Brief Slow Down

Sometimes I need a reminder…

not based on obligations

I am most definitely guilty of living the “have to” life. It is such an easy fall into a life controlled by obligations – and I fall often!

Being a single mother (raising my kids alone but have a significant other – he just lives far away!), and a student means that there is a lot of obligation in my day to day. The problem is when those obligations take hold and override everything else.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think the above quote should be interpreted as ignoring all obligations – obligations are a part of life and can help direct your choices and actions. They can also be very meaningful and rewarding. But something so little as sitting and enjoying  a coffee rather than taking it on the run from one thing to another *or let’s be honest – using multiple coffees as fuel to be able to do everything that needs doing until you reach the point where you’ve got the shakes and can no longer do anything!* The issue isn’t of doing too much or being too busy, it’s losing focus of what actually matters.

Sometimes we need a reminder. Insert Sawyer here. 

Sawyer recently turned 4 and is my youngest child. He is truly one of a kind. Now I don’t go picking favourites – hold your judgements – but Sawyer has this unique gift. A gift he gives to me whenever I have let myself become overridden with obligation and have lost sight of the small things, the blessings in my life, the things that really matter most.

Today Sawyer got sick. Nothing major, just a fever, but enough that he had to be sent home from his daycare. This meant I had to leave school (single mom in a town with no friends/family = no backup) and pick him up. This is actually not a problem – leaving school is so much easier than leaving work! Even though it is not a problem to go get my sick little gaffer, of course I did an instant freak out. “But what about my missed class” “Who can I get notes from” “What if the prof gives exam hints” “I have a paper due this Thursday I need to finish up” Basically, “What about me and what I need to do”

Then I remembered, Sawyer did this to me before! Most recently was last semester – during midterms! When I was at my peak stress level he got so sick with the flu it was a struggle to even have him in the car long enough to drop his sister off at school! I spent nearly a week nursing him while he was sick. We watched movies and laid on the couch. I was lucky enough to get all 5 of my midterm exams rescheduled and eventually wrote them all with no problems. At the time, I had forgotten that there were more important things that textbooks and memorizing tables and practice models. I was caught up in my school obligations and had lost myself.

Today, spending the afternoon with Sawyer sleeping on my lap reminded me that life is good! Obligations are there and do need to be tended to but along the way there are so many great things surrounding me and if I don’t recognize and acknowledge them, I won’t be able to see them.

It reminds me of something my very first professor used to always say, “Our vision controls our perception, and our perception becomes our reality.” I don’t know exactly who to give credit to, she said she heard it from a National Geographic photographer. Either way, I love it and it is so very true.

With multiple papers due soon and final exams right around the corner, obligations are reaching peak levels but tonight I made myself an iced coffee (for the first time ever!) and sipped it outside while my other non-sick child watered & weeded our garden. Sawyer sat on my lap, still sick, while I sat and enjoyed my drink and the things going on around me. We found some surprise zucchini  in our garden and cut our first harvest of broccoli!

Life is good!


2 thoughts on “Brief Slow Down

  1. 😀
    That’s great. I hope Sawyer feels better, but sometimes it is so hard to be by yourself (speaking from past experience) that your children are the only ones who can offer you that lifeline. What a terrible and amazing burden for them. They’re so great at just giving joy though. Sigh.

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