This is one of my husband’s favourite phrases and I really am trying…but maybe if I wrote about the ways in which I am doing this, it might help others to implement this valuable (although often annoying) advice faster, and be a helpful lesson for my daughters about living in the present.
There have been two recent incidents that have made me laugh about how much I tend to hold on to things, and how much easier it would be just to let it go.
The first incident involved an old classmate. Having left school over ten years ago, I was finding it ridiculous that I was still distressed over the antics of a few ‘mean girls’ during my schooling days. I managed to reconnect through the omniscient powers of facebook with a girl who often said horrible things about me, and seeing as we both had young babies we thought we’d have a play date and catch up.
I was so nervous about it, both in accepting the invite and during the drive over, but she was lovely and has morphed in to an all embracing Earth Mother type after some hard times and the birth of her beautiful baby.
We both laughed about those days, and as she went on to talk about how bitchy she was at school, I was both relieved and surprised. This self-awareness made it much easier for me to let it go. And to laugh at how silly I had been.
The second let it go incident was with HP after we had just had a family picnic end in tears. Our two year old daughter Matilda Jayne (MJ) fell off the picnic table in a sickening two stage collapse. I could only watch hopelessly as my legs failed to get me there in super(wo)man speed.
HP was the first on the scene and as he was picking MJ up, her eyes locked onto mine with the pain like a forgotten labrador puppy and I rushed to unload AM so that I could hold her.
The only sound I remember before the wailing from MJ burst forth was the sharp intake of shocked sighs emerging from a wedding party who were in the process of being video-graphed and photographed in the park.
I carried MJ away from the trauma scene so that she could be distracted by the boats on the water, but as the volcanic swelling slowly erupted from her forehead, I saw it as our cue to fast track it home to ice pack and rest.
We endeavoured to pack up the picnic food, a rug, a ball that was being blown towards the water, as well as trying to keep all our rubbish from flying away while carrying screaming girls.
What bothered me most as we drove away from the accident site? That nobody in the wedding party had offered to help, or offered any kind words or even sympathetic looks as we struggled in between them all out to our car. The only look I did register was the frustrated look of their videographer as he was obviously foreseeing the audio dramas MJ’s wailing was going to play havoc with.
‘Just let it go sweetie…just let it go’, said HP as I fumed away in the car.
I went on and on about the ignorance and rudeness of people. There were no interruptions to my tirade as MJ, traumatised, had immediately fallen asleep in her car seat.
We had been in a park only ten minutes away from home, and as I got out to carry her inside, I suddenly saw her bruised forehead, grazed arms, and the clean streaks that the tears had made through dirty face, and I felt nauseaus.
I didn’t have time to think about those people again until today, three days later, now that the drama and fear over MJ’s potential head injury has passed.
Worrying about the past, or other people’s reactions to events, or worrying about anything outside my little family has no place in my life today.
Sometimes our girls take up so much of our time that I really don’t have the time to even remember how to let it go. It just happens. So being a Mum is healthy for my worries and healthy for my girls who benefit from my constant focus and thoughts…if they aren’t with me then I am thinking about them.
I only hope that my daughters don’t have to wait until they are my age to retain focus on their own life. The phrase, Let it Go should be the soundtrack to your teen years when people around you wrong you, which they will..and disappoint you, which they will..and anger you, which they will.
Don’t wait until being a Mum to start learning how to let it go – practise it as early as you can!
And in honour of my husband who has been doing his best to get me to practise living his favourite phrases, here is a quote from an author he introduced me to when we first started dating (and is the reason I discovered the brilliant ‘fahrenheit 451′)
“Learning to let go should be learned before learning to get. Life should be touched, not strangled. You’ve got to relax, let it happen at times, and at others move forward with it. It’s like boats. You keep your motor on so you can steer with the current. And when you hear the sound of the waterfall coming nearer and nearer, tidy up the boat, put on your best tie and hat, and smoke a cigar right up till the moment you go over. That’s a triumph.”
― Ray Bradbury, Farewell Summer
Final note: I wrote this before ‘Frozen’ came out obviously, so I find it quite funny looking back that adults could get away with saying ‘let it go’ to each other without instantly conjuring up images of an Ice Queen. Bloody Disney! Nah, I still love it, even though Miss 6 has moved on.