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Stepping Back

Friday, August 2, 2013

For the past year I’ve written about learning to stay open and to live in the moment (read more about that herehere, and here.) This week I was once again challenged to step back from the noise in front of me to sit in the seat of my centered self.

If you dig around this space a bit, you’ll notice that I’m a Zumba enthusiast. Back in Georgia I had a little run-in with a swishy haired diva that left me feeling like I got tossed off the boat. Well, the exact same thing happened this week in Texas. The. Exact. Same. Thing. Read the prior post to get yourself caught up my friends.

I showed up to this Wednesday night class ready to work off some major calories, but when I arrived early to get a good spot since space is obviously first-come-first-served, Little Miss New Swishy Hair stood in my personal space to the point where I was literally forced to move. She was standing so close to me that if I lifted my elbows, I’d knock into her. Never mind that there was plenty of room behind me in the (gasp!) back of the room. I can only conclude, after a long, stressful cry from not feeling welcome in a new city, that Little Miss must have self awareness (aka self centeredness) issues.

Adding to my stress, earlier this week I had to register the girls with school aged services on base. Every time I have to accomplish something on post it takes twice as long as it should. Knowing this, I prepared by making an appointment to be seen sooner instead of doing a walk-in. My appointment was at 8am. I wasn't seen until 8:45am. I wasn’t even waiting to see the doctor (because doctor’s appointments typically don’t start on time.) The kids went bonkers from being cooped up in the office for 2 hours. It probably should have only taken 30 mins. Whitney was having a major diva moment, threw herself a fit in the middle of the office, told me that she didn’t want to be seen with me (I think it’s other way around, kid), and ran into an employee because she was so wound up. Kennedy is in her pull-the-stuff-out-of-drawers-trashcans-and-filing-cabinets phase. So, you know. That was fun. Then, when we arrived home from this lovely little errand, Kennedy busted her lip open by falling flat onto the kitchen tile. Blood everywhere.

Poor swollen lip.

By Thursday I had it. I was at my wits end. I was on overload with things at home, and I couldn’t even go let off steam at Zumba since Zumba was also making me steamed. The only thing I could do was step back. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the noise in front me, leaving me stressed out. Stepping back gives me a break from the emotional side of life. I can breathe and re-strategize. It’s like meditating without the Om. I just simply visualize myself stepping back from the situation to see it like an outsider. It helps tremendously.

Once refreshed, I almost had to laugh at the timeline of events. Try I might, I cannot control life. I can make an 8am appointment, I can get to Zumba obnoxiously early to reserve a spot. But in the end, things are not always going to go as planned. And my poor baby can bust her lip open and my older baby can throw a huge fit in the middle of it all, and I have to laugh.

As for Miss New Swishy Hair, she can have the damn spot in class – even though I was there first – and even though she felt it so important to claim a space that doesn’t belong to anyone. The workout is fun and I’m not there for anyone else but me. That is my time to relieve the stresses of the day. And I will do it respectfully – even if others aren’t to me.

You know, when I was 19 Grandpa took me on a roller coaster. Up down. Up down. Oh, what a ride. I always wanted to go again. It was just interesting to me that a ride could make me so frightened, so scared, so sick, so excited, and so thrilled all together. Some didn't like it. They went on the merry-go-round. That just goes round. Nothing. I like the roller coaster. You get more out of it.
- Parenthood, 1989

Erin Bettis


  1. Poor little thing. We haven't had any accidents like that happen yet but I'm waiting for it.

    Glad you found your center!

    1. Big E,

      Whitney hasn't been very accident prone, but Kennedy sure is! She is our little dare devil and is pretty much fearless when it comes to taking risks like going down the big slide or hurling herself through the air to land on the couch. I have my work cut out for me.

      - EB


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