Sunday, June 18, 2017

Life is Cooler When You Chill the $(#% Out

Two steps forward, one step I am not enjoying 80s Paula Abdul tunes, but reminding myself that recovering from this surgery is going to take longer than I want it to...and I need to chill the $%)*#$ out.    Last week I just wasn't feeling in the mood to write about anything as my hip recovery took a little setback, but here I am again...the weeble wobble that won't fall down!  I promised myself in the beginning of all of this that I would start each day with gratitude and positivity and not be so impatient physically.  The important lesson about last week was I was forced to slow down and rest and reflect on the importance of that.  It's important to relax and even more important to learn how to  "roll with it" because things don't always go as planned. Lucky for me, "roll with it" is my middle name.  This wasn't always the case.

You know how theoretically you are sometimes asked "what advice would you give your younger self?"  My advice would be to chill the #%*(&%) out.  As a teen and young adult I was so tightly wound, so easily annoyed, so impatient and overly ambitious.  Maybe we all are?!  Now in my 40s I have the luxury of knowing exactly who I am, what the world does NOT owe me, and the real reason I'm here on this earth.  It's given me an unimaginable sense of peace.  It allows me to slow down and just be.  It allows me to be nicer, to be gracious, to forgive and to just know what battles to pick and what issues to allow under my skin (which are few).

I do not take for granted that I live in America, the land of plenty. I live the suburban life, which I will admit, makes this "roll with it" attitude a little bit easier to adopt.  I appreciate that every single day.  On the flip side of this positivity and happiness, it may shock you that I sometimes feel deep sadness and guilt that I live this life.  I sometimes wonder why I was chosen to receive this life while so many people in the world are hurting and suffering.  I'm not saying I've never had pain or heartbreak or hardship, but overall, I sometimes feel like my life is too easy - that I don't work hard enough at it.  It is something I think about every day, but I think that is a good thing.  Appreciate what you have.  I cannot change what is happening in the world, or save every person I meet suffering in the streets, but what I can do, is use my "roll with it" attitude to keep me sane and happy and to spread love and happiness.  You can do it, too.

When I walked into a restaurant last month on crutches and in a brace and a man in front of me didn't hold the door for me, I laughed.  I thought he must be deep in thought or perhaps just self-centered, but it didn't make me angry at all.  When the inconsiderate driver next to me opened his car door into mine, putting a dent into my mid-life crisis sports car, I sighed.  I laughed as I left a note for him asking him to be a gentleman and do the right thing, knowing full well I would never hear from him.  I let it go as soon as it happened because it's "just a car" -- just not that big a deal.  Empathy, humor, kindness and patience will trump your matching nastiness for nastiness. Every single time you interact with another human being, make that interaction memorable or meaningful or sweet.  People are in such a rush - they are so self-centered - what can you do for someone else today?    So the next time someone is in a rush at the grocery store, let them cut the line.  The rude driver that wants to cut you off in traffic? Let him pass you - who cares?   Your friend is profusely apologizing for being late to dinner? Remind them that you love them and there are MUCH bigger problems in the world.  Just relaxxxxxxxx.  I am simply positive it will make your life so much sweeter!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Today I'm Proud of Me...and That's OK!

I'm posting a day early this week because on Sunday I will be busy attending my baby boy's high school graduation.  I am beyond proud of all that he has accomplished in his almost eighteen years of life.  Yes, he is a smart kid.  Yes, he has worked hard, but really what I'm most proud of is that he is leaving the nest with an incredibly strong morale compass, an intense and fierce loyalty for those he cares for and a curiosity and passion for the things that spark his interest.  He's a nice person - willing to give people the benefit of the doubt; willing to lend a helping hand; and in most cases willing to give the shirt off his back.  That, to me, is more important than any of his academic accomplishments.

As mothers we struggle to find a balance between pushing and pulling.  We want our children to grow and succeed, yet we hover to protect and shield from the hardships of life.  I realize that today I am not done being a mother, nor do I want to be, but somehow I feel an immense pride in realizing that I've come out on the winning side.  Sure there were bumps in the road, and it was sometimes messy and scary and frustrating, but it was also overwhelmingly rewarding and full of a love it is literally impossible to put into words.  Today I am not just proud of my son.  I am proud of myself.  Why is that such a hard thing for people to say?  Can you think of ten things about yourself that you are proud of?  Can you even write them down?  I tried it and it was actually uncomfortable.  Why is that? I am positive that this is something we should be more cognizant of. It's okay - no - it is healthy to be proud of your accomplishments. It is healthy to be proud of who you are!

As I was leaving an appointment today, someone congratulated me on the upcoming weekend, and I realized he meant the "collective we" and not just my son.  It was the first time I stopped to think about the accomplishment as a whole.  It made me laugh for a second but then it hit me on a deeper level. Raising children has been the hardest thing I've ever done.  And I did it.  And I did it well.  And I'm proud of that.  And I am proud that I'm proud of that.