You’re going to go through tough times-that’s life. Nothing happens to you, it happens for you. See the positive in negative events. Joel Osteen
In July of 2012 I had a life changing experience. Body altering surgery, pain both physical and mental and at times feelings of pure helplessness. Over time, those feelings became ones of freedom. Receiving the news that my post BPM biopsy was positive for lobular carcinoma in situ at first set me into a pure panic. I remember the doctors call, feeling as if the room around me was closing in and the tears rolling down my cheeks. Then the realization, I made the right decision. Years of biopsies and worries of cancer were over.
From then on I have really seen things differently. I refuse to allow the negative things in life to control my day. Sure, I have moments but as a rule I am trying to live more of a “glass is half full” kind of life. For years I often found myself in the middle of others drama or tried to mediate others dilemmas. Recently, I have had to remind myself of what I realized almost 3 years ago, life is too short to be surrounded in negativity.
Not only is it too short but life moves way too fast! It seems like just yesterday that my girls were born and today I watched Madison perform on stage at her first talent show. Megan attended her first dance the other night and both are growing into such beautiful girls. Allowing myself to live in anyone else’s negativity removes my focus on what is important in life. I will no longer feel guilty for allowing myself to focus on the positive things, I will not apologize for looking for the sun instead of the rain and I will not ask permission to smile. I WILL surround myself and my family with others who feel the same!
When I was younger I swore I would never have children. They were dirty, needy and would just get in the way. I had visions of being the CEO of IBM. As with most of us, the visions of a young person grow and change as we do.
I did well in my career but something was missing. I remember when I held my Megan for the first time, her wide open bright eyes looking up at me, I swear she actually waved. That was it. That was all I needed to know that there was no job in the world that could ever be as fulfilling as staying with my baby. I have been fortunate enough to be a part of every aspect of my girls development. Financially it has not always been easy but it has been the most rewarding job ever!
Being a Mother has been an adventure, figuring it out day by day. Frank and I don’t have any parental guidance and I never had the perfect role model. My relationship with my mother was not perfect, whose is? At the time it was all I knew. Some will say she was a difficult person and I would agree. She was a functioning alcoholic and in those days this was acceptable. She had a temper and was not what anyone would call “warm and fuzzy”. There were not many hugs or “I love you’s” in our house. With that said, she raised three children alone, kept a nice home for us against all odds and ensured that we had the best education possible to enable all three of us to improve our own lives. I am blessed to have had such a strong woman as a mother.
As I raise my own children I struggle to find the right balance. Many of their friends are handed everything with no understanding of the value attached to the items. Too many parents would rather be a friend than parent. I never want to have the heavy hand I was raised with yet I want to ensure there is structure and discipline, but discipline filled with love. Yes there is such a thing. The ability to say “no” to your children, to realize that they may get mad at you and life will go on.
Being a parent is not always easy, as a matter of fact uneasy is how I feel much of the time. So many firsts in life that need to be explained. Hurt feelings, confusion and the unknown are all a part of everyday life and I love it! Each day is an adventure and I look forward to every one of them!
Life is messy, and hard and sometimes downright mean. I would like to be able to tell my kids that it is filled with unicorns and roses but that would be silly, untrue and would not prepare them for the reality of the future. I would like to tell them that they can just shut the door until the hard stuff is over but that would just make them victims to the evils that would eventually consume them. I would like to tell them that they could close their eyes and wish it all away but in my opinion that would ensure them a future of failure.
No, I tell my girls the truth. The cold, hard and often ugly truth. Life is unfair, hard and dirty at times and often it will disappoint you. With that truth comes the real lesson, a lesson of perseverance that those who keep their heads up, those who work hard, those who strap in for the rough ride will succeed in the end and be the stronger for it! My girls have lived this lesson from early ages. I am sure they feel that their lives have been often unfair to this point, Madison being witness to my miscarriage, major health scares for both of their parents and more hospital visits than any child should have to endure. They have seen their father work non stop only to have his pay cut and eventually be laid off by the same company. I am fully aware that our lives are a paradise when compared to others. We all have our struggles, how you deal with them makes us who we are.
I try to teach the girls that when life gets tough to face it and never give up. I hope that my husband and I have modeled this same lesson for them. There is often an easier way but it does not make it right. Never run and never bury your head in the sand. Do not be afraid to try, to fail, but NEVER stop trying, learn and grow and always keep smiling.
As meaningful as those lesson are, it is also important, more important to celebrate the wins, the glass is half full side of things. The fact that my girls are healthy and smart, athletic and kind. The fact that after a tough search my husband has found a wonderful new job. From time to time, it is nice to live in a world of unicorns and when life is on an upswing you grab on with both hands! How do you best celebrate the positive turn in events? With a trip to Disney World of course! Very soon we will be off to see that amazing Mouse! For our family Disney is that place where you get to close your eyes and wish it away, that world where fantasy is reality and pixie dust rules the land! I can not wait….Mickey we will be there soon!