The six of us have flown across the country into an Omicron hot-spot. And the one with severe travel anxiety and constant homesickness? No, he hasn’t grown out of it. The older teens are quick to give us parenting advice, and I shoot it back, uselessly informing them it’s not welcome.
On the way here I began writing my personal Forward-Facing vision for this trip. The key word being personal, as in, who I intend to be, not what I intend others to be.
- I put more energy into my self-regulation and less energy into stopping bickering.
- I put less energy into glares that shoot my way
- I pay attention to things that give me joy.
It’s been a while since I’ve done this. Too long. Even after I write it I fail and fail. but I see the the hope emerging. I am coming back to my intentions quicker than usual, and I know it’s because I’ve written it down. I’m settling into a rhythm.
I move to noticing, to gratitude, to body-full-ness…I know I have the option to create my experience. I do it first by writing my intention, and then writing what I chose to notice, where I put my energy.
The noticing brain invites me to my body, to the present, and interrupts my threat response.
- I notice the teens changing their language about our AirBnB from cramped to cozy
- I notice the boys awe and wonder while exploring the novel flora and fauna
- I notice teens unpacking groceries and cooking and washing dishes without being asked
- I notice their politeness and poise, even as non-Southerners
- I notice the weather. As desert rats, we were looking forward to the crisp cold, but the unseasonal temperate weather allows us to spread out
- I notice joy in children voluntarily raking leaves
The scared one now has an anxiety-induced migraine. The intrusions are coming. Part of me is tired and wants to withdraw, and another part wants to soothe him. I notice those parts beginning to battle, as their needs feel incongruent. But as I notice, the parts integrate. Needs are soothed. Back to the present.
To be continued…