“I think Mondays hate me,”
Isaac said, as he trudged into the kitchen. There was thick-cut bacon awaiting him, as well as a freshly toasted cinnamon raisin bagel; alas, even that wasn’t enough to get him pumped for Monday morning.
I explained to him that a lot of people dread Monday, but it’s really a losing battle–given the fact that Monday makes a return appearance, every 7 days, like clockwork.
He was not amused.
He didn’t sleep well.
He has a headache.
His leg hurts.
His leg hurts so much that he won’t even enjoy playing at recess!
He has a substitute teacher today so what’s even the point of going school?
It went on like this for some time, until I finally laid down the law: YOU’RE GOING TO SCHOOL AND THAT’S ALL THERE IS TO IT.
My Isaac is a highly sensitive child–much like his Mama. It’s what makes him so loving and compassionate, but it also renders him deeply affected by his environment. At times, too many environmental or emotional factors can be overwhelming for him, as is the case for many of us adults.
This morning was one of those times.
By the time we got into the car to drive to school, we’d had more tense interactions than you would think two people could have in such a short period of time. I could tell he was distraught, and his mood showed no signs of improving in the immediate future. So I took a deep breath, inhaled as much Mama love and compassion I could muster, and exhaled all the irritation and impatience.
“Take a deep breath,” I instructed him.
He inhaled deeply, and when he exhaled, I said, “Now let it all go.”
I explained that bad moods are inevitable; they happen to all of us, and they will continue to happen for the duration of our human existence. There’s no getting around that; even the most positive people in the world are not 100% positive all the time. However, these moods–they only have as much power over us as we allow them to.
We can choose, with each inhale and subsequent exhale, to begin anew…to let that shit go.
Sometimes we wake up on the not-so-pumped side of the bed. It happens. We’re tired. We’re hungover. We’re stressed out. We’re anxious. Our glutes are so sore it makes moving an absolute chore. We have a negative interaction with someone. Then another one. We find ourselves powerless against the forces of nature, to the point where we decide that our day is just ruined.
We’ve all done this. We’ve all felt as though our day is ruined by the myriad things that can and will go wrong; we’ve given up our power to the external workings of our environment and thrown up our hands in exasperation. But the truth is, we aren’t really powerless. Our day doesn’t have to be ruined.
Instead, we can pause.
And begin again.
Every breath is a chance to start over.