Sometimes I get so busy with the day-to-day details of life that I need to be reminded to live. To stop and smell the roses. To breathe. Sometimes it’s good to check out our tool kit from time to time. Toss out what we’ve outgrown or what has become dull or rusty and add new and improved tools when needed. Shine up the tried and true and remind ourselves of a tool that used to be critical and vital that we may have overlooked recently and want to revisit.
As parents and partners, what helps you recharge your batteries? How do you nurture important relationships? Are there other parents or couples who truly understand – those special friends who “get it” and with whom you can be yourself and feel grounded after spending time with them? How long has it been since you laughed until your belly hurt? Or cried at a movie – staring real people (not cartoons or animals)?
How’s your health? Do you have a primary care physician? Does that person know you? Is there something you’ve been putting off related to your health? Those oh-so-joyful annual exams? And how about those “now that you are a certain age” tests? I know. But just do it. Need (new) glasses? Wanna get your hair cut? Or colored?
Do you want to update your resume? Go (back) to counseling? Or school? Start running? Curious about learning something new? Has someone invited you to attend something with them? Have you gone? When was the last time you went to the library and just hung out in the section with your favorite books? (It’s free!) Do you want to get more involved with supporting your candidate? And before you say “Yea, right lady – when?” Let me just say – I ask, because I care!
Those of us with children, tend to get rather focused on them – have you noticed? As adoptive parents, we are primed for this from the start – all the work and time and energy and papers and forms and money and sometimes travel that goes into “just” becoming parents can set us up to think that this level of frenzy and energy and exclusive attention is expected all the time – total focus on the adoption process = total focus on the child. But we must take care of ourselves and our adult relationships in the midst of parenting or we are doomed and our children are stuck with dull, worn out, exhausted and often resentful parents. Not that I know anything about THAT – I’ve heard it can happen…..
I am not talking about a huge bucket list that includes going to India. I’m talking about the dreams you may have forgotten or the dreams you set aside. Revisit them and nurture the non-parent part of yourself. Make some time and have a mini-retreat with yourself and/or your partner or best friend to share ideas, make new commitments, and talk about what interests you. You will smile more and so will your children.