In the past few months, I have been stressed beyond repair. Feeling the life being sucked out of me by all the responsibilities of motherhood, wifedom, nursing student and life in general. I tried to get away for breaks, taking walks in the woods. I tried to meditate, calming teas, new hairdos, make up… you name it, I tried it short of drugs and alcohol. Nothing seemed to be giving me the relaxation I needed.
I thought that when the kids went off to my dad’s for summer vacation, I would finally be able to destress, but even the complete break from the kids did not settle my nerves. I began to wonder if I was not just losing my mind all together, heading for a complete break down. However, when I went to my Dad’s 70th birthday party, something changed.
I went up early Saturday morning, my twin and young sister were there along with my nieces and children. Then there was more family and cousins… and as the day went on, more people trickled in… some strangers, others old friends and distant family members. The thing is… we laughed and laughed some more; reminiscing, telling stories on one another and finding the humor in the kids playing. We also hugged and hugged a lot. I do not think I have been hugged more in the past 20 years of my life than I was that day. I did not realize how much I missed and NEEDED to be hugged. My husband is not an affectionate person and among Muslims, it is taboo to hug, especially deep tight hugs.
One other thing was plentiful…music. We had a young boy, Reuben, playing the fiddle, two young girls pickin’ a ukulele and singing Blue Moon of Kentucky, as well as a five piece Bluegrass Band playing songs like Foggy Mountain Breakdown. The latter spawned dancing barefoot in the moss coated, tree covered “backyard”. I felt free. I felt alive.
Now that I am back home, with all five kids, and the husband, I realize what a profound affect a day of laughter, hugs and music have on me. I am calmer. I am able to think and function. I am patient and enjoying my life; full of appreciation.