We just moved into our new house 9 days ago. This is the first time I am sitting in the quiet, letting go of the need to be busy unpacking, organizing, or on the run. I am listening to the silence... and feeling so much gratitude. I have struggled with journaling most of my life. Writing this blog for Project Pink’d is an opportunity for growth...
Earlier today we had a group video call (aka: Brady Bunch call) with our daughters and son-in-law in Barcelona, Seattle, and Oakland. It made my heart SO happy to see each of their lovely, sweet faces. Knowing they will be here in less than a month replaced the longing for them with the sheer excitement to SEE them!! To press my cheek against theirs. To FEEL their embrace; for them to feel mine.
With the effects of COVID-19, it’s been between 10-18 months since we have seen our children. We count our blessings daily that we have all survived and know we are far more fortunate than many others.
Nearing the conclusion of our video chat, one of our daughters asked me a question. I paraphrase, but it was something along the lines of, “what thoughts/messages come to mind from going through the last year, as a Mom?” After a brief pause, I simply replied, “Go with the flow.”
When you do your best to raise children to be strong, independent, compassionate individuals, it’s not surprising that they march to their own drummer. They are living their lives, not a life dictated by parents. It’s a blessing to be with them and watch as they each progress on their journey through life. ..."Go with the flow.”
I also reflect on my evolving perspective on life relative to the decades of my age. In the rearview mirror, I see those days in my 20’s and 30’s when I worked SO hard to gain the acceptance of others, the approval of others, even the love of others. I tried to hide my fears, weaknesses, ignorance, and insecurities. Instead, I tried to appear as if I had it all together.
In my 40’s and 50’s, I gradually came around to the realization that NO ONE has it all together. Those people who seem like they do, or those who are quick to brag or bully, are often working to hide their own insecurities, so as not to be “found out.” It was also approximately at that time that I truly came to believe that, for the MOST part, people are doing the best they can, with what they have at the time. I can apply that theory to friends and family, during my childhood as well as adulthood.
The theory becomes the most profound when I look back on relationships/interactions and try to understand that it was likely not ABOUT me, but rather a reflection of where they were on their journey. Perhaps it wasn’t a deliberate move to hurt me, but rather a reflection of how much they were hurting. It was also around this time that I came to believe two things: 1. I can learn as much from my children (if not more) as they can learn from me. 2. As Mom, I DO NOT have all the answers. That is why God blessed me with family and friends who can also impact the growth and molding of our children’s lives....”Go with the flow.”
My 60’s began with a mammogram 5 days after my birthday. After follow-up appointments, biopsies, and a phone call 30 days after my birthday, I began my journey with breast cancer. Telling my soulmate/husband and three daughters were the most difficult conversations. Their love and support were limitless. I surprise myself by realizing that receiving that diagnosis has brought more blessings into my life than I could have ever imagined. To list just some: Every day, I mean EVERY day is a gift. I cut myself WAY more slack than I ever did before. “My Best” looks different every day, and that is OK! Along with giving others more grace than I did before, I do the same for myself. Sometimes when I disagree, it’s really not worth the energy to debate. When I REALLY disagree, you bet I’m going (to do my best) to speak up! Finding your voice when you no longer feel the need to seek approval IS.SO.FREEING!!! Making sure the ones I love KNOW I do is very important to me. So much so that I may say it more than necessary! :)
As a result of my cancer and Project Pink’d, I now have new sisters I love, who love me, and I learn so much from them. As I mentioned above relative to our children, age is irrelevant. Some of my Thriving Sisters are half my age and have lived through more than I can imagine. Now, at 62 I am grateful for the perspectives I’ve developed, and acknowledge I am still a work in progress. Always will be!! I continue to try to “Go with the flow.”