Friday, May 22, 2015

Hmmm, pick your poison....

So for quite a while now I have noticed my inability to quit working. I could not figure out the compulsion...because quite frankly I am slap dab worn out. The last several years have seen me as an infrequent visitor to my own blog. The 'Great Recession' took a toll on everyone. My husband lost his job, we almost lost our house twice, and I began to work incessantly. It was a necessary evil. Two jobs, one car, school, and so it was for several years running. I learned some of the harder lessons of life, humility, grace and the art of being less judgmental. Mama had always said don't judge others until you have walked a mile in their moccasins, how true.

We sold everything of any value. And we fixed the house up to sell but alas, the housing market had burst. The house did not sell. I had never felt so trapped. There was only one thing to do and that was work, and work a lot. Of course we still got behind on the bills, but now seven years after the bottom fell out, we are recovering. We still have a lot of debts to pay but we are chipping away at them. We chose not to declare bankruptcy but I don't fault those that did. My heart still breaks when I see people losing their homes. We came oh so close, but for the grace of God.

I addition to everything else I went back to school. Although, I could not see it at the time, this offered me the opportunity to reinvent myself. For years and years I was a homeschooling mother of six and a nurse. My primary focus was home but I loved my job as a labor and delivery nurse. Now, I am pursuing my doctorate in nursing and a career in nursing research. I did not see that coming! I would be lying if I didn't admit that this is one of the most exciting things I have ever done.

So, sorry, back to the story at hand.... The other day after getting my feelings hurt by someone all I could think was I need to get home and get to work... Hmmm, wait a moment. Although I am still in school, I have been able to cut down to one job. What is this compulsion with work?

In that second, I realized something. I used to clean when I was upset. I used emotional angst for productivity. However, now I am at school or at work more than home, so work has became the way to process feelings of hurt or anger. Hence, essentially, I have been self medicating. School and work are places I can excel; I feel competent there and criticism is generally constructive and work related, not personal. It is human nature to try and protect our fragile psyches. So while trying to deal with life's inevitable pain, I have built a 'freakin' fortress and gotten a heck of a lot of work done!

We all cope with the disappointments of life in different ways. Who is to say that one way of coping is better than another. But when you realize that your way of coping is becoming hazardous to your health, it is time to try and change. I have decided to try and begin walking again; this is a healthier way to cope with stress. After all, life is a marathon not a sprint. So the moral of the story is as you cope with your disappointments be careful as you pick your poison...

Oh, by the way, I cleaned the house today ;-)


Sunday, May 17, 2015

We're all just a little scared inside...

It's a dance, a first dance, she's so nervous.
She is smiling, glowing, hoping that it doesn't show.
She looks so confident, so poised, at ease and happy in her own skin.
She is beautiful.
But I know she is scared on the inside,
Which makes her oh, so brave on the outside.

I know because I am her mother.
And this is my little warrior.
She has the battle scars to prove it.
The baby, my precious one.
How I wish you could see what I see.
A young heart with a soul as big as the sky.
A warrior with a keen sense of right and wrong.
A child with the love of all who surround her.

Dear one, I wish you could know what I now know.
After years of being afraid...
Afraid of failure, afraid of disappointment,
After years of trying to please everyone,
for everything,
Now I know...
We're all just a little scared inside.
Insecure and afraid of failure.
We all dare everyday to try and succeed...
Only now I know succeeding is in the act of trying.

Succeeding is being vulnerable.
Succeeding is being available, intentional, and willing.
Succeeding is standing at the end of the day and getting up the next.
Succeeding is being true to yourself and those you love and those who love you.
Succeeding is not winning the game, it is playing it!
For there can be no game without players,
No game without winners and losers,
No emotion without ups and downs.

So my brave little warrior,
My little southern spitfire,
Embrace your fears, everyone has them.
They demonstrate that you care, you feel and you are alive.
They are evidence that you are uniquely human
And you, the bravest of all souls, allow yourself to be vulnerable.
Yet, in all your vulnerability,
You are present in the moment for yourself and others.

Life after all is a sacrifice. 
Living is the act of expending ourselves as we pass through.
Living well is succeeding.
Living the life of a warrior.
Whether the scars are on the inside or outside,
They are evidence of passing through life with grace,
Surviving to face another day.
Until we are called home.