Whew! I know that my last Pause post was published just a week ago, but I wrote it nearly 3 weeks ago and that was my last opportunity to sit down in a quiet spot and put my fingers to the keyboard. And now the momentum that I felt like I had around the holidays is stuck and I am totally derailed. But we know that’s the eternal struggle for writers – keeping the flow constant. The wise Julia Cameron reminds us to let god control the quality, we can only control the quantity. I’m not religious, but I believe there’s a lot of truth to that. Practice, practice, practice. Create, create, create. I will share more on finding the time later, I hope!
Anyway – how am I doing with this PAUSE business? Turns out, not so great. I have been just as huffy, sarcastic, and rude as usual. I’ve been snitty with my husband about not having any time for the things that fill up my bucket, despite his insistence on me taking breaks from the kids, the house, and my paying job to sit down at the computer by myself. He’s even lugged the computer into several different rooms to find the right place for me to plug away. Yet – I’ve been a total jerk to him. And that’s just one example of me neglecting to pause.
But there have been a few times that I’ve been sucessful. This morning is one good example. My biggest bear was playing games about getting out of bed to get dressed for school. I played along with him until I hit my breaking point, which often comes out of nowhere. I almost yanked the covers off of him and slammed the blankets on the floor and yelled, “COME ON!” In fact, I gave the blankets one good tug.
And then I paused.
Instead of totally losing my cool, I collapsed into a tickle fight with him. I was able to be a bit loud and get some of that pent up anger out of my soul in a playful way that made Bear giggle and laugh. It also gave me several more seconds to think about what’s important. Getting him out of bed and dressed THIS VERY SECOND, or spending just a bit more time with him in a light-hearted way? It was the right decision – it quickly became one of the easiest school mornings that we’ve had.
In that moment, I was so happy that I thought to PAUSE. I lost nothing by waiting a few more minutes for him to make his way out of bed. We were at school on time with everyone dressed and fed. And he was happy this morning, instead of sullen and hurt from being yelled at. No one likes to be yelled at – which is what I spend so much time telling him when he yells at me. I am happy to know that, even if it was just today, I practiced what I preach.
How about you? Can you think of a time that you were happy that you didn’t respond with your initial reaction? Or a time when you did but regretted it? I have too many of those moments that I regret – here’s to a whole year of practicing to pause more!
Loved this! And yes, I’ve found ways to practice pausing. It’s been especially helpful on Twitter where, more often than not I’ve been writing tweets, pausing, then deleting them. I get the satisfaction of blurting out snarky responses, and then feel quite grown up when I (mostly) don’t post them! 😉
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I love it! That’s such a smart strategy. Kind of like writing a letter that you’ll never send. I hope you feel like it’s worthwhile!