My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

burdens and blessings

I think if there's any continuing theme of my blog entries, it's balance.
Bad things happen but good things happen too.
My life is tough sometimes but it's easier than others.
There are people who have been unkind toward me but there are many, many others who have loved me unconditionally.
I love irony. Things that happen out of context. When the sun shines while it's raining. Laughter through tears.
One of the great things about being middle aged (and I'm owning it... I mean, I'm 44, it's not like I'm going to live to be 110 with my medical history)... is that you are able to dream about the future (still) and yet are old enough to respect the past. I love that feeling of balance.
I love the fact that my kids are (almost) all adults and independent and that my parents are still (relatively) young and (relatively) healthy.
I feel, so often, like I'm linking generations. Almost every day Austin and I have a conversation about something I've discovered in my genealogical studies. He at least pretends to be interested. I really believe that he will remember these stories and one day share him with his kids.
I drove Austin to school today. After today he has six days left. Wasn't it just a minute ago that I blogged about him being about six days into his senior year? Wasn't it just yesterday that I was fighting with his MIDDLE school?
How many of you remember when I was struggling to find my way as a single mom? Doesn't that feel like it just happened? And yet... time has flown by.
I have a friend who is involved in a custody battle and facing the next ten years of co-parenting with a person who is really, terribly irrational and unkind toward her and I keep saying to her, "time will pass, they will grow up and this will not go on forever".
Few of life's challenges continue throughout our life. I mean, certainly, there are some burdens that are never lifted but rarely in the most acute state. Eventually, no matter how heavy the burden, we grow stronger and are able to bear it with more grace.
I can tell you that the things that were overwhelming me five years ago are no longer hanging on my Trouble Tree.
I imagine there are burdens I will carry five years from now that are not even on my radar today.
Wounds heal.
If you're going through Hell, keep on moving.
Too often we focus so much on the burden that we miss the blessing that the burden is bringing into our lives.
My blessing has been the ability to see both sides of the coin, the gift of optimism - most of the time.
Getting fired was not on my agenda for the year 2012 but in many ways it HAS been a blessing.
Going through two divorces was not part of my "happily ever after" fairy tale for my life but I am glad for the blessings of being single.
I would have never signed up to be the parent of a child with autism (high functioning autism, but trust me, as recently as yesterday I dealt with some of the collateral damage of his different view of life) but I know that my life has been uniquely shaped because of it.
Ten years ago I was obsessed with anger and frustration because of the breakup of my first marriage and the lack of financial support, the fact that he didn't participate in visitation... but I'm so glad that I got to have the relationship that I did with my kids. The money doesn't matter so much any more. My credit score would have been much better otherwise but... ultimately... we survived. I'm so glad that my kids built the relationships they did, that we formed our own village, that we found our own way. Looking back - especially comparing my situation to what I've seen other divorced parents go through - I'm glad he stayed out of the way and let me raise my kids MY way. I'm glad we didn't have the ongoing tug of war that many kids have to deal with. I'm glad my kids developed a strong bond with their grandparents.
I would have written my story differently... I would have been taller and thinner and maybe blonder and I would have had *just one* adoring husband and a big house and a great job and maybe a little girl or two and I would have had sisters and great health and ... I would have missed out on so much if I had my way!
Find your balance. Seek the blessing in your burdens. Appreciate what you have and grieve a little less for what you don't.
Happy Tuesday, y'all.