Tuesday, November 29, 2016
For more than two years, I have spoken about the "tough season" my family and have have faced. Many times I've referenced it as a desert, a drought and most certainly a "temporary" moment in time for us. As this "season" has given way to a new normal that is quite different to my old life, I have come to terms with how I face life today.
First, I have a posture of surrender. I surrender myself to circumstances beyond my own control. Now surrender in this case is letting go of control as well as not allowing the circumstance to impact my core.
Single motherhood. Not my favorite term and certainly not a term I ever wanted associated with me. Took extraordinary lengths to never be a single mom prior to my marriage yet here I am at 45 recalibrating my life as a single mom. Surrender in this case meant letting go of my own deep rooted beliefs about single motherhood. This exercise also challenged me to rethink my womanhood and what it meant to be a woman. It helped me think beyond what I was conditioned to think about motherhood, womanhood and marriage - and I had to surrender all those thoughts given my new information and it has been liberating. Surrendering those thoughts and actions based on those thoughts made way for the second way I've come to face my new normal - a posture of gratitude.
Now, I've always been a somewhat positive and thankful person. You could always count on me to send you written thank you notes and that's a trait I passed to my children. I started an Awesome Jar a few years back to literally track all the good things that happen to me each year so I can take time on New Year's Eve to be grateful for them. Being grateful has always been in my DNA but I see now how it's even further and deeper ingrained in my daily life.
Because of the sheer amount and length of painful experiences we've had in the last few years, little things I took for granted before are sources of joy for me.
A phone call from a long lost friend.
Cocktails with a new friend.
A text from a virtual friend.
A hug from a growing boy.
Snuggle time in the bean bag chair with young lady.
Over 200 birthday wishes on Facebook.
A full day without tears over anything lost.
A compliment from client.
An incremental project.
An idea for my blog.
This list could go on and on and on. I actively seek things to be grateful for these days. I can be grateful for the big things like an amazing birthday month that included a 5 day vacation in Jamaica with my kids and equally thankful for a 2 hour conversation with a new friend. My heart has grown bigger and my woes smaller.
Next time you find yourself struggling in a tough season or resisting your new normal - take time to surrender and be grateful. Rinse and repeat.