Mental real estate

I was planning for the past couple of days to write a post expounding upon my inherent laziness. I hadn't been getting much done and figured there had to be a reason for it and laziness won. Now, I do have lazy tendencies. (And don't try to convince me otherwise or else it will feel like the gifted teacher in grade school who would try to tell me I was too hard on myself when I said I hadn't done a very good job on something. I knew I hadn't tried my hardest and had done a slap dash effort and really wondered that the teacher couldn't see it for what it was worth.) If I have a choice to sit and do something or get up and do something, sitting will nearly always win. And if I can get someone else to do it for me, well....

OK, so back to my original musings about why I wasn't getting things done. Really, other than the bare minimum, not a lot of extras were getting done around here. But then this morning, as I was drinking my first cup of coffee and listening to the chaos that has been happening for the past week, the reason for my lack of motivation suddenly became clear to me. We've been dealing with a whole lot of crazy from a certain boy around here this week and after managing that type of stuff, I just don't have the energy to manage anything else. (This is a familiar thing, it just takes me a few days to clue into what is happening.) There's just no more mental real estate inside my head to give to anyone or anything else.

It's actually a relief to be able to name it; much better than thinking of myself as a slug. And the funny thing is that once I've identified the problem, it is almost as if the problem goes away. This is probably because knowing what is happening allows me to take measures to cope a little better. (It might also be time to sit-in on one of TM's therapy sessions to discuss how things are going, but really becomes me sitting on the couch and crying. I feel so much better afterwards.) It also allows me to give myself permission to take it easy while the difficult stage is upon us. Feeling as though one is allowed to rest is a whole lot better than resting and feeling really guilty about it.

I share this with you because maybe some of you are dealing with a similar situation. That is, something is taking up all of your mental real estate so that you don't have anything left and are beating yourself up about it. The trick is to figure out what it is that is sprawling across the inside of your head. I know that this is often the trickiest part... figuring out what exactly is going on. Naming it can be such a relief because it both frees you from guilt and allows you to work on it.

This is actually exactly what I will be doing with TM, as well. So much of his acting out is the result of emotions roiling around inside of him that he can't name and can't manage. I have found that if I can name what he is feeling it is far easier for him to deal with. And less scary. Of course, the trick it to figure out the cause of the roiling emotions which is easier said than done. Say a prayer for wisdom for me if you think of it.

And now, I have some pictures to share with you... because I know you all really like pictures of the little girls. A. did their hair this morning. I will admit that many days their hair is fairly unkempt. This is because even when I do fix their hair, they rip out the pony tail holders within the hour. It seems like a fruitless task most days. I do enjoy it when their hair is fixed, though.

Here is G., who is in the "can't-smile-on-purpose-phase". And surprisingly, she is the one in the costume this time. Plus gloves. I don't know why she's wearing gloves, but she is. (If you enlarge the picture - by clicking on it- you can see where the stitches were above her right eyebrow.)

And here is L., not in a costume.


Don't forget little Chad. He is 9 years old and has always lived in an institution. An institution with severe neglect. No one has ever even asked to look at his file. Pray that God will not let this little one become invisible. Pray that his parents will find him and show him what it means to be loved. A mother who recently saw him described him as tiny and still learning to walk. (At 9!)

He looks like a sweetheart with his curly hair. Pray, pray, pray that his family finds him. You can see his information on Reece's Rainbow.

And one last thing. I've had some people ask about the pattern for the Nativity dolls. The pattern is out of print, but you can still find them on eBay and Etsy with some looking. The name of the pattern is CreaNativity. If you search that term you should have some success.


sandwichinwi said…
Oh, this has so been me (no mental real estate, not cute braids) for the last 3 weeks. Read most of The Connected Child last night and had a fabulous snow day today. That was definitely providence, reading the book last night, not knowing I'd need it today.

I still intend to answer your email.


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