Dealing with Stress…The Quiet Time between 2 Breaths.

“Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths.”  ~Etty Hillesum

So as you may all have guessed by now I am stressed out!  This should not come as a terrible surprise to those of you that know me as we have been remodeling our new house which is nowhere near finished, although it has to be by July 27 (and was supposed to be by July 1) as we have to move into it because we have new tenants moving in to our house on August 1st. Oh and did I mention, that KSP will be gone as of the night we move?  Not his fault as it’s a work event, but none the less, between this, coordinating moving, readying our current place, working, and somehow dealing with all kinds of insurance, therapy and billing non-sense, I am that crazy woman that if you drive poorly or anger me, you will me find honking at you relentlessly on the streets of LA.  Oh and did I mention, that although it’s for a good cause, we have to go out during Carmaggedon!  For those of you not in the know, they are closing a portion of the 405 this weekend which is basically car chaos and has been dubbed by the media as Carmaggedon.  It is quite catchy but when you have to consider driving in it, it is very daunting.  So that’s it in a nutshell. Now don’t get me wrong, I realize these are high-class problems, and yes, I know they will finish, and I will get through this, but right now I am full of anxiety and stress.  I have tried, bubbles, breathing, running, walking, compartmentalizing (not very well I might add:)) and writing.  While all of these relieved my stress like a topical ointment, nothing lasted more than a few minutes, until tonight.

So after my drive home tonight when 2 people, not one but two, pulled up on my left as I was waiting to turn left onto one of the busiest streets in LA and went to turn in front of me (one was an older lady who I forgive because of her age, but the other lady literally just smirked at me….uggghhh…to which I then pulled my car closer to theirs and then cut out in front of them while honking wildly – charming I know), I arrived home and as it always does when I walk in to find my minis in the kitchen with Nana H., I feel a touch lighter.  I gave kisses and we all moved into the living room.  As we practiced Q’s newly acquired walking skills on which he is improving, but still has a way to go, he suddenly lost his balance and fell back and smacked his overly large head on the hard wood floor. The thump resonated throughout the floor and up into my bones.  I did the instant assessment of “is this truly painful or just scary a combo. Should I celebrate and cheer or scoop him up because he is actually hurt”. In about 1 second I deduced that it was a combo but that a scoop up was in order, so I grabbed him and pressed him against me to comfort the screaming and crying with crocodile tears.  The fear was stronger in this case than the pain so I decided that a trip outside would be a good cure for this wound.  So off we went.  As we walked down the steps, we stopped at our tree to see the leaves and then kiss them.  We moved on enthusiastically to other leaves.  Then is was time to get “dan” (down in Q) and off he went into the grass.  He excitedly 3 toed slothed his way across the grass to grab a leaf, which he excited stretched his arm up to me to hand it to me.  He then did the same thing again, and again, and again and again.  He crawled all over the grass and then decided to hop the brick path, and by hop I mean me holding him by one arm so he wouldn’t end up face down in the dirt lining the path, where he quickly started handing me more leaves.  I looked down and started making a leaf bouquet.  I thought about it so closely resembled those bouquets you make with ribbons from the shower gifts you get before you get married. Then he handed me a leaf that was not like the others. It was old and crispy and gnawed away in spots.  I thought about throwing it back on the grass where Q couldn’t see it, but I realized in that moment, that to him the leaf was just as pretty as the others so I kept it in and continued to add the others while keeping that leaf on the top.   During this whole time, I had left my phone inside.  I couldn’t check email or answer my phone if it rang, it was truly peaceful.  Just me and Q and our leaf bouquet.

After about 10 minutes, Q indicated that he wanted to go inside and started crawling up the stairs.  As we walked back in, I noticed that the tightness in my chest had subsided and I decided it would be important to capture Q’s first leaf bouquet on film.  It will now serve as a reminder of not only the beauty of the simple things like making a leaf bouquet even if all the leaves aren’t perfect (perfection is in the eye of the beholder) but also that a little quiet time can do wonders to allow for a moment of peace.  You can’t do much about all the chaos the envelopes us all from time to time, but sometimes a leaf bouquet, kissing a leaf, or a simply rolling down the window to feel the wind in your hair can be enough to help calm the seas for just a few minutes.

So here’s to two deep breaths and something quiet in between to help remind each of us that today is our new favorite day.

A reminder to slow down and take some quiet time

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