*Adopted from another favorite book: “Blessings of a Skinned Knee” by Wendy Mogel, Ph.D
If you follow me on social media or know me IRL (in real life….I really love that acronym!) then you know about my broken foot. The right foot to be exact which means I am out of commission in a big way! (Most of my duties as a mom to a teen and preteen are about driving them places!!!) Alas, I must give up control yet again and listen to the universe…which is telling me (forcing me) to sloooow down!
But if you know me in any capacity, you also know that I am going to make every effort to learn and grow from these experiences and share then with the world…so here it goes.
- Go fetal: I learned this term from the book “The Soul Sourced Entrepreneur” by Christine Kane. Basically when something does not go the way you planned, take the time to grieve it. Grieve the image of what you had hoped for (like walking without crutches), and then move on. So often we try to force this agenda of positivity and we just don’t give ourselves the time to grieve. I do find this to be a crucial step in ourselves and in others. Let the other person fully experience their emotions before trying to make them feel better!
- Things can always be worse: I know this isn’t the most reassuring thing to hear but it’s true. When I went to the emergency room to get my ankle checked out, I saw so many people in much worse predicaments. I knew that some people’s lives would be forever changed that night; not just 3 months.
- Gratitude always: Yup…you guessed it, stay positive. After grieving and realizing it could be worse, I do go into gratitude for what I do have. No surgery needed, a support system I could count on, older kids that don’t need me to carry them, etc, etc. Gratitude has been scientifically studied in it’s ability to make us more joyful, not the other way around. So yes, we will always be lacking something, but it’s only when we appreciate what we have that we can truly be happy.
- The importance of autonomy and independence: If you’ve ever needed to count on other people for some basic things you know exactly what I’m talking about! As soon as I got home I was thinking about how I would be able to get anywhere in my house without anyone helping. How I could get basic needs met (clothes, water, food) when I was by myself. I learned to go up and down the stairs on my bum and have an extra set of crutches for each floor. WOOHOO! I felt very close to being a toddler during these times of wanting to do as much as possible by myself… I DO IT! I realized (on a very personal level), how important it is for us to let our kids do as much as possible on their own. Even if it means they have to struggle a bit; as we are standing by just watching them do the thing!
- The need to accept help: ugh! Unfortunately, The I DO IT attitude will not work for everything. I needed to be okay with getting help, a lot of help, from a lot of people which is soooo hard for me (and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone on this one!) It also made me realize the importance of normalizing giving help to our kids. It’s definitely a balance, we need to let them try as hard as they want but know that we are ready and able to help anytime, at any age. We don’t want to tough love them in every situation. Just a little push out of their comfort zones, maybe a nudge and then be there for all the support needed. Kids will be more willing to fly knowing they have a soft landing in case they fall! And being comfortable with accepting help is important our whole lives!
- We don’t always get what we want, but maybe it’s what we need: Ok, there is no way I NEEDED a broken right foot!!!! But it has given me the ability to pause and really think about what I NEED to be at, what is really important to me and worth the effort of hobbling to get there! Of course, I’d rather make this realization with the ability of both my working feet but maybe the message was not clear enough!?!??! I recently, talked about this with my daughter’s health issues. She was worried about letting people down and not being able to do everything she was supposed to. This was a major wake up call for me; at this young age she was already worried about other people’s expectations. I told her her health comes first, ALWAYS! Well, I guess I now have the opportunity to practice what I preach. My health comes first and there’s some things I just won’t be able to participate in for now…And if I end up disappointing anyone…Sorry, not sorry!
- Don’t sweat the small stuff: Is this a parenting theme or what? I mean, does it really matter if they watch a little more TV, eat a little more junk food, don’t take a bath or stay up a little later??? When we are in survival mode we have to let go of a lot of things and THAT’S OK! But even in the day to day of life, it’s ok to let things go a bit. They all grow up and do just fine!
Listen, if you give me the choice of breaking my foot and not breaking it, I would obviously choose the ladder. But, life is about taking what you are given and making the absolute possible best of the situation. So here I am trying to make lemons out of lemonade and hoping that you may be able to apply a principle or 2 to your life. We are all going through something and being able to make someone else’s life even just a tiny bit better is my passion!