“I’m so mad at my body!” my student reported to me on Monday morning. I imagine many of us have felt this way, but not being in the business of body-transplants, I dug a little deeper to see what the problem was, specifically. We talked for a bit and then she rephrased it: “I’m mad that I overdid it this weekend.”
Now that we can do something about.
And then it occurred to me that I am having exactly the same problem. And I was reminded of that old saying about learning the most from one’s students. Yep.
On my walk that very morning before work I had been pondering my Sunday. It was a fantastic day with my kids, only marred by intermittent grumpiness from me. What’s up with that? Why do I get so crabby? They weren’t even being particularly naughty, so I really had nobody but myself to blame.
I was able to break it down to factors:
Food. I waited too long to eat breakfast and then found myself stomping around the kitchen. A handful of nuts could solve that.
Trying to do Work. Sundays are typically a workday for me, but I had cancelled my students in order to attend an event with my family in the morning, and a rehearsal with my choir in the afternoon. So I had to fit in emails and admin work around the edges—before they got up and after they went to bed. Which actually was okay. The problems start when I’m hanging out with them and they seem totally occupied, so I sneak into the other room and open my computer. They have a sixth sense for this and before I know it there are three children looking over my shoulder, asking me questions. I shut the computer and then fume that I can never get anything done. So, FINE, I will try not to accomplish anything work-related when I’m with my kids. (I have to re-learn this lesson all the time…)
Tired. I’m just tired. It’s been a long couple of weeks. It’s been a long five years. I’m a mom. I’m tired.
As I completed my walk I basically shrugged my shoulders about number 3 and said, “Well, I can’t help being tired.”
It was only later, talking to my student during her lesson, that I saw the parallel between my belief that I couldn’t do anything about being tired, and her anger toward her body. Both are a little bit of clever buck-passing. In my case, I realized that while I may not predictably be able to get as much sleep as I’d like, I can still DO A LIE-DOWN. This is the sort of thing I tell my students on day 1: Take a few minutes each day to lie down on the floor and do nothing. I promise you’ll come up refreshed.
Did I lie down on Sunday? Nope!
So for my student and me and any other weekend warriors out there, while we can’t change how we overdid it last weekend, we CAN plan ahead for next time. My self-created tools? Stay fed, don’t try to work with the kids around and take a lie-down. My student decided that taking some moments to PAUSE might go a loooong way. That actually sounds doable (if we can remember).
What are your plans?