Refill the Glass
Posted Jan 2, 2017 by Jacquie Robison
A conversation I had with a friend recently may sound familiar to many of us with kids. My friend said "I'm just exhausted. They take take take." I nodded. I confessed to her that I have spent a fair amount of time thinking about the demands of children. Sure, Sofia has different ones than other kiddos, but all kids have them.
I shared with her that I made a conscious decision to switch the way I looked at Sofia's demands from 'she takes' to 'I give.' Sofia needs, so I give. The needs of all children are great. Not just Sofia and others with a delay like CP. Every child. Our responsibility as parents is to give to meet their needs. Which is very different than giving to meet their wants.
That was my first step. I also realized I wanted to practice really embracing the opportunity to see the impact of giving. To not just respond to an ask and then walk away saying 'I gave. Again.' To make it a habit to be witness to how Sofia uses whatever I've given---time, love, snacks, an answer to 'why' --and to realize what we really give our kids is the warm comfort of knowing that their needs are worthwhile. Worthy of our time and the energy it takes to respond to them. That the things they need are the things we are happiest to give.
That all sounds great, but, we all need balance. It's so very cutesy to say "I just shifted my outlook and everything was sunshine and roses." When I changed my mindset to "I give", things did feel better. But, there was more.I knew it and my friend knew it. As we talked more, it hit me. I blurted out "It's like that old rhetorical question "Is the glass half empty or half full?" Presumably, the question is intended to reveal whether your outlook is positive or negative.The optimist says it's half full and the pessimist says it's half empty. So simple it's silly. Yes, it's silly. I said, "The question we should be asking is How do I refill the glass? " We laughed and joked about whether it would be chardonnay or pinot noir, but agreed that there was something there. Giving is where it starts, but shouldn't be where it ends. Emptying the glass requires that it gets refilled. For me, it can
be prioritizing time to go for a run, finally taking more than two golf lessons so I can play with my awesome mother-in-law, or having a regular date night with Jeremiah to connect and celebrate one another. This conversation I had with my friend gave me energy and filled me up.
How will you refill your glass in 2017?