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Posts Tagged ‘understanding’

It was meant to be.

As long as I can remember I have hated the idea of ‘meant to be’ and also its kissing cousin ‘not meant to be.’  I just can’t get behind the idea of things being so much out of my control, and the thought that I’m simply wandering through life waiting for things to come and for some unforeseen force to decide what’s going to happen.

When things happen, or don’t as the case may be, the words I dread the most are usually from the most well-being people.  They smile, they take my hand, they hold me close and then utter ‘it just wasn’t meant to be’ and my insides start to recoil.  I get that the people saying it to me come at it from the best possible place, a place of meaning well and wanting to comfort and hoping to reduce the pain. In reality though, none of those things actually happen.

Instead, in my ears, it sounds like a cop out, a throw away to try to explain things that can’t be explained and excuse things that can’t be excused.

And then, a few weeks ago, I came across this quote and something inside me just clicked.

It’s not that it wasn’t meant to be; it just wasn’t meant for me.

For some reason changing those two little words made it make sense to me.  Changing two little words made the idea ring true with me in a way that nothing else before it had.  Some things in this life are meant for me, some people, some experiences, some gifts, some adventures, some moments, some breaths, some tears, some laughs.

And some are not.

Where ‘meant to be’ sounded like an excuse, ‘meant for me’ sounds like a reason, it feels like truth in my heart.

And while getting to this place has seemed like such a long journey, I realize that the real work is still to come. While I can now view missed opportunities and unfulfilled dreams as simply not part of my path, I’m certainly a long way from being able to say I can let go of them gracefully.

Because if understanding comes from the head, letting go is very much an act of the heart and in my life, it is the heart that has always been hardest to convince.

But I will try, I will try because suddenly it feels worth it and the goal, though distant, now feels reachable.  The hard work seems difficult but not impossible. I can now dream of getting to the place where letting go is about finding acceptance rather than giving up.

It’s amazing the difference two little words can make.

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‎For months he’s been asking when it will happen, coming home from school or hockey or a birthday party telling me everyone else has lost a tooth and asking when he will finally catch up.

I told him it will happen when it happens, the kind of wisdom you hate as a child but what else could I say? If it was my first child I probably would have been calling the dentist and looking it up online – he’s almost seven, shouldn’t he have lost a tooth already?

If it was my first child I would have assumed something was wrong, not wanting to deviate at all from the standardized development charts that I pretended to ignore but actually refered to religiously.

But he is my second child, and so I know it will happen when it happens, ‎and because he is also my last child, I know I will be sad when it does.

I will be happy because he is happy, and I will be happy because it’s a confirmation that things are going the way they should, but I will be sad because it’s yet another step on the path away from his childhood.

‎Happy and sad.

Bitter and sweet.

Too fast and too slow.

Before I became a mother I did not know how these opposite things could exist together, in the same moment.

Now that I am a parent I understand that they exist together, side by side, in almost every moment.

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‎Ordinary.

We’re not supposed to be ordinary. We’re supposed to be something more, something bigger, something better.

We’re supposed to be extraordinary.

Or at least that’s what I thought.

I thought ordinary meant I wasn’t trying hard enough.

I thought ordinary meant I didn’t have high enough expectations or big enough dreams.

I thought ordinary meant I should be doing more, being more, anything more than what I am right now in this moment.

But I’m tired.

I’m tired of trying to be extraordi‎nary; of assuming I’m supposed to want to be extraordinary. I’m tired of feeling like what I am is not enough, of being dissatisfied, of constantly measuring myself and always coming up short.

Because for right now, maybe ordinary is enough.

Maybe ‎the very act of succeeding at being ordinary is enough.

And maybe it doesn’t mean I’ve given up or I’m settling or accepting or that I won’t do amazing things.

Maybe it just means that I’ve finally realized that on a lot of days, ordinary is pretty great.

Ordinary is two unique and inherently magnificent kids and a man who has held my heart in his hands for more than half of my life.

Ordinary is a house in the burbs and a minivan littered with half-empty juice boxes and cracker crumbs.

Ordinary is messy closets and scuffed shoes and wrinkled blouses that I don’t wear because I’m too lazy to iron them.

Ordinary is ‎toothbrushes beside the sink and towels on the back of the door and a favourite ripped t-shirt folded in a drawer.

Ordinary is a calendar on the wall filled with hockey games and soccer practices, dentist appointments and birthday parties.

And maybe from the outside ordinary seems small and simple and boring. There are even times I have wondered if that’s what I should think.

But that would mean that I’ve forgotten how much work it has taken to get to where I am; that I choose not to remember how much I always wanted to be exactly where I am right now.

‎Because it has taken a lot of extraordinary things to create this ordinary life of mine.

And maybe it’s time to be okay with that.

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The truth is I don’t read or watch or listen to the news. It just makes me feel depressed and dumb.

The truth is I always thought as a parent I would savour tucking my kids in at night but I don’t. The truth is I actually hate it and by the end of the day I just want them to go to sleep already.

The truth is I generally judge all books by their covers. The truth is I generally judge everything by its cover.

The truth is I could eat breakfast for every meal.

The truth is the greatest sense of accomplishment I’ve felt in the last six months is passing level 37 of Candy Crush.

The truth is I don’t really care how my hair looks, as you can probably tell when you see how my hair looks.

The truth is I judge people by the books they read and the TV shows they watch.

The truth is my favourite aisle at Walmart is the one with all of the plastic containers.  It makes me want to put everything I own in a plastic container.

The truth is I eat more chocolate than I should.

The truth is I used to care ‎what my linen closet looked like; I used to care what other people thought my linen closet looked like.  The truth is I don’t care any more and to prove it, here is what my linen closet looks like.

Don't tell Martha

Don’t tell Martha

The truth is ‎I just pretend to know what the word Zeitgeist means.

‎The truth is I generally prefer books to people.

The truth is ‎I’m horrible with directions or spatial awareness of any kind. The truth is I almost always get lost in parking garages.

The truth is my motherhood idol is Amy Duncan from Good Luck Charlie.

The truth is I usually decide within five minutes of meeting someone whether we’re going to be friends or not. The truth is even when I probably could change my mind about my initial impression, I usually don’t.

The truth is sometimes I run the dryer over and over after the clothes are already dry because I don’t feel like folding them.

The truth is, it’s nice to have somewhere to share my truths.

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I want to have more, and do less.

More time, more money, more freedom, more laughter, more breath, more clarity, more quiet.

Less work, less chaos, less hurrying, less mess, less waiting, less misunderstanding, less loud.

That’s all I want; not too much to ask?

Only I don’t know how to get more of this, and less of that.

Because the more I try, the less I do. The more I think, the less I understand. The more I question, the less I answer.

It really should be simple.

Or maybe it is.

Maybe it is, but I make it more difficult.

More of the good stuff; less of the bad.

Words to live by.

More or less.

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For the past year I have been struggling to find a new path. Well, if I’m being totally honest, it’s probably been more like the last three or four years. I have felt lost, uncertain, professionally unchallenged and creatively unfulfilled.

I bought into the idea that if I’m not growing then I’m just withering; if I’m not striving for something, then I’m just standing still. And for some reason I have convinced myself that standing still is a bad thing. Standing still means I’m wasting time, doing nothing instead of doing something, anything other than what I’m doing right now. Standing still means I’m not moving forward which, I had grown to believe, is just as bad as moving backwards.

I have read dozens of books about finding your passion, finding your calling, finding the right path. I have read stories of people who claimed to be fulfilled, shook my head at their seemingly simplistic advice – follow your heart, live your dreams, listen to your own voice.

I’ve spent the last few years listening, I promise. I just don’t hear anything.

This journey to find a journey has been exhausting, which is kind of ironic considering my journey hasn’t actually taken me anywhere. I have grown frustrated. My search for fulfillment has left me feeling anything but.

And then suddenly, a few weeks ago, something funny happened. I stopped spending all of my time looking, and instead started seeing. I stopped constantly searching, and instead discovered that perhaps I already found what I’ve been looking so hard for.

I have been so afraid that if I stop and take a moment to just accept where I am that it will mean that I’ve resigned myself, given in, given up on the idea of a life different than this one. But slowly, day by day, the idea of acceptance began to grow and it began to lose its negative connotation. I loosened my grip on the perfection that only comes through change and instead started to contemplate contentment.

What if I could accept being content not as a consolation prize but as the goal I’ve actually been searching for all along?

Even just saying the word ‘content’ started to make me relax. It seems so easy; accepting and finding fulfillment with what I already have, rather than constantly feeling the need for more.

More.

More experiences, more places, more people, more things. More. Always feeling like I’m falling short, coming up empty when really everything is already so full. What if instead of getting ‘more’ I could realize and accept when it is ‘enough.’

I saw a quote once that said, to paraphrase, “I do enough, I have enough, I am enough” and lately it has become my mantra. Enough. The word now whispers in my head like a sigh. It brings everything down a notch and gives me a minute to focus.

I am enough.

I am open to change and the new adventures that come, but what I have experienced is enough. Enough for now.

I will continue to learn and grow but I will also be content that the knowledge and wisdom I have already found is enough. Enough for now.

There will be time for more, but right now there is enough.

And I am content with that.

Finally.

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