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As this years summer winds down, I am in awe at how little we have accomplished this year. We went into the summer with grandiose plans and everyone made a list. Similar to our bucket lists of past summers.
However, we never really focused on checking anything off!
But you want to know what they really gained this summer? It was something I didn’t plan on, but I am so glad I noticed it in action. My Kids Gained Valuable, Real-Life Social Skills.
It’s no secret that I have been feeling lost and wayward over the last few months. I was trying to find myself again. I have been sorting through all the “life clutter” to rediscover my purpose and find my center.
Thankfully, I have learned that this phenomenon happens to all of us from time to time, for different reasons. We get a little caught up in moment-to-moment living and forget about the big picture. It helps me to know that I am not the only one feeling this way. Maybe that helps you, too.
Today, I want to share with you what I have learned on my path of rediscovery.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We are constantly in awe of our children, but sometimes we need reminders to see them.. I mean really see them. It is in the long days that I stop noticing all of their quirks, special qualities, and gifts. And it is in moments like today when I am reminded to slow down and pay attention.
Today was a good wake-up call.