Sometimes we get so focused on where we are and what we’re doing that we forget those around us. It is not intentional, it’s just that our focus narrows and we miss the obvious or fail to see the effect of things on those we love.
As a sports scientist I know the science and the theories of selective attention or missing peripheral cues. What I, like other non-resident parents, have to understand is how do you not shut children out when they are not with you. Part of my problem is that I miss them when I’m not with them and it hurts not sharing in the small things. As I write, I haven’t seen my children for seven days and in a phone call I find out my youngest son has now got a flute and is having lessons. Now I know this sounds silly but I felt hurt that I had had no input no discussion about it, my ex had done it all.
So to avoid the pain of situations like this we compartmentalise things so we can cope, but in doing this we often get focused on our problems and issues forgetting the impact we have on those who share our life. I know for me money is tight and I get frustrated, embarrassed and annoyed at myself. People like partner’s , parents and children can suffer because we fail to stop and see a bigger picture.
Do my boys love me because we go places or because I am their Dad? If my ex chooses to belittle me to my children because I don’t have a car at the moment and can’t drive the 70 miles round trip to see them on a Wed night for 30 mins, I have to accept that … but I also need to see a bigger picture …. that when I see my boys I will make use of ever second I have with them.
I also need to think about the ripples, my mum gets frustrated with things being the way they are and my situation. She always helps in any way she can, but the affect that this has on her and my step dad is something I don’t see – but I am aware of it. Sometime we are so focused on the us and the now that we miss the ripples just out of our focus. My partner, my parents, my friends and my children often are affected because I am focused on trying to do the right thing, trying to sort things out and I miss the external cues.
So I suppose today’s blog is about being aware to sometimes stop , don’t keep your head down and keep going, stop have a good look around to check you’re not missing anything. Remember to check that those around you are ok with what you’re doing …. If need be, make an adjustment and then get your head down and get on.
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