Monday, December 30, 2013

Strive for Gratitude

2013.  Over in a matter of hours.  This is the time when everyone pauses to reflect on the happenings of the year.  The time when one either wishes they would have done something differently, treated someone better, or smiles over the blessings the year has brought to them.  Whichever category you fall under, the result will be the same: you will most likely pledge to do better and be better in the New Year.  Those that say they don’t make resolutions really do; they are just in the form of goals throughout the year.   Isn't that all a resolution is? A goal.  

Looking back over this year, it was a typical one for us.  No event sticks out as more special than the others and no crisis was more nerve-racking than the one before it.  That is, until December 18, 2013.  More on that later. 

This year brought each of my daughter’s success in their lives as well as pain.  One is working in the “best job ever” yet it brings heartache with numerous rewards.  Being a Neonatal ICU nurse is quite extraordinary on its own but when you add in the factor that no matter how much you tell yourself that you cannot get emotionally attached to your patients and their families, you will; the job becomes even more extraordinary.  Then the sad news comes - the tiny miracle of life that should have not even survived one day outside the womb doesn’t make it – you react, you are emotionally attached.  You move on because you have to, it’s your job to take care of them and you do so with the utmost care and love. You see, she tells me, you learn the technical aspect of nursing however, no book-learning is going to teach you how to care and love, that comes from inside each of us.  I have never been more proud of her than I am today, right at this moment. 

My youngest daughter, who isn’t so young anymore – she’ll be 21 in March – is in her third year of college and it also has been a year of successes and pain.  She will tell you she is anything but special and she will tell you she isn’t smart.  I’m thinking a 4.0 doesn’t come easy in college (I know this from experience) and she is constantly wowing me with her knowledge on nearly any topic.  At times, the wow factor leaves me feeling totally stupid.

I should know more, I am older – therefore, I should know more than her.

Just proves that the more you read and listen, the more you do know.  She has a good head on her shoulders but sometimes she lets her emotions rule her.  Who doesn't do that though?!  Her newest love is a brand new car, leaving us in more debt but the knowledge that she is safely getting around makes it worth the debt.  I have never been more proud of her than I am today, right at this moment. 

I am a Mom.  I don’t take this lightly.

Being a mom isn't a job, a hobby, or a task, it’s a calling. 
A calling to love well. 
A calling to instruct their hearts. 
A calling to be present in their lives.

I get a smile as large as the largest ocean when I see the adults they are becoming.  My heart does cartwheels when they pat themselves on the back for a job well done and it also does nosedives when they are hurting and I can’t fix it with a Band-Aid. 

Before I get to hubby and myself, I can’t leave out the three four-legged children we have.  Two cats and one dog.  Start with the dog, a beagle, Charlie.  He’s lived with us for over a year.  Charlie is full of life, no - that’s a lie.  He sleeps most of the day but comes alive when hubby comes home to walk him.  Charlie really is oldest daughter’s ex’s dog as she gave Charlie to him a few years ago when they were still dating. They broke up recently and we now get visitation.  He’s best friends with Fiona, our one year old Calico cat.  They are just so cute together.  Belle, the queen of this house, doesn’t care for either of them and has made it known.  She tolerates Charlie because he’s scared of her and Fiona, well; let’s just say they will never ever be BFF’s.  Belle has been diagnosed this year with hyperthyroidism and with meds she is living the life deserved of a 17 year old feline.  

Each year I tell myself I will lose weight, exercise more and be more active.  Each year passes and now I am paying the price with taking meds that I didn't want to. It’s not permanent so I will get past this.  I've had several moments of panic and worry over situations and several moments of joy this year.   

It’s life.  I know.

This year had me continuing my work towards a bachelor’s degree.  I started the year majoring in Business Administration and ended the year changing it to Public Service.  It’s been a trial and error finding the time for studying and managing the house not to mention the family’s schedules.  Everyone has chipped in, though it seems like they only do it when I blow a few gaskets.  Studying is a full time job for me and I am not sure if it’s because I am 47 or because I am fearful of failing. 

  • Failing is not an option when one quits their job to go to school when you have debts and a house payment due each month.
  • Failing is not an option when your husband works hard and picks up overtime just so you can do this.
  • Failing isn't an option when you are setting examples for your children to finish what you start.
  • Failing isn't an option for me.
That being said, I am doing my best and along the way I have failed but I picked myself up and did better.  In fact, this semester, I joined my youngest daughter in the 4.0 club.  Changing my major did wonders for my confidence.  I was so afraid that with the boring Business degree there wouldn't be any jobs for me.  Let’s face it, office jobs are a dime a dozen, or is that a penny now.  They are common place.  Public Service will open those doors plus many more for me and it’s a better fit for my personality.  If you know me, then you know I strive to help others before I do for myself.  One of my former supervisors loved this quote and it fits me perfectly.

Three years ago my husband had a benign tumor removed from his brain.  We were so thankful that it was not cancerous and his recovery time was amazing.  It puts things into perspective and makes you realize what is important and what is just a minor bump in the road of life’s annoyances.    Each year since then, he has had clean MRI’s until this December 18th.  There is now a pea-sized bump growing in the same spot where the tumor was removed.  The doctor doesn't know what it is or if it is anything to be concerned with at this time. 

He tells us – “don’t worry, and don’t lose any sleep over it, for now.”

Yea, so much easier to say.  He will get a MRI in April to see if it has grown any and if it has he will get radiation spot treatment.  How does one not worry? Is he going to have another seizure and if so, where will it be? Riding his bike? Driving the car? I know faith in God is supposed to take care of all things but how does one deal with the fact that God’s plan shouldn't make tumors to grow back, or for that matter have them at all.  When you lose faith, that’s the time to remind yourself it will be OK and that God is in charge.  

That’s where we are now. 

Socrates said “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”  So, this coming year I will strive to be better, to do better and be blessed with all that I am given.   I can’t say I will complain less and I will fail at many things but I will get up and do it again. When I have those moments of “why is this happening” or feeling sorry for myself I will strive to remember:  

No matter what difficulties I may be dealing with,
there is someone out there that would be willing to
walk in my shoes even just for a moment.

 I am getting better at remembering that I am of infinite worth -  no matter what others may think.  I will strive to live so that if others speak badly of me, no one will believe it.

No resolutions. Just a life plan with goals.  I will strive to have gratitude. 
For 2014, I wish you all a year full of gratitude

1 comment:

  1. You know are a wonder!! I am so glad you are back in my life, my sista!! You always seem to know what I need hear, even when I don't realize I've needed to hear it.

    If someone said something bad about you, I know I'd have to hurt them. I will stand in your defense anytime. You not only support your family, but you are a support to all of your friends. You have been a huge support for me this year, which was not my best year.

    It is a joy to know you and to be your friend. Please know I will continue to be here for you, as you have been for me.

    I love ya, my friend.