When Will I Get a Backpack?

On the surface, this may look like a parenting blog, but it’s actually about blind spots. So, here goes.

The kids and I leave the house every day by 7:30, so that the kids can get to school on time. We’re pretty well into the school year, so most days we have what I’ll call… flow. Everyone does what they are supposed to, and there are no temper tantrums, fighting, or major breakdowns.

Then, there are the “other” days. You know those days. The ones in which one (or more) kid got up grumpy and it goes downhill from there? Those are often the days that someone forgets their backpack. They’re also usually the days that we have already left the house late.

Since we’re late, on those days my temptation is to say “forget it.” Except… the backpack contains that kid’s lunch, which means it’s not negotiable. So, cussing under my breath (and yelling at the kids out loud to stop forgetting their backpacks!), we turn around and get the backpack. The majority of the time, we’re halfway to school before I figure it out.

Whether I turn around before getting to school, or make a full new loop to get it, because it’s got their lunch in it, I ALWAYS figure out how to get them their backpack before lunch.

So, I was getting ready the other morning, and the kids were super talkative while I was making my breakfast (which means I’m being constantly distracted off my morning tasks). Every day, I make a protein shake and take my vitamins at breakfast (usually in the car…). So that day, I put my vitamins on the counter, made my shake, and  put my shake into my bag. But not my vitamins. THOSE I left on the counter.

Then we left the house 5 minutes later than really works. Halfway down our street, I realized… my vitamins weren’t in my bag.  Now, as an aside, I LOVE taking my vitamins. I see a clear positive difference when I take them, and an equally clear negative difference when I don’t. So I take them, every day. My shake and vitamins is part of my morning ritual that works really well for me, and I don’t like to deviate off it (since I then don’t feel well!).

But when I realized I had forgotten my vitamins, I kept driving. Now, it’s not like we were 10 minutes away… we were ON. MY. STREET. Did I turn around? No. Did I have a plan to get them after drop off? No. I just, didn’t take them.

I know, I know, a days’ worth of missed vitamins isn’t a big deal. But what WAS a big deal was how quickly I let go of doing what really works for me, because we were a few minutes late. (PS: we still got to school on time!)

Everyone deals with blind spots, and my biggest one is ensuring that I take care of myself. When I realized I had forgotten my vitamins, and then not gone back for them, I was beyond ticked at myself for backing up (YET AGAIN!) into my own blind spot.

Especially as the holidays approach, it’s useful to get mindful about where you can get tripped up, and fail to take care of yourself.

After my realization that I had AGAIN fallen into my blind spot, I made a resolution: I’m going to treat my needs like my kids’ backpacks. In other words: Not negotiable!

As the holidays approach, it’s useful to know ahead of time what your needs are, so that you can stay on track.

So I’ll ask you: What’s your “backpack?”  How can you ensure you take care of it?

Got a topic you’d like me to cover? Email me directly at info@fivejourneys.com.

Originally published by Huffington Post.

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