Over-reacting

I’ve been over-reacting again, and this disturbs me. Upon reflection, over-reaction is at the root of many of the issues I’ve had over the last month, since I last wrote to you. It’s not that there haven’t been joys; there have been. My children graduated from high school with honors, including those from the National Honor Society and each of their language’s honor societies. Will started an internship with a real company that will help with his career (thank you, Chris). Caroline will be helping me around the house, which I need desperately. We were blessed with the company of many family and friends for my father’s memorial service on Saturday. But it’s all been very stressful. We don’t do change well in my family. Thank goodness we have all of you to support us.

The kids’ graduation was a weird, weird thing. About two-thirds of the audience seemed to have no civility at all, yelling and screaming through the ceremony, letting their kids run wild. It was like a football game and not a solemn rite of passage. I couldn’t wait to get out of there. It was my mom’s birthday too and I wanted it to be a good time for her but I wasn’t in charge so I couldn’t make it happen.

Dad’s service was so nice. Mom worked really hard to make it just so. Many of our family were able to make it to the service which was really nice. We saw lots of old friends at the reception afterward. The speakers all had terrific stories to tell about Dad, many of which I’d never heard. I was the final speaker. By then many of my stories had been told already and I was developing a headache. But I made it through the speech and sweet Meg had advil for me as soon as she could make it into the reception area.

One theme recurred during all of this time: friends telling us to take time for ourselves.

Despite the earnestness of this plea from our caring friends, I couldn’t help but wonder how on earth I was supposed to do that. Every time I try, I’m interrupted by someone’s fire that I have to put out. Who put me in charge? I finally made it onto the treadmill today, and three phone calls came in while I was trying to work out. I managed to ignore them til later, but as I was putting them off I felt fidgety, irritable.

After lots of time blaming others, I realized it was my problem. Once again I am over-reacting to outside stimuli. I’ve dealt with this successfully before but don’t remember my strategies or even if they worked. I’m just hoping I can remember them soon and starting implementing them, because I have to become less reactive to others in order to save myself.

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