So, I learned something really scientific yesterday.
It kind of blew me away.
But, I know I am not going to do it scientific justice when I explain it to you in my way, so you'll just have to take my word for it or "Google" it and get the down low on this whole scientific thing I am about to explain in mommy-of-special-needs-kids-and-woman-of-humor terms.
So, let me set this up:
Think back to the days after Adam and Eve had grown their family and were no longer in the garden of Eden where the animals were tame and left them alone.
Nope, now it's a survivor's way of living. If you're in the forest collecting firewood to cook dinner that night and you hear a growl from the bushes, you aren't going to stick around long to figure out if it was a bear or a lion.
That was the stress people faced in those times and for many years to come. They learned to fight, flee or freeze. It was instinct, but even more than that it's how the human brain works. When you feel scared or stressed the signals to the "feelings" part of your brain are heightened and everything starts to take place in your body to get ready to run. Your body is thinking it needs to protect itself somehow.
This is science. Because of the way we were designed (our brains) we are actually sending more blood to our large muscles, and our senses are heightened so that we can "get away" from the stress or danger.
So, then you take that body and brain that was created to flee from harm and now you stick that same type of make-up and slap them into today...
I don't know about you, but it's not often that I have to stress about running from a bear, lion or a tiger in my everyday life. Although, trust me, I know my senses have been heightened while camping in the Utah wilderness.
So the stress I feel isn't always fear of death or being attacked, but it's so much more complicated.
I'm overwhelmed by paperwork that needs to be put together to advocate and provide for our children, stressed by their constant barrage of surprise melt-downs that I have to keep piling onto my mountain of "watch out for that one," making time for picture schedules and calendars to be made, doctors appointments for medicines and well checks and dentist appointments, communication with teachers and providers, and so many other things that are starting to stress me out just thinking about it all.
Then if you break down each one of those experiences into all the individual stresses that are in each one of those, for instance, the dentist:
Prepare with prompts and conversations for at least one week ahead of time of the appointment
Start a picture scheduled to review
Endure the screaming and wailing when it is time to go to the set appointment
Carry the flailing, wailing, too-heavy-to-be-carrying child down the stairs to the car
Stuff said child into the car and wrestle them into the seat belt
Do all this while acting completely calm
Chase them down so that you can get them into the dentist office
Try to ignore the screaming from your child and the stares from the other patients while checking in
Keep the technician informed that eventually your child will calm down enough to be checked
Sit on your child to keep them from wigging out while the technician asks what flavor or toothpaste they want
I am being chased by tigers everyday, multiple times a day.
No wonder I'm always tired.
I mean, I can fall asleep sitting up at my computer without hesitation and then wake to realize I've been out for a while.
Then you put my hormones in the mix of my stress and fear and "WABAAM!!!"
So we are in fight, flee or freeze mode instinctly when we are stressed and then you add complete and total uncontrollable emotions on top of the already instinctly heightened senses and emotions?
For laughs, I want to put this modern day mommy's instincts while stressed back in the day when these instincts actually meant that a tiger was coming after me in the jungle,
Picture it: I'm gathering wood for the fire and I hear the growl. I drop everything and start running for my life. I'm tired and winded so once I think I am out of the woods I slow down for a breather. In those seconds of breathing I begin to realize how awful my life is, how unfair and I start questioning God, "Why me?" But, in those brief seconds it takes for me to question the tiger catches up with me and I am feeling winded and I start to notice that my thighs are rubbing together as I run and I'm sweating like a pig and my belly is jiggling as I sprint. I start to cry and the tears stream across my face because I am still running and the wind is pushing my tears back as I start to think about what a failure I am and ... wait... was that chocolate? Did I just smell chocolate? Luckily, tigers don't like chocolate. The tiger waits until I finish the chocolate in my delight, but as soon as I lick my fingers the tiger is in pursuit again. Now I am feeling refreshed and ready to ditch this cat! I am amazing! I can outrun a tiger!
Then I trip on a rock...
See what I mean! A roller coaster of emotions mixed with my body thinking it needs to flee or freeze and you get a comedy sketch!
So I want to share with you one of the things I got to do to relieve some of my stress.
I got to see a friend in a musical show with another friend only to find out that another friend had choreographed the show, all of whom I met when I did "Mary Poppins." I was elated to be entertained by music and dance and then to smile with my friends afterward for my "must have" selfies.
|I had to put this picture in because I must have accidentally taken it while we were getting ready... we were laughing really hard together and this picture proves it... in a blurred way|
Another way that I can relieve stress is when I go out on dates with my hubby.
This time we went with our DrsH friends and tried some Tabetan food! It was good and can be added to my list of different foods I've had!
After our dinner I was still up for more adventure so we went to a little coffee shop and got some dessert crepes and laughed our heads off at various things like the short and soft chairs Naomi and I sat in making us look like we were little kids sitting at the big kid table... and me just hitting that "woo hoo" it's happy time!
Then there's the stress reliever of taking the time to see our kids' little personalities and the joy it brings to Our Life.
Like when Baby asks me to pull over the chair to the cupboard so she can arrange our little wooden peg family the way she wants it.
Or when Sister takes 10 minutes to organize all her stuffed animals in her bed before she can go to sleep each night.
|she barely has room...|
Or when you sit down as a family and play games on the WII and giggle and laugh with your kids and watch in amazement as you see them doing things you didn't even know they could do. I mean, it's pretty amazing when Baby, who doesn't really communicate well, can tell you "bike" because she wants to do the bike racing part of the summer games and watching her little arms shake up and down is truly making life worthwhile.