I don’t know about anyone else, but my little princess- Maggie- is obsessed with the movie Frozen. The song “Let it Go” is on frequent play back these days. It’s even on the pop station here in town. Why is it speaking to adults? What might they be letting go of figuratively? Pain? Mistakes? Doubt?
In the movie it is about letting go of what is holding Princess Elsa back out of fear that she might hurt someone with her amazing powers. Elsa was actually capable of making beautiful and wonderful things. Then Elsa took it too far, but in taking it too far learned what her limits and capabilities actually were.
I said to a friend yesterday that in my teaching I gave it 150% and I learned a lot about myself in taking it too far. Sometimes you just have to lose yourself and go over the top and then reel yourself back in to what you really should be doing. Finding some new parameters of your strengths.
Running is another example for me. I’m at the over the top place in this obsession I have for running. I am letting go of my hesitations and shooting on out the door, but when I can’t go it’s all I think about. My husband and I go through obsessions. We learn from them and grow from them. We go over the top and then reel ourselves back in and in the end we are a newer improved model of what we once had been, but we eventually fizzle out of our over the topness. Just like Elsa we have a tendency of taking things a little too far and then settling in for what we learned from it, but it’s about control of your desire to see what you can do and then realistically what you can do with time, energy and money. The fly lady cleaning phase we went through is a perfect example. The house is still a mess, but we learned a lot about keeping a clean sink and that is a habit that stuck as well as cleaning off hot spots.
In the coming months I will be letting go of so many things. One in particular will be my business and all of the equipment I have accumulated over the last four years. I’m having fun going through everything that I will be letting go of at a yard sale in a few weeks. I’m hoping to become more flylady proud as I will have less things in my home. The daycare closes in 84 days just a week or so from when my new job is projected to actually begin. Our friends are moving to DC and we spend the most time with their family out of all over our other couples friends. It will be weird without them around almost every weekend this summer. The company around the fire and our table will be different. I will not be with the children I have cared for since their birth and I will miss them and their families. Those friendships have formed a foundation on which we can not ignore and we wont.
I will begin my new teaching job shortly following the closing of the daycare. I will be beginning a new teaching adventure, but I will be letting go of the time in my home. I have spent the last four years in my home essentially. I will be letting go of the idea that our children are small. I went to my daughters preschool today for “Muffins with Mom”. I don’t normally get to do this because I’m already working by the time her preschool opens. It is hard to do these things, because I have missed so many other “Muffins with Mom” moments due to my employment. That was my one and only I will probably ever get to participate in and I’m glad and grateful that I got to attend. When leaving I watched as the other mothers were attempting to leave and say goodbye. Their daughters clinging to their legs with tears streaming down their faces. The mothers made a common parenting mistake- the leave- reverse and come back for one more goodbye. This causes the child to go through waves of emotions… Mom is leaving… mom is gone… mom is back… mom is leaving again… mom keeps saying she will be back in just a little bit… and she returns again. I found myself watching as a caregiver of children and all I could think was to start singing- Let her go…. let her go…. but I didn’t. My daughter has these meltdowns from time to time too and we reward her for changing the behavior until it stops. We leave quickly and if she doesn’t fuss she gets a reward after school. Maggie hung up her Ariel costume she had worn for the celebration in her cubby very neatly as I was leaving and kissed me goodbye. She was fully prepared for me to leave and to help make the other children happy by playing with them. I was proud of her in that moment. My son- Alden- has an amazing knack with babies. He truly knows how to make a baby happy. One of the babies I watch simply saw my son’s silhouette through the door yesterday and started giggling knowing it was Alden. Sure I went over the top to be with my children. I resigned from a job during a budget crunch while other people were praying they kept their job- I resigned from mine. The foundation for their early years was important to me and I can see it now in their empathetic behavior. I am blessed to have been able to do this, but the over the top effects has started to show wear on our finances and the upkeep of our home and our vehicles. These things allow for me to prepare for letting go.
This summer both of my children will be home with me and a few other kids. They are no longer “little kids” as they both will be in school next fall. It’s my last big squeeze before I return to the classroom. I want to selfishly soak them up before I have to let them go and reel back in my professional life. I have a better understanding of my teacher and parenting powers now. This time I know what I am capable of on all fronts, but it’s about balance. Now it’s time to let it go so that I can reel life back in again.