The art of pause and play
The start of 2016 was very rough for me in all aspects. I was in a roller coaster ride with my journey as a mother having Antonia to be enrolled in a childcare center because of some unfortunate circumstances. My husband and I were fighting almost all the time because of random but never-ending things. My family back home had to go through some tough times too. Work was very challenging and emotional. I just felt that I am carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders. The saddest thing about these problems are, they are happening not because I screwed up. They are happening because they are bound to happen, without anyone to be held responsible for them. It just happens.
How could I get out of the situation? Is there a way out? How can I solve everything?
The only solution was:
Pause for a while.
Even this blog had to take a vacation.
You see, life is not perfect. Challenges come and go. But at the point when life was too rough, I only had this option. To pause is very different from ignoring the problems. There are problems that cannot be solved in an instant, let’s face it.
If there is one of the many things I have learned as a parent is, your child knows when things are not going well. How on earth can a 20-month old kid know that you are going through something?
It’s very simple. They are human beings. They are tiny, but they have feelings. We all believe that a baby in a mother’s womb can feel what his/her mommy feels. We have always thought as parents that we should be giving a pregnant woman all the right emotions because the child in the womb is probably feeling the same way. This goes to show that our children, as innocent as they are can feel whatever craziness we are going through. But they can’t do anything about it. Simply because they are helpless.
Aside from feelings, how many times have we ever got easily annoyed with someone whether intentionally or unintentionally because we are at a very difficult situation?
This happened to me. My patience for my daughter became inadequate. The fact that she is a toddler made it worse. I almost forgot how to act gingerly because she was also feeling the pressure of going to the childcare, fitting the best schedule, and even eating was a challenge because everything had to be organized, but overly fast for her to catch up.
I looked her in the eye, and I cried. She didn’t deserve the pressure at a very young age. She didn’t have to feel if life was turning upside down for me. I was already running out of steam, and I knew she can see it.
I had to pause, and rethink of how I can organize my life and how I can handle my not-so-great-situation.
It was timely that I had to make a trip to my hometown during Chinese New Year. Surprisingly, I was not excessively annoyed with traffic, with incovenience and with the lack of security. Probably because I needed a new environment. I had to get out of my comfort zone for a while and see for myself if I can look for some answers.
We had a little breather and went to the beach for a good 3 days. It worked. It was the pause that I was looking for. My company were the mountain, the ocean, good food, and my family. I almost forgot I own a smartphone. Okay, I lied. I used my phone to take photos and videos, but I didn’t use it for social media purposes.
The best part about the breather was I am able to think straight and just have all my feelings out without having to involve someone. I was able to absorb what was going on around me.
I found the answers that I was looking for:
- I cannot control everything. This is pretty basic, but how can I forget that? For the many times I have probably tried to prove to myself that I am in control no matter what, life slaps me hard with the reality – that things will not always go the way I want it, so I better step back and take a moment to breathe. This is also learning to accept the fact that crazy things happen. It can happen to anyone.
- Ease up no matter how tension is killing me. Mind over matter, as they say.
- Choose my battles. Wisely. This is probably the greatest of them all. I learned to choose whatever is important to deal with, and give in to those which are not worth fighting.
- Go back to the drawing board and try again. I may not be able to resolve everything at the same time, but I have to keep on trying to find the solution in a proper timing.
- Keep hustling. I can’t stop. There are two lives waiting for me to get home at night. There’s a tiny human being who’s going to starve both for food and love, so I got to keep hustling.
- Last, but the greatest – pray. This is the only weapon that I can carry with me that I know I am not bound to lose if I have it.
You see, anyone and everyone will be challenged. Now I know the purpose of why things happened all at once. It is for myself to see that I am not strong all the time. If I were, I probably won’t be needing Him. Sometimes, God wants me to be weak so I’ll learn how to stretch my capacity.
So pause, breathe, and don’t forget to keep your chin up.
After the pause, we are ready to press the play button. Life then should start again. It’s going to be a lot sweeter, I promise you.
Pausing … so difficult to do sometimes, but so important. My pause story: I recently paused my career to stay home with my two kids because of what the long commute, time away from the kids, and the general stress of being constantly rushed was doing to the family.
That’s a really brave decision,and I know it’s definitely worth it. We can never trade the time spent with our kids to any wealth in this world. Thank you so much for sharing your pause story. All the best to you and to your family 🙂
I guess I never learned to use the Pause button. Life hit like an f-5 hurricane, and I stood in awe as it shredded my life and weeded out my memories so that who I was and who I had been became an oil slick and petrified wood. Nobody much cared as I wasted into nothingness. Nobody much cared as I wasted away and ceased to exist, entering into crazyland and staying there. Survival became the only theme. As a deer hunted, as a man on the run, so became I. So was my life. Pause and Play. Works for a movie when I turn it on and watch for a time and turn it off but may or may not return to see where it leads. Never worked for my life. A raw nerve. Continually pounded. Continually beaten, manipulated, put down, and coerced. I guess I’m glad now that life went sour. I guess I’m glad now that life is nothing but bitterness. I glance around from the mountain of my pain and mock those that give up on the way. My mountain never defeated me. In fact, now it bows in humble silence at my presence.