Do you take your own inventory periodically? Ok, well I do. This is where I think about the things I’ve accomplished (or not) in my life. Here’s what stands out for me today in thinking about Mother’s day coming up. Could be something different tomorrow. Depends on the mood. But this is it for today..
I most definitely have helped some children find their way. Evan and I have six children between us. I love them. But.. it was a big adjustment. You know that part in the Grinch where his heart was six sizes too small? Each child that comes into your life causes your heart to grow. Mine is six sizes larger than it was previously. It had already grown significantly with the birth of my two children. So it knew how to stretch. Then it stretched some more. Hey your heart is a muscle, it can stretch and stretch is my theory. Being a step mom is not the easy path. Not gonna lie. But it is ultimately so rewarding. Have I been perfect? That would be a big “heck no”!. But the point is in the trying I think, and the doing, day after day. The building up of your patience muscle (yeah, it has to match your heart muscle) is an exercise that you get to practice regularly. It’s not often that a day goes by without someone needing me. To listen, to witness, to advise, to mother…to pay…lol. My family was really small and really sort of loners in some respects. In this family I’ve created and grown into… I’m not often alone with my thoughts, especially during the summer. You get to find an awful lot out about yourself and your abilities when surrounded constantly by younger people. I wouldn’t change that for anything. They’ve taught me so much about myself and mostly how NOT to be selfish ( And how far behind I am in the world of technology lol). . Ultimately it’s not about what we want….it’s about what we can do and give to someone else that makes our lives meaningful. And they’ve taught me to question my beliefs that I somehow know what’s right for them. Yep, they’ve taught me to challenge that belief a lot!
On top of our six children, I teach art to high risk children. I have for about five years. Oh the lessons that I’ve learned from this. See…I thought I was teaching them. Turns out I was the one who had so much to learn. Mostly I had to learn more patience, and about showing up consistently, and about works being so much more important than words. I had to learn the hard way that not every child is open to expressing themselves. In fact, most children who are in the middle of a struggle are not. And isn’t that true of all of us? I had to learn to work on a subtle, below the surface kind of wavelength. Gently gently pushing them to go a little deeper. Mostly hoping that there was a connection in the absence of all evidence to the contrary. Yep…lots of lessons here for me.
I’m on a kick, recently, to listen to the negative stuff in my mind and find out what the positive message is in that. So in taking my inventory…although I may not make tons of money, drive the newest car, be the skinniest person(mainly because my heart is so dang big..lol) be as positive in some situations as I should be, have the best trained dogs, the cleanest house, make the best art, or even make all the right decisions every day, I know that it’s ok to be who I need to be. I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing. Finding my way, helping young people find theirs, or at least supporting them in their journey to find their way…just one positive turn around in the negative chatter. Yay!