“I Am Free to Mess Up”

“I am free to mess up”

No photo today.  If I’d tried to add a camera to the mix….
I dread to think what would have happened.  

I’m only human.

I went for a lovely cycle ride with my best boy, down to Waitrose car park to recycle our Tetrapak’s, if you want the details!

On our way back, he wanted to show me a cafe he’d been to with his dad, and have a cold hot-chocolate (if you know what I mean?)

So we queued up and I bought a hot coffee, his cold drink and a couple of Tunnock’s tea cakes.  This is part of his home-schooling curriculum by the way.  He reads like he is starving.  Every opportunity, between activities, as soon as he wakes up, and little, lots and often.  His brain finds maths easy and he is doing next year’s maths now.

So I am thinking broadly about his curriculum and some of the gaps in his education.  It turns out that he didn’t know what a Tunnock’s tea cake was.  So I figured this was an important thing for him to experience first hand.

Meanwhile, I had become distracted in the socially distanced queue, with a face mask on.  However I wear it, my glasses steam up. When I can’t see clearly, my thinking goes a bit misty too…  which is interesting, isn’t it?  Our mind does the seeing.  Our eyes receive the light/colour/shapes/movement, but it is our brain which interprets the signals.  Blurry vision, blurry mind.  And vice versa too, I’ll wager.

So we get our drinks, and my son decides he wants to show me that he knows the way to the park where he has previously sat and enjoyed his treat with his dad.  I like the fact that he gets to lead sometimes, and I’m imagining he joins up and integrates something in himself when he can have the same experience with dad and then mum.

I am all for sitting on a bench outside the cafe and drinking, then going off on our bikes.  He pleads, and I agree, so we push our bikes and try and balance our drinks.  He has a straw in his lid hole, so no spillages there.  I haven’t gone far when my hot coffee sploshes onto my hand.  I feel annoyed.  I express this and consider turning around, there is traffic on the road we just crossed, so I walk on…

So this palava continues for a while, he is chatting away happily, I am working hard at balancing my hot coffee, pushing my bike, trying to keep an eye on him for road safety, attending to the content of what he is saying, keeping my neck free, balancing 2 helmets on each of my handlebars (how did That happen?) and to keep walking whilst being considerate to other pavement users.  Hot coffee sploshes on my clean jeans, my hand and my sleeve.  My temper rises…

I asked my son how could we make this even more challenging?  We had a good giggle trying to imagine us cycling along whilst carrying the drink; or balancing the Tunnock’s tea cake on top of the drink whilst carrying it and pushing a bike with two helmets strapped to my elbows … I decided to smile and carry on as best I could anyway, it’s a valid conscious choice.  We always move better with a smile, after all.

A woman on the pavement comments on our juggling act and suggests we get a cup holder for our handlebars like they have in cars!  HaHa, and what a good idea…?

Something in me snaps to attention.  No.  This is the wrong direction to go in.

I realise that instead of trying to make this ridiculous juggling act OK and repeat it in the future…  I admit my mistake.  I tell my son I regret doing this – walking and balancing drinks.  I regret not staying put, which was my first instinct.  I regret not listening to that little voice inside me which said, sit and drink – relax.  I try and share all this with my son whilst going the last few meters to the nearest patch of grass I can call The Park so I can stop.

Just as I put my bike down, the handlebar grip comes away in my hand and I nearly spill the rest of my drink!!

The woman on the pavement had a reasonable suggestion – buy a gadget, carry on doing this balancing act, only safer.  

Yes, but no.  

What if I could simplify it instead.  What if I took away some of the risky behaviour in the first place to make things safer and easier.  There are many occasions like this in daily life.  I wrote a blog last year about a friend who has high blood pressure and doesn’t want to take medicine, and yet continues to add a whole teaspoon of salt to their porridge every day, because they like it!  I’m sorry, but this is so illogical.  Cut out the salt, the blood pressure will come down.  And yet so often, we are swapped by our feelings.

Simplifications to my recent ridiculousness list:

  • don’t buy drinks when I’m out and about
  • if I do, only sit down to eat and drink (like My mother taught me)
  • stop as soon as I realise I’m going in the wrong direction

By the way, the Tunnock’s wafer tasting education was a great success!  

Whever you are before a ‘ridiculous’ situation, right in the middle of it, or sometime after it – see if you can smile and make the best of the situation.

“I am free to mess up, and smile anyway”

Written by Lucy Ascham, Body & Soul Energy Expert

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