I’m no quitter.
I grew up with the mantra, “You can be anything you want to be if you want to be it badly enough” ringing through my childhood.
I added this one for my kids: “Failure is not an option.”
But I’ve got to admit, while both are great motivators when motivation is the missing ingredient, they are lies.
I cannot be “anything I want to be”. I can be the best me possible, but I cannot be anyone but me.
And failure-well, how do you want to define that? Is it failure when you have poured every ounce of energy into a person or a project and things just don’t work like you hoped they would? Is it failure when despite all the planning, pursuing and perseverance a heart can muster life takes a giant left turn you never expected?
One of my favorite but most exasperating memories of Dominic is when he was about six months old and would wake every morning close to 3 a.m. and refuse to go back to sleep. Now, judge me if you want to, but this whole “let them cry it out” thing was not in my parenting wheelhouse. With two other siblings and a small house, if he was crying for hours, it meant soon everyone would be awake.
So after nursing him and trying to get him to go back to sleep, I finally gave up and just went into the living room and let him play.
This went on for weeks-my body was so, so tired and I was frustrated beyond imagination.
Until I realized that I was burning more energy being upset over the inevitable than I was in just getting up and enjoying the one on one time with my baby.
So instead of fussing every early morning, I started getting up, making coffee, playing with him and then doing necessary chores while he prattled on with his toys.
I accepted what was out of my control and made the best of it.
That’s how I feel this side of Dominic running ahead to heaven.
I am not the person I used to be.
I cannot do all the things I used to do.
I need to acknowledge that. I need to let go of unrealistic expectations that only drive me to distraction and despair.
I’m freeing myself to lean into the life I have NOW by admitting it’s not the life I USED to have.
I’m not giving up.
I am letting go of excess emotional baggage.
But I’m holding onto hope with both hands.