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The Cycles of Life – Ride ‘Em, Don’t Fight ‘Em

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In our family, we all go through cycles: seasonally, annually, monthly, weekly, and daily. Hell, with four teenagers in the house, moods can shift in seconds around here. But, the thing is, for years I didn’t recognize the cycles—I saw only tiny truths that I had to stress myself out about and react to:

Kid: “I’m going to fail this semester, it’s too much work.”
MamaDe: Great, am I going to have to call the school and set up a meeting to switch teachers?

Kid: “I’m quitting, I hate my coach.”
MamaDe: Ugh! I think the sign-ups for rec ball are already closed—what’s she going to do to socialize?

Kid: “I’m quitting, I hate my job.”
MamaDe: He can’t quit this job, he needs this job! What is he planning to do all summer if he doesn’t have a job?!

Kid: “I’m never talking to her again!”
MamaDe: But, I wanted them to be best friends when they grew up—what if they’re not close?! Whaaaaaa.

The truth is, one of the reasons I was stressed about my kids’ comments was because I thought I had to fix something that was broken. What I’ve learned is to see all of their emotion as part of “The Cycle.” While I don’t necessarily say it out loud, now, when they exclaim something, I think to myself:

    • The beginning of a new semester is so overwhelming.
    • It’s always hard to get back into a daily physical routine when you’ve been away from it for a while.
    • This is that time of year when his job gets super busy—things’ll get easier when he’s in his groove.
    • Just listen and mind your own business.

The thing is, I do the same exact thing as them! Transitions and seasons can bring on extreme thoughts in my head, too. So when that voice revs up between my own two ears: There’s no way I can possibly do this! I try to pivot and think to myself, Transition can be tough for you—just take extra deep breaths, and keep up the great work.

Learning to ride out The Cycle rather than react to the daily buffet of mental states around here saves me from a lot of over-reacting. And speaking gently to myself through these tough times completely takes the edge off. Oh Mags, this is just that thing you do at the beginning of every new sports season…No worries, you’ll get the kids to the right field at the right time next week.

And a link to my inspiration for riding “The Cycle”…
BLOG: Reacting – Getting Schooled by My Husband in Parenting 101
PODCAST: Reacting – Getting Schooled by My Husband in Parenting 101

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  1. Incredible reminder that absolutely nothing has gone wrong and there’s nothing to fix. Transitions are so flipping hard. Just breathe, right? ox

    • Right! I’m always overreacting to my life.
      If I didn’t “pause” I’d make so many bad choices for myself.
      It’s one of our favorite acronyms, right?

  2. Thanks Mags! I can definitely apply this to my everyday… starting now!

    • I think you’re waaaay beyond the starting line Daniel, but keep up the great work!
      Thanks for checking in~

  3. Thanks for this!!! Had one of those sports explosions the other night and it’s hard not to want to immediately react to your kid’s disappointment and the bad behavior of others. Just breathe – this to will pass.

    • Great job Andrea!
      You are so right, it’s incredibly difficult … sometimes I have to just leave the room if I don’t think I can keep my cool~
      Thanks so much for your comment.

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I would love for you to join me as I work to undo these old patterns and evolve to create a more serene and accepting existence. (And you should know that I still want to ear flick the little knuckleheads {this includes my husband} when they don’t rinse a dish before putting it in the dishwasher — always a work in progress.)
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