Looking on the sunny side of life and seeing my cup as half-full has fortunately mostly been in my nature. But when I’m stretched to my limits in too many areas, even the smallest things can feel overwhelming. You know, the proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back kind of thing. And no surprise, seeing the cup as “half-empty” actually empties our cups from which we give to others.
The past year and a half has had many people re-evaluating our lives and choosing to shift things up a bit to find a way to add more sunny side of life moments. So many folks are packing up and moving closer to family or taking on new jobs and hobbies.
As empty nesters, my husband and I spent the winter in warmer climes and rode out the dark days of the pandemic where we could easily be outdoors getting physical activity and sunshine. It was such a gift to be able to do that. We realized that we like not being tied to the constant work of home ownership and we enjoyed the changing environment of being in different places.
So we made a big decision and we’re going to give ourselves two years of traveling (kind of like the year abroad that many students take in their college years) since we started having kids so young we didn’t do that then and now we are able.
A lot of course went into this decision, not the least of which was having 5 friends die in the past year and half (only one was Covid & was in the UK so we won’t be attending any memorial for her). Seeing these beautiful lives cut so short was like a two by four upside the head for us. Remember the movie, “Three Weddings and a Funeral”? Well, our summer is more like 4 funerals and a wedding. The wedding was loads of fun but the memorials have been heart wrenching.
It was really exciting getting this ball rolling, even taking loads of things to the local thrift shop has felt good. But now we’re down to the really hard stuff like photos and mementos…oh my. Preparing for having the house look “Picture Perfect” for listing photos right on the heels of a car trip to the mountains for a friend’s memorial, dealing with lung issues and trying to keep all the balls in the air found me close to the breaking point at the end of a long day of sorting through photos and mementos and trying to figure out how to pack them safely for two years of storage.
Overwhelm began to take hold and I got really crabby and realized, stopping is important and so is resting. Oh yeah, I teach this stuff. LOL. “Look at the big picture Becky!” is literally what I had to say to myself. And, “Go shower and go to bed.”
Part of seizing the day is keeping things in perspective. And honoring our own physical and emotional needs. Just looking at American Olympic gymnast Simone Biles and how she so wisely honored her own needs and stepped away from the Olympic games that were not honoring her physical and emotional needs is such a great example of taking that 30,000 foot view of what matters. She has the wisdom to realize that her mental and physical health are much more important than a medal.
Even if you’re a cup half-full kind of person, the realities of life in general right now can make for a grim outlook. Between the ongoing pandemic, wildfires and their smoke, social unrest, a government in turmoil and so many more challenges, an eating disorder and all that goes with that can be that straw that takes you down a miserable path.
How can we as parents take that long view perspective when we’re in the deep trenches fighting ed?
How can you take the 30,000 foot view and see what is working enough to be able to shine on and seize the day?
What can you set down, let go of, stop striving for to allow yourself to heal your mental and physical health? Sometimes it’s as simple as just asking ourselves that and then listening.
Maybe even taking a shower and going to bed. Because, even though you’re fighting to help save your child from a life threatening eating disorder – your needs do matter. A lot. You’re being watched by your kiddo and setting that example can be life changing.
If you or someone you know is struggling to support a family member with an eating disorder, you don’t have to do it alone. Check out our resources at Recovery Roadmap Specialists and Hope Network, LLC. Or call me for a free consult with myself or one of our Referral Partners who are being on boarded as we speak.