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AHA! Moments....

Started by Pooh, May 27, 2010, 07:23:45 am

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As I wrote a response in another thread to Luise about Val, it brought back a memory.  A lesson learned that came about because of my Mother.  I like to call these moments, my AHA moments and I am sure we have all had them.  It is that moment in life that something happens, something goes wrong, something goes right or a realization just sinks in and you go, AHA!

This was one about burning my candle at both ends.....

I got married at 19 the first time.  Had my first child at 20, my second at 21.  I was married the first time to a very selfish person.  He wasn't a bad guy, just very self absorbed and only did things that he wanted to do.  In 22 years, he never held a job more than 2 years at a time until he would move onto something else.  He went to bowling tournaments, golf tournaments or fishing almost every weekend no matter what needed to be done.  So I was used to pretty much doing everything myself.  I was raised that you work for what you get in life, so I had held a job since I was 16.  I had taken my six weeks of maternity leave off with both boys, but that was it.  Right back to work.  When the boys were old enough, they wanted to play baseball during the spring and summer, and football during the fall.  I would get them up for school and take them, go to work all day, leave work, pick them up from daycare and either go through McDonald's or fix a sandwich at home real quick, put on their uniforms, take them to the ballpark, get them both to their respective fields for practice or a game, then run back and forth between them.  When we left, it was homework, bath time, read a book and then fall exhausted into bed to start again the next day.  Saturdays were spent with either ball tournaments, cleaning house, laundry and commitments.  Sundays were spent mowing the lawn, doing house repairs, grocery shopping, paying bills and whatever else had come up.  But no, I couldn't stop there.  I was asked to volunteer in concession stand, youth boards, local charity events and anything else that they needed help with.  I squeezed all those in somehow too.  This was my routine for years.  The sports changed and then it became hauling their friends around too for games and practices.  More boards, more volunteer stuff, oh yes "I can keep the score book for you", etc.  I knew I was exhausted but this was just how it was supposed to be.  That's what good parents and people do.

Finally, I had went to my Mother's one Saturday and sat down exhausted in a chair.  She looked at me with my baggy eyes, stressed forehead and just shook her head.  Now my Mother never gave advice unless asked and would keep her opinions to herself unless you asked her.  (A much better person than me who gives my opinion if the wind blows right).

I was rubbing my sleepy eyes when she said, "You know, you don't have to do it."  I looked at her and said, "Do what?"  She just smiled and said, "Everything."  I still wasn't understanding and told her so.  She just smiled again and said, "There are important things, and then there is the word NO.  The important things are things we do for ourselves and the people we love because we want to and it enriches our lives.   The NO things are the things that we do to please someone else.  You are doing way to many NO things.  You never enjoy the moment but are always living an hour or day ahead."

I just sat there looking at her and thinking about what she said and all of a sudden, "AHA!"  I finished out my commitments for the year and starting saying NO to more things that I truly didn't have time to do and spent more time enjoying what my kids were doing.  The charities and boards I chose to remain on, were ones I really felt compassionate about. I realized that I had been taking the boys to games but had not actually been enjoying them.  I was too busy doing a mental inventory of what I had to accomplish in the next hour or tomorrow.  I was never living in the moment.  My Mother was right. I was always living an hour or day ahead.  My mind was always on the next thing I needed to do and I wasn't just enjoying what I was doing right then. 

Did I still have to do laundry, go to work and do yard work?  Of course, but by giving up a lot of the NO things, I was able to slow down and enjoy the things that were important. It was a very eyeopening AHA that stayed with me.

I would love to hear from you ladies about some of your AHA moments.

We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


Anna the more I find out about you, the more I find out how similar our histories are!  I didn't list everything, but I also coached baseball for 4 years because no one else wanted to!  Lol....how funny.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell