Finding gratitude in the chaos

Total honest moment, I have been feeling a little sorry for myself lately. The great thing about getting older is that the more time we spend in these bodies, with our thoughts and behaviors, the better we get to know ourselves. Here’s one thing that I have learned about myself: I don’t do well with transitions.

When things change in my daily or weekly routine, even if they are good changes that I am happy about, I always have a bumpy transition time where I start to feel  resentful  of everybody else in my family.

Here’s what I mean.  I get into a good routine over the summer, balancing the kids’ needs with my own and then school starts. I THINK I will have more time to balance work time, exercise time, organizing my disaster of a house time, because the kids will be in school, right? Because that makes sense. What ACTUALLY happens is nothing like that. This year the kids are in different schools, so any kind of routine that I can look back on having in previous years is moot. (“It’s a moo point, it’s like a cow’s opinion”. If you recognize that quote, we can totally hang out.)

Everything is different. Cue my toddler-like temper tantrum about how I do everything for everyone and my husband can go to work every day and work where I have to try to work around my “will he or won’t he nap” 3 year old’s whims and at least two hours a day are spent in the car being a chauffeur. And it’s all on me to juggle.  I have to admit, as I longingly thought about the fall in the middle of the summer, I did not consider any of this.  Once all of this was right in front of my face, it made me grumpy and not fun to be around for several weeks.

But this is not a new phenomenon for me. I left my day job back in February because my mom wasn’t able to keep babysitting for my youngest son while I worked. It seemed like everything was lining up the right way and leaving my job was what I was supposed to do. So I did. I was looking forward to solely focusing on wellness coaching, which is where my passion is, and wholeheartedly promoting my new business venture.

What ACTUALLY happened was I was blindsided by the fact that spending all day every day with a toddler is hard. YOU’D THINK I WOULD KNOW THIS cause y’know, this is not my first rodeo. The fact was that I had been working out of the house at least a couple of days a week since he was 4 months old and it had actually been a LONG time since I had had one on one total toddler time.  This was a bumpy season for me as well.

Transition is hard for me. As much as I don’t love that fact, I do I love that I know this about myself. I know that the transition, as stressful as it can be, is fleeting and the rhythm will come and I will eventually be not so grouchy.

2016-rader-boys-photoIt never ceases to amaze me how a little perspective shift can lift my mood.

Yesterday was full. Late arrival at school for one kid, early dismissal for another. In between, trying to tackle a house project I have been meaning to get to (which I didn’t finish). Pick up oldest kid, come home to drop baby off with my hubby who was working from home, back to school for a meeting with the oldest kid’s teacher, dropping him off at birthday party after the meeting, back to pick up middle child from school, taking him to the same birthday party and hanging out for awhile, grocery store, dinner, baseball practice, homework, chores, shower, bedtime.

In the midst of all that (which sounds like it could be enough to make my head explode) I realized something. None of this is bad. These are all good things that we’re doing. All of my kids are happy. They all have great friends and are involved in activities that they enjoy and they want to be doing.

There’s no complaining – except from me. And what am I complaining about really? That I’m in my car a lot? Really, Rachel? If this is the biggest problem I have to deal with, I should be grateful.

So I stopped for a minute and dwelt in that.

I made a promise to myself to feel grateful for the chaos and the running around and all the dropping off and the picking up because it means a  happy, healthy, connected, active family. And I get to be a part of it.




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