This year, my kids had their first snow day where both my husband and I were working from home. Needless to say, I had very low expectations of how the day was going to go. By the end of the day, the house was a complete mess, with costumes, books, and LOL toys everywhere. And the kids were happy.
I looked around and realized it had been a great day.
In the weeks leading up to this day, I had been thinking about how COVID had forced me to let go. And this, here, was the ultimate example. To say that I am an anxious, rigid person who likes order and predictability is an understatement. Needless to say, a global pandemic with multiple mutations does not lend itself to my tendencies. Over the last year, for my own mental survival, I have had to let go of a lot. And what I have learned (albeit slowly and inconsistently) is that letting go does me and my family a lot of good.
That snow day was fabulous. The kids had fun, they played well together, they played well apart, and they delved into new activities they had not done in a while. I was so anxious about the mess and worried I was neglecting them — and I let it go. I let it be. I let them be. We were all the better for it (and yes, we all cleaned up afterward).
At the end of the day, I realized I had really leaned in to letting go, and it felt good.
Letting go can be so different for everybody. For me, letting go is about having an all-day pajama day when what I want to do is make sure my kids get fresh air and exercise — and make sure I have something to show for the day. Letting go is allowing my 7-year-old to make mistakes without correcting her. Letting go is throwing an impromptu macaron party with my kids, even if they didn’t finish their veggies, simply because the day felt like it needed it. Letting go is hearing my kids screaming at each other but holding off from getting involved, and then hearing them giggle together five minutes later. Letting go is also being OK with the fact that it will not always end so well.
Letting go is knowing I am teaching my kids that rigidity and order have their place, but so, too, does flexibility.
Letting go is reminding myself that there is so much perfection in imperfection.
Letting go feels hard. By its very nature, it is full of uncertainty and the fear of failure, whatever that could look like. And the beauty of letting go is that you can always hold back on. But if you don’t take the risk of letting go, it ends up holding you even more tightly than you hold it. So, my friend, I ask you, look into yourself… what do you need to let go of today? And how can you make it happen?