Monday, June 18, 2018

permission to have fun

My older boys are sitting at the computer, typing up a shareable spreadsheet of what they would hypothetically want. It was my idea, when 12 yo approached me with yet another wish that he had. I suggested that he starts writing those wishes down and then, closer to his birthday or Yom Tov, he can take a look and decide what he is still interested in. He wanted to make a Word document, but his more electronics-savvy older brother took over and suggested Excel. I chimed in that if they do a Google doc, we can all see it and edit it and share it. 14 yo immediately corrected me that it is a Sheet...

I am standing there, folding laundry. It is not boys' laundry, but it does contain their bedsheets, towels that the whole family used and many other items. I am folding laundry and every once in a while go to do something else: chop fruit to make a pitcher of sangria "for later", check my phone, put away dinner leftovers.

Since this wishlist ended up being designed like a family wishlist, 12 yo asked me what is it that I wished for. I said, I wish I were not the only one folding laundry so that I could get to sit on the back porch while it is still daylight and watch the second Lion King movie. I have never seen it. I checked it out of the library for the kids because it was free and not available through Netflix or Amazon Prime. The kids saw all three Lion King movies, and some of them twice during the period that we had them out. I know it is due back later this week. I know it was released two decades ago. But I still have not seen it.

So instead of doing what I wanted to do (watch a G movie with sangria and maybe even with the company of those who appreciate Disney sequels), I am folding laundry, convincing myself that as soon as I am done with the laundry I will get around to watching the movie. It is almost like making myself swallow a bitter pill because I know sweet things are coming. Except that I often never get to the rewarding part of doing what I want to do. Because the reward is not a given, I am really resenting this laundry. I am constantly interrupting my tedious task with those other diversions: what's on Facebook? What's in that e-mail? Oh, look, food to be Saran-wrapped and put away. I am distracting myself from a distraction.
Sample Bus Permission Slips & Medical FormsBrene Brown talks about writing a permission slip to herself to loosen up and have fun. I might need to take up her practice. My boys certainly gave themselves permission to sit and browse and hypothesize while the dinner is still on the table, the family laundry is piled high and they might not have a clean dry pair of socks between the two of them

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