“What day is today?” Kai asks.
“It’s a HOLIDAY.” I say, “no school or work today.”
“What’s it called?”
“What do we do on Labor Day?”
“Well…we don’t work. It’s a day to not work.”
“But what do we DO?”
So far, I have slept in a bit, read a bit, taken a shower, and migrated my Bullet Journal to be all set up for September. (Only a few days late. August. She is hard. We do the best we can.)
Isaac has gotten dressed and loudly demanded pizza regularly as he plays computer games.
Kai has declined to get dressed (he did consent to underwear) and is building a giant train-and-railway system in front of the woodstove.
Andrew is gaming with friends (networked. I mean, they’re not in our house, but he’s talking to them on his headset.), still in PJs.
Because if you don’t take a day now and again, it’s enough to drive you crazy if you let it…
One of Andrew’s former co-workers had a family at a similar stage to ours – kids the same age, dads working at Theatre Projects, moms former theatre-professionals staying at home with the kids.
They would often swap family-guy stories, and one of my favorites of this family’s was that when they’d get to an end of a paper towel roll, they would hold the empty tube up to their mouths and boom out sentences in a grandiose manner. “Today is Friday!!!!” “I love tacos!!!” and, my fav, one of the little ones declared “I am a very important person!!!!!!”
I’ve been thinking of how to present this next little bit of info without sounding like a little kid booming “I am a very important person!” through a paper towel tube…because what’s cute in a little person is kind of obnoxious in a big person, ya know?
But, here we go.
I am a….highly sensitive person!!!!!!
Or, an HSP.
Yes, it’s a thing.
Yes, I got there through an online self-test. (THIS ONE in fact).
Yes, I did then consult with my therapist, who actually is the person who originally nudged me towards thinking about HSP and the possibility that it may provide insight into a lot of my overwhelmed people-pleasing propensities.
Friends, the more I read about HSP, the more it was like reading about myself. Someone wrote this about ME.
(I am a very important person!!!! Sigh…)
As with all these types of things, it’s a big picture of lots of characteristics together, not any one thing individually – but seeing myself in this way has been incredibly helpful. Specifically, I’ve been giving myself lots of buffer room. More time to commute to and from work (running late/fear of being late is a hard thing for HSPs). Built in transition time from one type of thing to another (coming home from work and not jumping right into household chores). Leaving a room and taking a moment when I feel it’s too much. It’s been good.
I’m also working on culling the schedule, a bit. What did I say yes to because I wanted to, and what did I say yes to because I feared the emotional reaction of the person I would be saying no to?
This is harder. Saying no I can’t do this is really, really, emotionally hard for me. I’m doing a lot by e-mail to avoid the person’s face/to add some distance. And I’m trying very hard to take good care of myself as I say no, since I know I’ll be feeling raw.
Right now, I’m going through the wringer as I’m stepping down from chairing the Altar Guild at my church. I’ve been talking about stepping down for 2 years now, and I haven’t been able to do it. Now I am. With support of my priest. But, it’s a process, and won’t be over until November, I think. Many months of saying “no, I just can’t. No, really, really, no. No.” and it makes me a little nauseated when I think about it too much.
But I’m going to do it. I need more time to create those buffers, to decompress, to give myself space to function so I can do those things I love well.