About a month ago, my friend and fellow blog grouper Melissa (Merrylandgirl) blogged about an article she’d read re: the epiphanies one should have by the time they’re 40. I loved Melissa’s answers, her take on things. I loved the article, too. I politely asked if I could “borrow” the premise of her post, and being the sweetheart she is, she said she was totally fine with that.
I’d like to present my own epiphanies, a few short years before the big 4-0.
You are not a role. I tried very hard to find where I “fit in”, especially with motherhood. The article mentions many different types of personas, like the low (or high) maintenance woman, a cool girl, laid back mom, tiger mom, etc. I really wanted to be someone who could maintain her coolness while being the best, most kick ass parent on the planet! With time and clarity, I’ve accepted that I’m doing the best I can. Some days I feel like I’m pretty kick ass. Other times, I know I could have handled things differently, better. I’m just me, and while I want to be a role model for my kids, I don’t feel I have to play a particular role in order to achieve that. It’s too much pressure!
Your weight is probably your weight. This is a tough one for me. I was 30+ pounds heavier before having children. I lost the 30+ pounds, maintaining a nice, healthy weight for several years, but the move to Arizona brought on a few extra pounds. I’m sure it’s all related to the move, adjusting to my new life, my new surroundings. I’m making a conscious effort to get back to my healthy weight, but I don’t feel the need to try to achieve the weight I had in high school or anything extreme like that, or compare myself to others. I’m comfortable with being, and living, a healthy, active lifestyle, for me.
95% of what other people do has nothing to do with you. So true! I used to worry about what others thought of me, if they were angry, annoyed, frustrated. The truth is, most people are living their own lives, doing their own thing, just like I am. They aren’t thinking about me, or what I’m doing, especially those who think less of me. I can think of a few people from my past who do. Their perception of who I am may not ever change, even with time. And really, who cares? If they are wasting time lamenting over me, that’s their choice, not mine.
Your body is for you. My husband would argue this one… and, he has a point. The only people who will ever see me naked- him, and me. Clothes on, I want to look nice on occasion, considering I don’t get to go all out very often and dress up like a woman. But, I don’t need to turn heads, unless it’s my husband’s.
There’s no “the one”. I’ve been down this road many times in my life, where I thought I would be with someone forever, only that wasn’t the case. Maybe it was my fault, or theirs, or we both damaged the relationship beyond repair. That doesn’t mean I never loved the person, never cared about them. It only means in the end, we couldn’t make it work. I can honestly say I’m with “the one” for me, now, because he gets me, more than anyone else ever has. He gets me, and he’s still cool with me. Even with all of my annoying qualities.
You can get a lot of joy out of being ordinary. I don’t think of anyone as ordinary. We all have special gifts and talents, something amazing to offer the world. Even if those gifts are deemed as “ordinary”. Instead of being ordinary, I’d like to re-phrase that. How about, you can get a lot of joy out of doing ordinary things?
The people who show up are your real friends. That’s not true. Something I’ve learned the older I get, is that life throws us all a load. That could be work, kids, hobbies and interests. Sometimes, we can’t always be there, even when we want to be. There have been times I’ve had to cancel due to sick kids. Or, I’ve had friends who are swamped and haven’t been able to spend time with me. Even your real friends need a pass from time to time. If it gets to be a habit, though, where they never seem to have time for you or always cancel when you’ve made plans, there are deeper issues at work. I try to cut people some slack, though.
Oh, and another thing… I’ve cultivated some pretty spectacular friendships online, something I thought I’d never do. Some I’ve never even met in person. While I’m sure they’d love to hop a plane and see me, I know that’s not always an option. Support can be given in more ways than one, even if you can’t be there in physical form.
There’s no algorithm that guarantees a perfect kid. We always try, though, don’t we? To do all we can to ensure our kids turn out happy, well-adjusted. There’s no tried and true method to achieve this! I work on fostering balance for my kids. I limit screen time, as best I can, but I don’t freak out if they’ve gone over the time I’ve allotted them. As long as they are outdoors or engaging in other activities, have some free play time, I’m happy. Last night, my 10-year old played Sudoku, while the 5-year old requested we play the board game, Life! They made those choices on their own, without me trying to dictate to them on how they should spend their evening. I think most kids want balance, anyway.
Friendships are fluid. I agree. It’s the old adage, “friend for a reason, a season, or a lifetime”. Sometimes it’s the circumstance you’re in, a coworker, maybe. Or, you’re going through something and the person you’re spending time with is helping you through it. Then, you may have a friendship that’s been around for many years, forever standing the test of time. I’ve experienced all three scenarios, and it’s alright.
We’re not hiding anything. I did this a lot, growing up. I didn’t want people to see inside the chaos, so I put on the happiest of faces. It’s hard to do that with my children. They are very intuitive. I’m so much more honest and open now, emotionally, since having my children, then I’ve ever been in my entire life.
How about you? Care to share some of your own epiphanies?