Sunday, July 18, 2010

Learning to Transition

I'll admit it. While I have a healthy sense of adventure, I also have my comfort zones. When you're thrown out of the zone and into a different playing field it's not always a comfortable feeling. Despite the changes in my life over the last few years I think I have done better than I thought I could. I have discovered I am a very resilient person. Some days I'd like to stay knocked off my feet so I don't have to get up and try again, but I get bored down there on the ground and I don't like being stepped on.

It's easier to handle transitions when they come in waves and ebb and flow. This gives you time to walk along the shore of your life and adjust to the changes as they swirl and wash over your feet. It's another thing to try to handle them when you're still dealing with one wave and another comes in, and then another, and before you know it you're caught up in the tide, wondering when it got so deep. This is the hard part. This is the part of life called "Sink or Swim."

One of my girls posted a comment on her fb page today before she left to go back to her dad's for the rest of the said, "going home today. It's weird, that I consider Uintah home. Hm." I will admit that at first glance I felt a little pang when I read that. I wanted to say, "This is home. Here. With me. Where I am." When that feeling passed and I was able to look at the big picture this is what I commented......" If you have two places that feel like home and you are loved and cared for in both then it is good. I love you and will miss you at this home." In truth, how could I want her to feel any differently?

I always said from the onset of my divorce that when it came to my kids that it wasn't their job to take care of my feelings. That is my job. I haven't always done the best I wanted to in that regard, but I do try. My greatest effort has gone into trying to make sure their lives have been stable and happy. They were and still are my biggest concern. It appears as if my children are learning to transition as well. My oldest is transitioning out of the home on her way to college. My second is making a comfortable transition between her two "homes." My sweet boy is transitioning from a boy into a young man soon and I hope and pray he continues to do well and is happy.

I have transitioned from a wife and homemaker into a full time college student and single mother. Friendships and relationships have come and while some have stayed, others are now gone. I have had to learn to transition in my faith as this new life feels so foreign to me sometimes. I'm still working on that one. I love this quote by Victor Frankl. "When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves." Arrghh......I pout over that a bit but it is true.

I am trying to not look at these situations as losses but as changes.....transitions. Something that moves me from one place to the next. The trick is how to try to see them as positive transitions. I think I will be learning the same trick day in and day out for some time to come. Sometimes I'm a slow learner.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

On Days You Can't Make Lemonade

Some days you can't make lemonade. Or some weeks. There are times you are feeling less than your best self.

I told myself that while my kids are at their dad's most of the summer that maybe it would be good for me. I came up with some pretty convincing reasons.....positive thinking and all that, you know. The reality is that it has been hard at times. My oldest is going to college next month, and with my two youngest gone right now I have looked around me in the empty house and said, "What has happened to my family? This isn't what it was supposed to look like. No one is here to make home made ice cream and play games and watch movies with me. I'm not planning picnics and taking kids to the pool. No one is ever in one place at the same time anymore."

I've had to make a new normal for myself but I don't know that it will ever feel "normal." After a few years I've gotten used to life post-divorce, but many of the things that come with it will never feel right. We just do the best we can.

This week I wondered if I walked under a ladder, or didn't see the black cat run in front of me or maybe I was the Murphy Law candidate of the week! Sometimes you are just tired, sick with a cough that keeps you up half the night (yes, that was me this entire week), trying to get signed up for fall classes and having complications, find out you have to get hearing aids at age 39, and missing kids. Sometimes all of these things put you in emotional upheaval and you wish you could have do-overs in conversations, in actions, and circumstances in general. Right now, I am reminding myself to be myself. Sometimes we fall short, even in the best of circumstances and it's still going to be okay.

So as I cough myself to sleep I will remind myself of my blessings. They are my three children who grew under my heart. They are my friends who keep me going and make me laugh. It is the roof over my head and the air conditioning running while I sleep. It is family. It is.....L O V E

As for the lemonade? It's in the fridge. On days you can't make it, you buy it.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Let Freedom Ring

I love the 4th of July. Just like Christmas is a time to remember the birth of The Christ Child, the 4th of July is a time to remember the birth of our country, The United States of America.

John Adams, the second president of our country and signer of The Declaration of Independence wrote his wife and told her his feelings as to how the that day should be remembered. "I believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival... it ought to be celebrated by pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other..." And it is.

Starting on July 8, 1776, The Declaration of Independence used to be read publicly and people would shout and cheer in the streets when they heard it. How I wish that was a tradition that would have carried on with the pomp and circumstance of the holiday.

I had to ask myself if my children know that every time I hear the National anthem played that I get tears in my eyes. Do they know that the same things happens whenever I see a large group of military members in uniform? Do they know and understand that these brave men and women live and die so they can be free? Do my children understand that behind the squabbling doors of politicians and backbiting and sometimes condemnation from the rest of the world, that they are blessed more than they ever could imagine to have been born in this great country. Most importantly, do they know their rights and obligations as a citizen of this country to help it remain a country of principles and freedoms?

I think as a mom I need to step it up in this area. For as Thomas Paine,one of the Founding Fathers said.....

"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it."

Thomas Paine, The American Crisis, No. 4, September 11, 1777

As citizens of this great and blessed country may we never grow tired or complacent in the cause of freedom, and do our part to keep the light of freedom burning bright.

God Bless America