Whenever I am feeling lost or in need of direction I do one of three things: call my mom, drink wine with my girlfriends, or go to the library. I needed some insight so a trip to the library was in order! With three kids in tow, we made our rounds through the children's department and finally ended up at the Self-Help shelves for me.
Have you ever had the problem of having too many options? Having endless opportunities? Having the ability to go in any direction and accomplish any goal? I am talking about both big and small goals. It's a real problem for me. I know that sounds like I am whining, but it's really a big deal. And yes, I realize this is a total first world problem, but hear me out because you might see yourself in me. When I was a kid, I knew exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up. I had two, very specific dreams.
My oldest daughter loves being in the kitchen. She also LOVES to sing and perform, create new things with fabric, glue and paint, and design fashions fit for a runway. Over the weekend, she decided to make a variety of different items.
Our family had a busy Sunday. Our oldest daughter had a rock concert through her local School of Rock. They had an awesome show and she had her best show yet! We were on our way home when our son started complaining of a headache and a sore throat. I had a mean mom moment and told him he couldn't have a sick day since I had to go into work the next day.
The Human Experience. We are all a part of it. We all want to be involved, make a difference, do something that matters, be recognized, and sometimes do nothing. You can choose to sit idly by or get up and get something done, but none of that really matters when you look at humanity across the globe and across time. To me, the human experience isn't what we do. It is in who we are and how we connect with others. It's in the vulnerable moments that keep us honest and open to each other. Being vulnerable is open to interpretation. In one form, it means putting yourself out there in a way that could draw criticism or a divide between you and a good friend, your lover, close social circles and even across social media.
If you walk into my house, you'll be greeted by a cheerful entryway and a clean and tidy front room and dining room. However, if one were to gaze past the comfy couch, you would find my mess. It's not always like this, but about every three months or so life just seems to "pile-up" in the form of papers, unfinished projects, art supplies, books, teaching materials, bills and receipts to file, notes, my kids' school papers, old to-do lists, and remnants of unfinished plans, and more. Here it is, in all it's ugly and messy glory...
As this year comes to a close, I have come to the realization that although parts of 2016 totally sucked. Not all of it did. Before the promise of a new year rolls around, I wanted to take some time to reflect on what I learned from 2016. You better believe that my New Years Resolutions will include fun and fewer hospital stays than 2016 permitted!
My oldest daughter is struggling. She is struggling with all the normal things of being a tall, ten year old girl in the fifth grade, mostly involving living in her own skin and being comfortable in it. Those conversations are hard and body image has been a struggle of my own since I was about the same age. I was just like my own daughter- a tall, ten year old girl in the fifth grade, and I'll never forget the names people called me or the references they made around me.
To say I was a nervous wreck that first day in the hospital, is an understatement. I was so down and throwing myself a big ol' pity party...but that's not really my style. I promised myself that I would only focus on the positive. There are moments that I get totally discouraged and wonder why this happened. I know that it is a combination of many things. But I also know that I can't do anything about what happened except move forward, learn from it, inform others, and reach out to those around me to pay their kindness forward.
I entered August optimistically. I was scared and nervous for my upcoming preventive mastectomy and breast reconstruction, but ultimately optimistic for the outcome that was being laid out in front of me. On the way to the hospital I felt nothing but gratefulness and luck. Surgery was seemingly uneventful, but my recovery at home was anything but. I was having a hard time. Read on and share my story if you think it could help someone else. ~Love to you all!!