Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Three P's of September Survival: Persistence, Pliability, and Patience

Original artwork by: Ryan Selvy

This cartoon cracked me up. 

All of a sudden, summer is coming to an end. Again.  I really do try to make it a point during the long hot summer days to appreciate everything: the time spent with the kids, the reprieve from racing around from one school activity to another, daylight lasting into the evening, hot weather, taking vacations, sleeping in, staying up late without the worry... I try, but I'm not always successful. There are so many reasons to appreciate the summer. And then all of a sudden, it's over. 

This is such a conflicted time for so many, especially children, that I thought I would write about it. Not to mention that as the week before school comes closer to an end, I become more and more of an emotional, mixed up mess. I'm sure that I am not the only person in the world who thinks that change, well basically, it sucks. I know that it can be a good thing, but I still hate going through it. Imagine how this time of year feels for those who are struggling with any number of their own issues.

The way I see it, there are three things that most people probably need to work on in order to get through this time of year with the least amount of stress and tension. I like to call it the Three P's of September Survival: Persistence, Pliability, and Patience.

Persistence: Firm continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.

Well anyone who has kids knows that life is full of both difficulty and opposition... hopefully not on a daily basis. Without persistence I wonder how many students and parents would survive the transition into the school year, and the drastic changes in schedule that it brings.

While enjoying the summer, I find myself wondering how we are all able to get through the next ten months of hecticness. The ability to be persistent can be very helpful. It's like the song goes in the movie Santa Claus is Coming to Town: Put One Foot in Front of the Other

Just keep moving forward in life. This may not sound all that difficult, but it leads me to contemplate how anyone suffering with anxiety or depression can continue to be persistent during the year. How can someone be expected to proceed in their course of action, if they have the tendency to get overwhelmed and freeze up with worry and fear?

Pliability: Capable of being changed or adjusted to meet particular or varied needs.

The more activities that kids are involved in, the more that this applies to their lives. The same goes for parents. I know some moms and dads who are more flexible than Stretch Armstrong was back in the day. And I have no idea how some kids are able to juggle everything that they do, while still excelling at all of it. Their pliability astounds me.  Jordan once told me that she was one of those kids, before her issues began to interfere. Although these issues helped her to realize her limits, she was not happy about it. Her capability to adjust to what life was throwing at her, began to gradually stop meeting her perceived needs. 

Patience:  The capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting upset                    or angry.

This is obviously easier said than done, at least for me. How can anyone be expected to accept or tolerate anything, when it may involve your kid's suffering? And what if it's you who is struggling? Having patience is tough. When most of the family is stressed out and sleep deprived, it's even tougher. When one of your children is diagnosed with Perfectionism, let's just say that words such as tolerance and acceptance, are not usually traits that go hand in hand with that diagnosis.

It is my hope that all of Us are able to embrace the beauty during the change of seasons, realize that each moment in our children's lives is fleeting, and that no matter what, we are able to ease into a calm, stress-free September.

Yours in persistence, pliability, and patience, (I hope)
Us Too.


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