Monday, January 04, 2016

Shifting Gears

"Maybe you need to see this time differently." Just one sentence and my perspective changed – have you ever had that happen?  This was said to me with empathy and understanding and just a gentle prod.  We had been struggling for a good month on how to get our Little One (foster child) to sleep and the only thing that seemed to work was spending several hours in a darkened room, within arms reach, until this child finally drifted off.  I'm all for building attachment, and did so seemingly all day long, but this was not what we expected.

I had been feeling bitter and exhausted and that is not who I am. This wasn't what I signed up for.  Who wants to spend two hours in a bedroom from 7-9 pm each night just to get a child to sleep?  Considering my friend's wise words, I thought about this two hour block of time.  Okay, so I don't have a wild social life and I would probably be home most nights anyway.  My husband was usually around in the evenings so he could put the other three to bed.  Could I see this time differently and shift it to be "me time?"  I took a computer in and edited photos.  I read books with a headlamp.  And now, for the past few months, I've been watching an episode on Netflix with my iPad (I'm currently watching The Fosters in case you were wondering – kind of ironic.)

Along with this "me time" in the evening (where Gary and I almost always want to put the Little One to bed so we get to watch Netflix in peace) is the "me time" on weekends.  Naps are guaranteed when I can walk for an hour with our Little One in the stroller.  With Gary being home on weekends, this is easy to do.  These walks allow for some quiet reflective time and I also get my 10,000 steps in!  Sometimes I take my camera along and other times I walk to the grocery store, but every time, I get peace in knowing that we aren't fighting sleep and I am getting fresh air and exercise.

Don't get me wrong – I would love a dinner date with my husband, but if that is what has to be put aside for the time being, we can most definitely do that.   I would encourage you to be open to the wisdom of a trusted friend; I love growing and learning (although often it's painful) through experience and the wisdom of others.  I might not love the process but I feel encouraged by the results.

Has anyone ever said anything to you that has caused a major mind-shift?


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