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January 27, 2006 - Friday, 5:41 a.m.
I look at my own life, and of course, like everyone I have things about my own life and myself that I am disappointed about. There are things in my own character that I wish I could change, that I struggle with, things that I would hope my children would never have to struggle with. There are so many things I dreamed about doing, so many things I wanted to accomplish in my life. When I was eighteen it seemed that there would always be enough time to get everything done. I walked into adult life with the belief that I could do anything. That I had the power to form my life and who I’d be. The reality of life is that, though we do have the ‘power’ to do what we want with our life, there are paths we take in our life, that block off other paths from ever happening. For instance, in my thoughts and dreams I was going to have a great marriage, I was only going to be married once and it was going to last forever. It was going to be the anchor of my life. It was central to who I saw myself to be and who I envisioned that I would become. The moment my marriage fell apart, and I made the decision that I’d done all I could to make my marriage work. That possibility in my life, of having a ‘forever marriage’ was gone. It can never happen now. I’ve struggled with doing and accomplishing things in my life. How many time in my life have I decided things like, “From this moment on I am going to eat sensibly”, “From now on I am going to exercise regularly”, “From this day on, my house is going to stay orderly”, “Starting today, I am going to focus on my career”, “my job”, “my schooling”, “my finances”, “From now on we are going to sit down like a family for dinner every night we can…”?
I would wish with all my heart that my children would be able to avoid every pit fall I have encountered, that they would find a career path that they were passionate about. That any task they set before themselves they would accomplish. That no one would ever, EVER break their heart, that they would never struggle and lament the disappointments that they encounter in life and that they’d never be sad, or disappointed in themselves. That anything they put their mind to, or wanted they would always find a way to pursue it and make it happen.
I am already a person that is terribly empathetic. When I read or hear about bad things happening to someone, my heart grows heavy, and it affects me. It caused me in my early twenties to stop watching the news or reading the paper. Bad things happen a lot, and the news seems to dwell on it. I can’t stop starvation in the world. I can’t assure that every child will have loving parents that don’t drink or hurt them. I can’t stop war. I can’t keep people from going postal and impacting strangers lives. I can’t stop people who drink from getting into cars and killing people. Like everyone, I am powerless. Now when it comes to my children and the people who touch my life, their disappointments… they impact me more then my own disappointments. I am not afraid to take chances with my own feelings or life, though I tend to guard myself. I can recover and I know that. But my kids?? GAH!! When I think about how my heart feels when something doesn’t work out for me, and I think about my kids feeling that, or I think about how being disappointed about anything feels, it is almost unbearable for me to think about my kids feeling that. It’s crazy. I would never want to cocoon them from the realities of life. I know that they have to work through things on their own, I KNOW that the test in our lives, the disappointments, the struggles, the tears, they are the very things that form us into the people we become. That it is vital that these things happen to us and we change and grow. Yet, it overwhelms me when I think about my kids going through this stuff. ::sighs:: I know I am not explaining this…
I remember… I was never afraid to speak up as a child. I was quick to respond in school to questions the teachers would present to us. It was all interesting, and I was excited and proud to find that I could grasp ideas and concepts given to me. I had been raised to believe that my opinion had value, that my thoughts had value. One day, when I was in junior high, perhaps 7th or 8th grade. I came into the orchestra room at school. I played the violin and it was after lunch. The door into the room was at the back, so you came up behind anyone that was sitting in that room waiting for class to start. As I walked into the room there were a few kids sitting and talking. One of them disdainfully commented to the others, that I acted like a know it all, and was full of myself. I am sure if anyone was looking at me (which they weren’t) when I overheard those comments, they would have seen a very stricken child. I quietly left the room, and never let on to anyone that I’d overheard those very caustic remarks. But it affected me forever after that moment. I became overly conscious of myself, I stopped raising my hand in class so often, I started to keep my opinion to myself, I would often preface my own comments with words that would make me sound less sure of myself or my thoughts. Even if I knew that I knew what I going to say was correct, I say, “I don’t really know, but I think…” If there was something that I didn’t struggle with, if it came easy to me, still to this very day, I will say that I struggled with it too, I will acknowledge that it is hard to do, and that perfection isn’t expected by anyone, and certainly not by me. I never want any one in my presence to be made to feel less in any way by me. I realize that this is a good trait. It makes me a kind person. I truly rarely think of myself as being better then anyone else in any way… and yet I know that I am bright, I know that I catch on to, and retain information very well, but in the same breath I know that there are things that I lack in, and I don’t compare myself to others. I always think the best of people. If someone is disliked by a number of people, I can always find something in them that I can like. I truly believe that there is something good in everyone. So much of this stemmed from that moment, that crushing moment… and though I know it did me a world of good to over hear those hurtful comments, when kids did mean things to my kids (or when they did mean things to each other), I would feel that same feeling all over again, the pain to my heart… and it was worse to deal with the thought of them having to feel that same way, then it ever was for me to deal with it about myself… So if my kids are mean to each other, if they don’t get that job, or the opportunity to do something that they’ve looked forward to, it breaks my heart…
I want this perfect world… and I know it’s impractical, and really it isn’t good for anyone. So I can’t make the path smooth for them. I can’t pay for everything, and give them back every opportunity, I can’t stop them from being disappointed… nor would I do those things… but still… it hurts… I work hard not to interfere… so… I don’t ‘fix’ everything for them, I try to let them make the mistakes that they will… but I worry about how they will recover from each thing… Will they be strong and resilient? Will they collapse every time things don’t work out? Will they keep going when they want to give up or will they give up? We all struggle with that. Will I keep hoping for love to show up? Will I always be able to believe that things are possible? Or will I give up? I know I struggle with wanting to just give up, but I don’t let myself, but one day I might… I don’t know what I will do. So even less do I know what my kids will do. I don’t want them to ever give up. I want them to believe that they can accomplish their dreams. I don’t want them to collapse under the pressures of life. I KNOW that they are amazing people. They never cease to make me proud of them, even when they don’t do everything exactly like someone thinks they should. Even if sometimes they take the long, hard road… I love them so much. I want everything to always turn out for them. But, I know that isn’t how life is… I know that the road will be hard sometimes, and their will be struggles… but as a mother… my heart wishes it could be different.
Tonight… or really it is morning now… I am overwhelmed with worry. I want Curtis to get the job he wants to get. I don’t want him to start thinking there is something wrong with him. I don’t want him to feel bad about himself. I am so proud of the person he is becoming, even if some days he makes me crazy. I want Justin to find the strength to get through school, to not start to think he can’t accomplish things. I want Philip to find his passion in life. I haven’t been able to find my own and I know what the struggle feels like. I want him to skip that whole experience… I want him to feel confident and sure. I want them all to have good marriages that make them happy. My kids are so smart, they are so amazing…. I want things in their life to go they way they hope.
You know what is crazy? When I worry about my finances, when I worry about it all crashing down around me, I don’t worry about losing everything. I don’t worry about suddenly not having a house or a car any more. I don’t worry that it would crush me or destroy me. What I really worry about, what keeps me worrying about it all, all the time? It’s all about how my kids would feel to lose the home they grew up in. It’s all about how it would impact them. Me? I guess I really don’t care that much. I know if I lost it all, I’d recover. I’d pick up whatever pieces there were and put my head down and move forward. I know that they’d probably be worried about me, but really, I know it would be okay for me.
Geez… I am giving myself such a terrible headache. It’s after 5 am already and I don’t think I slept tonight at all. I am so tired. I’ve been crying and just worrying about everything… Part of me would like to finally find some peace tonight and drift off to sleep before it is light, and then sleep until I am not tired anymore. However, it is more likely that I’ll go take a shower, get dressed and go into work instead.
Yes… that is what I am going to do. Going to post this and go take a shower.
Hope you have a good day. ::hugs::