There are so many things I could be doing right now, things I should be doing right now. Unloading the dishwasher, hanging the clothes to dry, weed whipping, tidying all of the random toys from the living room…And the list truly goes on and on. And yet I do none of it.
No instead I sit on my deck with the sun beating down on me and a coffee in hand, reflecting on my life.
I think about how the kids have grown, how the struggles I face now with them were only distant imaginings only a few years prior. I think about this blog and my column and how at one point in my life I never imagined myself being able to accomplish something like this. And I think about my husband. The man who many moons ago was just a boy who I desperately loved yet bringing our relationship to achievement was a task that never seemed simple.
Now years later, as the house sits messy, the gardens need tending, and the children run rampant – high from the sugary popsicles I’ve just given them, I couldn’t be happier.
It makes me think of all the moments I’ve taken for granted in life. The times in which should have been documented through words or photographs taken. It makes me realize that life does move quickly and before we know it these children will be moving towards a future they won’t realize will pass so swiftly. And finally it makes me understand how I truly want to live the rest of this life of mine.
Recently I have come to recognize a few things. Things that maybe I have always known but were just too immature to place into effect. Things that I now realize will undoubtedly make life better, happier.
I realize that I don’t care about the negative opinions of others. I am happy, I am self-assured, and I am strong and able- so why would it matter if some do not agree that I am? It doesn’t.
Life will not stop, I will not falter and fail if people do not accept me for who I am, for the person who I am proud to be.
I realize that dwelling will do nothing but make me sick with stress.
Throughout my life I have had this bad habit of dwelling on conversations I have with people. Whether it be an inappropriate conversation, an ill-at-ease one, confrontational or otherwise, for days later I will sit and think, “I should have said this…” or “I can’t believe they were that ignorant to say that to me” or “what did I do to them to deserve such a rude remark?”
I realize that maybe some people have a difficult time engaging in an intelligent conversation and these fowl remarks made nonchalantly are just their way of letting others know that they truly have nothing better to say. So why on this beautiful plain we call earth would I let such people rouse me? It is insanity on my part! And truly, I should have much greater things to occupy my mind with than their ignorant dribble. And I have realized, I do!
I realize that this body image epidemic we face today will probably only get worse and I have decided I will not be a part of it. I will not tell my children how ‘fat’ I am. I will not count their calories or mine. I will not put them or myself on diets but instead clarify healthy eating habits and teach them about moderation. I will not value myself or my daughter by the number on the scale and I will never allow anyone to speak like this in front of my children.
I realize that for so long I have been bullied into submission when it comes to conformity and I wonder why I’ve allowed myself to self-sacrifice?
I realize that my children are not mine, but their own. I will accompany them in their young years and help grow them into upstanding adults. I will do everything in my power to help them achieve greatness- whatever that may entail for them. But the most enlightening thing I have realized about these small individuals is that I am indeed Mom. And what I feel is best for them, is right. I can take the opinions of others lightly, but in the end, I am Mom.
So as I sit on this beautiful sun shining day I think about all of the awesome (and I mean that in the literal sense) realizations I’ve come to and it feels so lovely.
Life certainly does move fast. One day you will be dreaming of a perfect future and the next you realize you are running right through it. So why not make your realizations early in life? Figure out what rules you want to live by, and live by them well. Understand how to be good and moral, how to be genuine and beautiful in your own eyes. Learn how to make this life something your children will be ecstatic to follow you in.
I realize now that I do not want anyone to live my life for me. After all it’s a fast one- and I don’t want to miss out on one single thing.