Whenever the grandkids are playing and one of them accidentally (or accidentally on purpose) hurts the other one by an errant (or intended) kick, my daughter makes them pause to see what happened.
“Check in with each other. Ask, ‘Are you okay?’” she tells them.
She also tells them to check in with themselves if they bump into something or stub a toe. They have learned to pause and ask themselves, “Are you okay?” before charging on.
I’m learning to do that with myself. When something hurts, I need to stop and check in with myself and ask, “Regina, are you okay?”
I’m also learning to check in and ask, “What do you need, Regina?”
Too often I surrender my needs for other people’s wants. Or for what I assume they want.
We have a family gathering coming up in July to celebrate three milestone birthdays. A brother is turning 50, a sister is turning 60 and my husband turns 60. We’re having one big party for them all. With five brothers, five sisters and all their spouses and kids, it’s quite a crowd.
I love hosting them all in Cleveland. We have a big old house with lots of room and I jokingly refer to it as the Brett B&B. I want them all to feel as welcome here. I want them to feel this is home.
In the past, I have wracked my brain trying to figure out how to have them all stay with me. There are nearly three dozen of us. I used to draw up maps of the bedrooms to try to figure out who I could squeeze in where with air mattresses, sofa beds and sleeping bags. But we’re all getting to old to sleep in something that is less than a real bed. And we all need a little breathing room from each other. We’re all our best selves (especially me) when we have some space to relax and not be constantly “on” for each other.
I don’t own a hotel. But I do live near one.
After checking in with myself, I asked them to check in to the hotel.
I emailed everyone the hotel information. I also asked them to sponsor a meal for the weekend, to either cook it or order take out. By the end of the day, all the meals were claimed. The sister who offered to host the big birthday meal asked for help from her “sous chefs,” two of my brothers, who instantly replied yes.
My family puts the zing in amazing.
We're even more amazing when we all take care of ourselves.