What You Can Do

You are not superhuman and you do not have any superpowers. This is what I keep reminding myself. As we near the end of summer and the beginning of fall, the hustle and bustle return. There is daycare and school and work, errands, shuffling kids from activity to activity, obligations — the list seems to be never ending. Autumn begins and summer is ending. Time to forgo the flip flops and that fun bun hairstyle. We are trading all summer scenarios for fall frenzy. It will take a minute to get back into the routine of alarms, kids inhaling breakfast and school buses tinkering down the road, transporting our precious cargo. Yes, I keep reminding myself that I have no superpowers during this crazy time of the year. There are days when I wish I could fly, arriving faster to my next destination. I wish an abracadabra would make everything all right. Then there are times when I wish I had the power of invisibility, just for maybe an hour, a worry-free hour that would allow me to do whatever I wanted, and no one could find me.

What I am really reminding myself of is that no one can do everything. No one can be everything to everyone. We simply just do the best we can. It is one of The Four Agreements that are a part of my mantra. “Always do your best. Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are tired as opposed to well-rested. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.” Oh, don Miguel Ruiz, that is perfect. There are a couple other things I think we should all remember as well during this season. Plan what you can, and you cannot plan for everything. Organization and planning always bring me a sense of peace. Tranquility is knowing that I planned dinner and pre-packed my lunch. My gas tank is full. My car is washed. My school bag is ready to go. There is something about order, systems and routines that the brain seems to respond favorably to. All the lists and planning are comforting, and they help provide a cushion for what chaos may arrive throughout the day. We can’t predict the future, but we can be calm enough to face it.

I also try to remember to do something for myself. The other day I literally stopped to smell the roses. I decided that every other weekend I would purchase a bouquet for the table. Simply because they smell divine, and they look lovely. Throughout the day, I will stop and inhale the aroma. Peace. Serenity. Calmness. Exhale — anxiety, doubt, worry. And no matter how much I have to do, I am reading a few pages of something that I want to read. Current selections include “What Happened to You?” “Leaders Who Changed History,” and “Ida B. the Queen.” Doing something that you love is self-care. There is less stress. You make better decisions when you are calm. An ice breaker that I love to do with groups is what I call “Picture Perfect.” You simply find a picture you love and share it with others. As people continue to share, the voices get louder, the smiles are bigger, you can literally see people relax as they recall what and who is important to them. Remembering what you value recenters you on a crazy day. As the fall barrels full speed ahead, I don’t want to be overrun by it. We all start rushing around, we forget things. We will be a few minutes late sometime. We will lose our cool during all of the frenzy, but I will just keep reminding myself — I have no superpowers, but I can focus on order and what I love.