God has taken my life down a path I never imagined. This path has been a very bumpy ride but it has brought me a deeper faith and given me an opportunity I never thought I would have.
As a young mother I did my best to be a good mom and make memories with my daughters. Of course as life teaches us hindsight is 20/20 and I can now look back and see many times I was too busy just to enjoy my daughters. So I can’t even begin to express my gratitude to God for bringing me to this place in my life.
I now work 50+ hours a week as a nanny but while I’m paid I don’t feel like a nanny. In fact that the oldest renamed me Mimi. The two boys I watch are like grandsons to me. (Top 2 photos). And to make this blessing even grander, my own daughter and son-in-law gave me a grandson in June. (Bottom photo). I get to spend my time with these three precious boys and I have the wisdom to know just to enjoy the moments and not stress out over little things. My life is overflowing with love.
I wouldn’t have picked or imagined this life for myself which is why I am so thankful God knows best because it’s been many years since I’ve been this happy and had this much peace.
Wishing you Joy and love this Christmas and every day in 2018.
Have you ever had a time when you thought to yourself, I am living someone else’s life. This isn’t my life. It must belong to some other person because in my life I am not alone and struggling. I’m not living in a nondescript town with no friends and no life. In my life I’m not working 50 plus hours a week with no health insurance. This black and white life with no color, can’t be my life.
My life is supposed to be colorful, full of friends, family and experiences. I’m supposed to be living in a quaint town with lots of history and four seasons. In my real life I have a circle of close friends who are there for me and I for them. My life is full of travel opportunities and chances to learn and experience new things. I have a home which is always open to friends and family. I give my time and talents to my church and those in need. I don’t work 50 hours a week. I don’t worry about getting sick because I have health insurance. And I don’t get lonely because I have a loving and caring husband. That is my life or I should say the life I imagined I would have.
Then I wake up and realize my real life is what I first described.
I think this young blogger has set some high but very obtainable goals. I haven’t set any goals for myself in several years. Disappointment always seemed to follow me around but God is slowly changing my life perspective. So, tomorrow I will take the time to make my own list of 2017 life goals. Follow the link to read:
When you buy a diamond, the jeweler examines it for flaws. The fewer flaws it has, the higher the price. It has a greater value. I think our society has fallen into this trap except we apply the microscope to people. If they have the smallest flaw, they are dismissed. We all know the power of photoshop. I fall into this trap and don’t want to post any photo of myself unless I remove the eye wrinkles and whiten my teeth. Heaven forbid if I had some real rather than perceived flaw. If we are are privileged enough to live to old age, we will have wrinkles, scars, skin folds etc. Only those who die young, die without evidence of living.
I love the Winston Graham novels about Ross Poldark. And in book four The Black Moon, his wife is embarrassed about her scarred knees. In the modern world the husband would be giving her the name of a good plastic surgeon so she could ‘fix’ the scars. But Ross says one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever read, “Blemishes on the beauty of a person one loves are like grace notes adding something to a piece of music.”
I can add nothing more profound or loving to that statement.
Nowhere to be seen.
Nothing but a hot breeze.
Red, orange, yellow bright?
Not here among the green.
Burning leaves and pumpkin patches?
Just scorching rays and sweat down the back.
I long to live in a place which says goodbye to summer with bright flashes of color, deep scents of cinnamon, pumpkin and apple. I long to have a home where the windows let in a cool breeze for a night of refreshing of sleep. A place which offers a new experience for all my senses with the passing of each month. Will I ever be able to live in my wonderland?
That’s me, the square peg who has tried for more than 50 years to fit in a round hole. I’ve never been able to make it work. And now living in a place forced upon me by financial poverty, I find it’s even more difficult to fit in.
I don’t think it’s impossible for me to have whittled and carved myself so I would fit into a round hole but in order to do that, I would have needed an idea of what I was supposed to be. As I’ve said before I never really dreamed of being anything except a wife, mother, mother-in-law and eventually grandmother.
It’s as though I’m lost in a great wide ocean just drifting about with no place to drop anchor. I can’t drift forever but I belong nowhere. There is no place for me to fit in or call home anymore.
“We have to live our own lives. We have to give freedom to those we love.” Ross Poldark in Angry Tide by Winston Graham
Ross makes this comment as he and his wife leave their children behind as they head to London. Demelza is sad upon leaving the children at home and Ross reminds her that before she knows it the children will be leaving her.
As a parent we all must face the moment when we know our children are adults and independent. It’s bittersweet because you want them to grow up, live their lives and be happy but you will forever miss your babies. I think that is one reason as a parent it is sometimes difficult to step back when they are adults and let them find their way. In our eyes they are still our babies. As a mother there is always this overwhelming desire you fight to keep them children.
I always knew my children would grow up and go out on their own, making their way in the world. What I never thought about was the first statement Ross makes. We have to live our own lives. I forgot in those years as a mother and wife I needed to make a life of my own separate from them. It is even more true now that I am divorced. I never thought about being anyone other than a wife and mother. It is much more challenging than I anticipated to find my own way in the world. I feel like the one who has had adulthood thrust upon her unexpectedly.
I know my passion but the question is can I make a living? Can I support myself? Do I have the discipline needed to focus and make it work? That is yet to be determined
The first step in finding a solution is to identify the problem. I’ve identified the problem: fear of being happy and enjoying myself. I can see it so clearly now when I look at photos. Somewhere along the way, I accepted there was a barrier keeping me from happiness and the ability to just enjoy life.
I accepted I was someone who wasn’t meant to have fun, enjoy my life and just relax and live in the moment. Oh I’m sure with enough time, money and therapy an expert could tell me why I believe such a lie. I don’t care why, but I do want a solution.
Does anyone else suffer from this same problem? Does anyone else feel like they are on the outside looking in? Does anyone else hold back from truly living for fear of being judged or ridiculed? Have you found a solution? If so, I’d love hear how you broke through. I don’t want to waste another day on the outside looking in.
Webster’s definition (directly copied from Webster’s dictionary).
Simple Definition of cheat : to break a rule or law usually to gain an advantage at something
: to take something from (someone) by lying or breaking a rule
: to prevent (someone) from having something that he or she deserves or was expecting to get
Hear the word cheat and some very vivid images come to mind; an unfaithful spouse, a scam artist, a dieter eating a candy bar, a student who didn’t study but many of us would say we don’t cheat. We might even say we’ve never cheated but upon closer introspection I think most of us would find we cheat everyday.
Whether it’s driving a little over the speed limit, forgetting to signal when we turn, saying we did something like take out the garbage when we actually haven’t done it yet. Or what about cheating our children of precious connection? That’s one of my biggest gripes. It never fails, I always see parents talking on their phones or playing with a tablet and completely ignoring their children. When we give our focus to unimportant things we are denying our children of what they deserve, an engaged and interactive parent. See definition #3-prevent someone from having something he/she deserves. We cheat.
Human beings crave connection. We aren’t meant to live without emotional connection to other human beings. Close personal relationships help protect against depression. But close, meaningful connections don’t happen without time and effort. We spend the most time on the things, people, experiences we value. Like the bible says, “where your treasure is (what in your life you deem important-it doesn’t have to be money) so will your heart be.
If tomorrow you had to make a list in order of where you spend your time and place your focus what would it look like? I’m not advocating quitting a job. But don’t cheat yourself and those you love out of a deep connection by being distracted and focused on the temporary things life has to offer.
My life has changed in major ways in the last 10 years. I became an empty nester, a mother-in-law, and a divorcée. I’ve been a hospital patient, a surgical patient and have become a woman whose childbearing days are over. I’ve moved six times and filled out thousands of job applications. I’ve lost my father, watched a family member fight a rare type of cancer twice and win and I have learned someone else I love is fighting cancer. I’ve fought depression at every turn. I’ve seen my daughters’ father and his family treat them as though they never existed and I’ve watched them persevere through it becoming better women because of it. It has been a crazy and an emotionally and physically challenging 10 years. I’ve experienced some highs, my daughter’s marriage, my youngest college graduation, my oldest getting a master degree. I watched my son-in-law take the Hippocratic oath and become a doctor. I saw my youngest brave a year living abroad. I’ve also experienced the worst years of my life in the last ten years.
They say nothing in life is guaranteed. I’d disagree. You can always be guaranteed life will not stay the same. There will be periods of highs and lows with lots of nothing much happening times. I know I am ready for a change in my life. It’s as though I can feel it coming. I just pray it’s a change for the good.