I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching in these early months of 2016. Who am I? What do I want to be when I grow up? What do I want my children to know me for? What kind of example am I setting for my girls? How much time am I spending working versus how much time I spend with them? That last question has really given me a lot of pause lately. Finding the balance between what I want to do and what my kids want to do is a challenge some days.
As much as I am a creature of habit (just ask anyone who knows me personally how much I deviate from the menu at my favorite restaurants), I’m grateful that I am not so set about all aspects of my life that I cannot change. Remember when I talked about my kid with big emotions? Yeah, that’s me. I still do have big emotions from time to time, but each day I am grateful for new growth in that area that helps me manage those feelings. Those big feelings have brought me the very highest of highs and the very lowest of lows. Have you ever let others define you? Do you let what you are or are not involved in define you? I used to. A lot. I still do, some days, but I guess that just makes me human, right?High school was the worst for me. I wanted so badly to have people like me. To be popular. To have everyone’s attention. As an adult now, looking back on those days, what the heck was I thinking? There is no way I would want that kind of attention now. Not even close. I have a small group of friends that I confide in and trust and that is a-ok with me. There is no need to be the center of attention or to have a dozen friends you “know.” Does that mean I don’t want to try new things or be involved in exciting stuff? Heck no! I would be lying if I said I was happy with being stagnant. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’ve finally realized what my parents (and my people, my friends, my husband…you get the picture) have been trying to tell me all along: I am not defined by my accomplishments. Good or bad. And I am certainly not defined by what people do or do not invite me to participate in.I have to accept the things I cannot change and change the things I cannot accept. No more will I spend precious moments of time or brainpower feeling sorry for myself because someone else didn’t choose me for something. I’ve been chosen for a lot of things in this life, great things in fact, and it does me no good to wallow in self-pity over the things I have no control over. My girls are looking to me to set the example for them. How do I react when something doesn’t go my way?I’ll admit to you that this time last year, I was still a big ol’ baby about certain things. As I’ve gotten more and more involved in the many facets of the blogging world, there are some amazing things that I have the potential to be involved in each year, but, right now, 90% of those things are out of my reach. I didn’t really grasp that concept last year and it left me sad, frustrated, and jealous. That last feeling was the worst. That is no way to get ahead in life. Jealousy is a huge emotion that a lot of us, women especially, tend to fall victim to. It’s so much easier to muck around in the pit of those feelings than to put on your big girl pants and be kind.The struggle to be kind when you’re upset is a real one that we all face every day. The difference is, when you are faced with that feeling, will you learn from it or let it control you? I encourage you today to speak kindness into the life of someone you know that needs it. Start small. It doesn’t have to be a Pinterest worthy thank you basket full of thoughtfulness. Kind words simply exchanged to be kind will more of a lasting impact than you will probably ever know.
What are you teaching your kids today?