Thursday, May 27, 2010

Forgotten promises

When I was about 10 years-old, I swore that when I had my own kids, I would never answer the question why with "because I said so." I hated that inane response and never wanted to subject my children to it. This was long before I encountered the tenacity of a preschooler.

Me: Eat your dinner.
Hayden: Why?
Me: Because it will make you strong and healthy.
Hayden: Why?
Me: Because food is full of vitamins and nutrients that your body needs to grow.
Hayden: Why
Me: Because you don't want to stay 3ft tall forever.
Hayden: Why?
Me: Because then you won't be able to reach your own plate or brush your teeth without a stool.
Hayden: Why?
Me: Because you'll be too short because you didn't eat your dinner.
Hayden: Why?
Me: Because you were too busy asking questions.
Hayden: Why?
Me: Because you're crazy.
Hayden: Why?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Outlook and insight, sacrifice and priorities

I'm a big believer in fate, but also that you are in control of your own destiny. Life can throw you all sorts of challenges and choices. It's how you react and respond to these that shape your everyday life. Your attitude and openness can either make or break you.

I know people who have been through the wringer and faced seemingly insurmountable obstacles and yet they face each day with a smile and carry on. I also know people who are blessed beyond belief, but who are so focused on what they don't have that they see life as a frustrating daily struggle.

I choose to see my life as one filled with blessings. I have an amazing family who support me and raised me with love. I have a tender husband who fulfills my every need and walks beside me through all our highs and lows. I have two wonderful children who amaze me daily with their love and innocence. And I have a small circle of absolutely incredible friends who are there through thick and thin. They have given me the gift of true friendship..

Recently, I had to shut the door (hopefully temporarily) on one of my dreams: to be a stay at home mum. Adam and I had been working towards the possibility by reviewing our finances and making some changes. The very idea of it made me giddy. But with the economy the way it is, and with Adam running his own business (read: no benefits, WSIB, or unemployment insurance) it's just too risky to put all our eggs in one basket right now.

I've been mourning the loss of my idyllic life. It was as if I'd received a rejection letter in the mail from a dream job. "Dear Lucy, thank you for your interest, but..." I could feel myself slipping into a negative head space. Focusing on all that I couldn't have. Wallowing in self pity for a dream put on hold. Feeding an anger towards all that was preventing me from attaining my WAHM status. Resentment that others had attained what I could not. But the fates wouldn't have it. They intervened.

Today I stopped in to work to have lunch with one of my coworkers. While there, I fell into a conversation with another colleague (and fellow blogger). What started as a light conversation soon became a discussion about outlook and insight, sacrifice and priorities. Perhaps without even knowing it or meaning to, she helped me to turn a corner in my thinking. She helped me to remember that everything in life happens for a reason. What creates your character and determines your quality of life is how you address and respond to these changes.

While I still hold dear my deep desire to stay at home and raise my children full time, today I am focusing on what I do have to look forward to as a career woman:
  • a well paying job to return to
  • coworkers who challenge my thinking and creative abilities
  • benefits that allow us to never have to worry about health care for our family
  • a safe, caring daycare where my children will be together
  • the extra finances to be able to pay off our debts and build our savings so that some day soon I CAN stay home
  • adult conversation on a daily basis that does not involve any bodily functions
  • an opportunity to keep expanding my education and learning
  • a reason to wear more than sweatpants and tanks
And so dear readers, I am back to my optimistic self. I know how blessed I am.

Have you counted your blessings today?