bigger picture.
I needed a time-out the other night. I may need one again. I’m okay with that.
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