Road Rage - One Way Not 'To Deal'
It started Wednesday and by Friday I was raging down the road blasting any car or pedestrian that got near me like a road warrior blazing a path on an apocalyptic highway.
That little voice of reason was ducking for cover pleading, “you’re acting like a complete lunatic.”
My daughters, their friend, and I were on a road trip to see Bruno Mars and by the second day that little voice was yelling…”this is supposed to be a fun adventure, not you raining F-bombs on the innocent and unsuspecting”.
My 11 year old, having none of it pleaded, “What is wrong with you, why are you getting so mad… instantly mad… for no reason”. I yelled back at her. She finally laid it down, “You Are Embarrassing”
My other daughter quipped about our adventures to my husband, “Mom was freaking out on the other cars yelling, ‘JFC …. you asshole…for F*** sake’.”
“It wasn’t that bad” I defended
“WAS SO” she eye-rolled with an expression of ‘get real mom’
“It was scary” avowed the 11 year old
Not a good scene… Not my finest moment. Not what I want my kids to associate with as ‘how to deal’.
Ya see… my “little momma”, who has lived as part of our family for the past 7 years was moving – far away. For my family this is a huge change and I let my angst, fear and trepidation jump into the driver seat. I was even failing at survival mode.
The irony is, I coach client’s on navigating life’s changes, on processing and progressing through endings, reorienting and creating new beginnings. So why was I so lost?
At times CHANGE sucks and we create a lot of noise to avoid it!
In the vein of putting theory into practice, I choose to take some control. Here is some of what I did to navigate this first part of this major transition:
Accept the ending
In experiencing change - whether it be wanted, unwanted, planned or not - there is a shift in, or loss of, the activities and relationships that have been a major part of our daily lives and of our identities.
To navigate the personal transition, a 'letting go' physically, psychologically and emotionally is required to create the needed space for new growth. The challenge is that 'letting go' takes energy - when we feel most drained, and focus - when we feel most confused.
So sometimes we get lost and road rage.
Physically slow things down. Cancel the non-essential appointments, drive slower, walk slower, talk slower. Be more aware of space and time. Give your physical body time to center, rest and re center.
Calm Your Mind:
Breath into the situation and calm the mental panic – I call it “stopping the monkey brain.” Ways to support this include:
- Breathing practices: three 3 seconds in - hold - 3 seconds outs
- Mindful awareness practices
- Welcome the feelings, name them, and place where they are coming from
- Explore how your identity is shifting, dismantling, reorienting. Take note of the known and unknown
Solitude is desirable. Get comfortable with the ending and the confused nowhere-ness that follows. Sit with it and give your mind time to reflect, let go and redefine.
"It is in the interlude between being in company that we talk to ourselves.
In the silence we listen to ourselves.
Then we ask questions of ourselves.
We describe ourselves to ourselves, and
in the quietude we may even hear the voice of God."
Back to my road rage. Well I am glad to say that I was able to center after those 3 frenzied days. Its been a crazy few weeks, but my energy and anxiety are starting to settle.
I have come to name and understand the magnitude of this ending and what transitions it brings for my mom, myself, my kids and my family as a whole, much of which I feel I carry for us all.
- For my ever independent mother adjusting to the unbelievably difficult decision to move geographically and to enter a home - bless her wisdom to take proactive action while she can – even though it was not her desire
- For the ending of my roles as her care provider and health advocate, as a parent parenting in a sandwich family, for aspects of our mother /daughter relationship, and most of all for the ending of a beautiful daily friendship
- For my girls as they make sense of their first experience with real loss and grief. They only really remember our family including Gramma and for their fear of Gramma forgetting them due to memory loss. Truly heart wrenching
- For our family unit as we bid farewell to a constant force in our daily lives… a source of snacks… a burning light in the window