Although I never considered myself (and still don’t) a perfectionist, with my first child, I was the typical nervous mom, wanting everything to be done just right for him, well-planned, thoughtfully. I felt the importance of MOTHERING (in all caps).
Soon, in seeking perfection, I became weary. I wondered at each leg of his early journey if this was it? Was this what it was going to be from there on out?
Ah….innocence. Naiveté. I was so very green.
When my second son arrived four years later, I was seasoned, much more in the groove.
I’d grown up.
What I knew for sure by then was that for whatever was happening in our lives, good or bad, happy or sad, it would pass. I had already learned there were stages. I learned firsthand you cannot appreciate the wonderful if you never suffer.
I now better understood the ebbs and flows of the sea mimic those of a life.
And I knew that a child at four could not be more marvelous.
To get there, I would weather whatever was needed.
With my second son, I was calmer. I was less innocent and knew that whatever was hurled at me, I could do it. We are “made ready” as Joanna Gaines says in the most recent issue of Magnolia. Hard times pass. Whatever was difficult would lead to a period of ease and wonder and joy.
That’s how I would describe my entire 27 years as a mom.
And my life of work.
After a really bad day, there is generally always a really good day.
This is a learning for life in general.
I learned there are stages. Phases. Seasons.
Nothing lasts forever.
Witnessing my children turning from childhood + graduation to college + adulthood was a leap. The next leg. A disrupter. It took some getting used to the rhythm.
But having been a parent for a million years by then, the adjustment was, of course, easier.
All gets easier with time…and experience. With tolerance and understanding. With patience and acceptance.
Fifty hit hard.
My father died.
My body began to ache in ways I’d never experienced. My body’s innate flexibility became more rigid. It was harder to take off weight. For the first time, I began to have trouble sleeping.
Phases, stages….sometimes take years.
So six years since hitting fifty, I think I’ve processed a lot (through hours of sleepless nights), accepted what’s next, and have now turned the corner to all that is good and marvelous.
Like all phases and stages, there is a need for effort and a change of mindset. I can see how if one doesn’t change, we could stagnate and get stuck on a bad day. We cannot sit tight, rigid.
The beauty of being a long-time mom and a middle-aged woman is that I won’t let myself get stuck.
Because now, not naïve, I embrace every bit of life’s experiences.
I wouldn’t be the person I am today without the hardships.
They say it’s your mistakes that do more to change you than your successes.
I will be fluid.
As fluid as this 56-year old body will allow me to be….although even that, I know I can make it better by pushing myself more and being of the mindset that believes. I have input into every single thing in my life.
There is a season.
A time to plant, a time to reap;
a time to laugh, a time to weep;
a time to build up, a time to break down.
A time to cast away stones.
To everything - turn, turn, turn.
And I love, love that now, I get it.
I embrace it. Loosely.
Not gripping, not tightly, not rigidly.
There is always a season…..and then the next season.