Have you ever had a moment in time where what you usually do does not go work this time around? Like you did the same thing you’ve done time and time again but this time, it does not work. I did that last night. When my daughter gets restless and is too wired for a nap, I take her on a car ride. Up until last night, she usually falls asleep in the car within 20 minutes of me starting the car. Tonight, I drove my family around for an hour and fifteen minutes and she was just as awake leaving my car as she was getting into it. I didn’t know how to respond because I was frustrated that it had to resort to such a measure in the first place. Sometimes, when things don’t work like they usually do, there is a lesson that is being taught. So here are three lessons I learned from last night’s hour long drive.
- Temporary band-aids are just that – Temporary. We all have to come to an understanding that what we’re accustomed to doing may not always work. Don’t be afraid when the band-aid comes off. Trust that it’s coming off at the right time and that you’re capable of handling what’s underneath it. There may be a caveat to it that will not allow for it to work well this time. I always knew driving her in the car at night so she can fall asleep is a band-aid. Last night just proved the truth of how much it really was a band-aid. Lesson learned: holding on to things longer than necessary can ultimately cause frustration and disappointment. Just get rid of it.
2. Re-evaluate what didn’t work. For me, it was that the route I took had too many lights and the jazz music I selected had vocals to it which clearly means to a four year old that it’s an automatic sing-a-long although she made up her own words. It was also allowing her too many stimulants at once (read: low sugar kool-aid + favorite cartoon + music + toys). It was talking to her. It was not unwinding with her. It was a myriad of things that I didn’t do which allowed her to go haywire. Be realistic with yourself. Are some of those things that didn’t work things that should have been gone a long time ago? For me, yes. Low sugar kool-aid has no place in our house. She should have cleaned her toys up earlier in the day so it wouldn’t be an issue now. We should have read her a story and eliminated the television until she went to bed. Those things no longer serve the purpose it once did. Lesson learned: if it no longer serves a purpose in the fight to accomplish the ultimate mission, get rid of it.
3. The tough time will end. It may not seem like it but it will. The kid went to bed about fifteen minutes after we walked in the door and hadn’t gotten up since. That was the end. It was over. I was able to drink my tea, talk with friends and unwind with music of my choice. I was able to have time to re-evaluate why our drive didn’t work to put her to sleep and what we could have done differently with our day to make sure she could go to sleep on time. Keeping my composure, talking things over with her, taking her somewhere to get out the extra energy and more could have been done to prevent the overstimulated kid from reaching that point. However, at the end of the tough time, it is easy to be so overly critical of what you’ve done that you wind up turning a re-evaluation session into a self-bashing session. It’s not meant for that. Lesson learned: once the tough time end and you’ve re-evaluated what could have been done better, let the situation go. Get rid of it. It’s truly over!
Until next time, if you’ve gotten nothing else from this post, please know that when something stops working for you, the best course of action to take is to get rid of it. It’s no longer serving a purpose and after you learn the lesson, it’s reason for being in your life will be fulfilled. Just like there is no use in carrying around a used, nasty band-aid that has fallen off, there is zero use in continuing to use a method that outdated and is past its usefulness. There is nothing to come of it but frustration. Be kind to yourself. Be patient with yourself. You’re just having to learn something new and sometimes that’s the most frustrating part – finding out that you have to learn something new when you needed the something old to work. Lastly, don’t forget that it will end. Trouble don’t last always. There is an end to it and although it may seem like a long ways off, it’ll be here before you know it.