Stopping the Fray


Some days are quieter than others. Other days are so busy and loud I think I will start to fray. Being tugged this way and that, starts to wear on a person. The word multi-tasking implies a sort of ease. As if the tasks at hand are simple. Most days they are. The overwhelm comes in when they happen all at once. I can be making lunch and suddenly all I have in my house is chaos. The water spilled, the toddler is pulling someones hair, the food is burning. Oh, and hey why not answer the phone since its ringing. By the way, whats 22 plus 5 and how do you sound out this word? The phone is ringing again because I couldn’t answer it the first time and when I turn my back I bet you the toddler will find a sharp object to run off with. My multi-tasking just went from simple to dangerous in a very quick moment of time. Granted things are usually fine, but the force that constantly drives us past mediocrity is that not so gentle “What if?” that we hear. Moment after moment. The  scenarios that jolt through our brain at any given second. Constantly on the look out for that one scenario that scares us to death. How to prevent it, what to do if it actually happens, what will we do if our defensive or offensive strategy fails. Somedays I can feel that begin to fray me, turning me into a person who is only concerned for self preservation. I lash out. I ignore. I groan and sigh my frustrations audibly. That in turn manifests into guilt. The vicious cycle begins. What’s the best way to stop the cycle? For me it’s playing with my kids, or snuggling up to a movie with them. -Gasp! Screen time.-  Occasionally I get to paint my nails or catch a rare nap. Maybe even head out for coffee and silence. Creating a safe place for my family is my job. In fact playing and interacting with them allows me to watch them and take care of them so much better than when I am allowing myself to become frayed. It’s very easy to lose sight of our tasks. To get caught up in the not so life and death, thinking something is more important than it truly is. Or to go the other extreme and place an importance on something you simply can not change. This life that thrills me and also breaks me, sometimes even within the same hour or day, is hard. In reality the best way to stop something from fraying is to stop what your doing. Just stop. It goes against instinct to think of inaction as helpful. But really, think about it. To stop a fray you have to let go.

What do you do or stop doing that helps you break that cycle? Do you get alone time? Do you play? What keeps you stable and grounded?


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