Saturday, September 8, 2012

Give a Little Leeway

This week, when my normal impatience arose, I breathed deeply and reminded myself that most of the world is going through back to school transition, and therefore may need some extra leeway. I’m happy to report it made for a pretty peaceful week.

Change is hard for me, even good change. In June, when Carl’s school year ends, and he’s around more, I love it, but the transition is still hard. Now, after a lovely summer, Carl is back to work, Daniel is back to the babysitter, and I’m back to managing more of the household. Going into the week I worried. How would Daniel adjust, after hanging out with Daddy all summer? How would Carl adjust to work life again? What about our poor puggy, home alone so much more?

To maximize peace in our home, and within myself, I decided to try giving everyone extra leeway for the week. Rather than reprimand myself for failing to write enough, I praised myself for writing at all. Rather than battle with Daniel about his nap, I surrendered, played with him, took him to Target. Rather than chastise Carl for coming home late, I invited a friend over for a play date. In all cases, life was much more enjoyable. I even forgave the asshole who cut me off in traffic yesterday. Yes, I felt the flood of righteous anger, but I remembered leeway, and had some compassion for his hurry.

This week, with all its changes, was so peaceful that I’m wondering if leeway should be a permanent mantra. Maybe I’m always harder on people, including myself, than is necessary or helpful. Maybe I’d be happier with lower expectations and greater acceptance of shortcomings. Hm. Maybe I’ll extend it another week and see how it goes.

Where do you fall on the leeway scale? Do you give too little or too much?


Carol Fragale Brill said...

Leeway with myself is one of the gifts I am discovering in this temporary retirement between jobs. With extra time, I can let up and not try to get it all done in one day. Now if I can just hold onto what I am learning when I go back to work 3 days a week carol

Elise A. Miller said...

Leeway. I like it. Am adopting it immediately. I must practice something like that. Maybe it's called, "we're all doing the best we can." I like Leeway. It's far more economical, and seeing it described in a different way helps me integrate it deeper into my irritable cells. Lovely. very very lovely!

Mark Knight said...

Leeway. Love it. I have various mantras."Annnnd we're breathing" is a favourite.
But my cutest, favourite-est is from my 7yr old daughter. A few years back while adults & bigger sisters et al were having a kinda tense discussion a little voice pipes up
"Guys, guys. Chill."
That'll do it every time.