Sunday, January 30, 2011

Staying On Track

Silly me.  As I snuggled myself in the blankets last night, a thought came out of nowhere about the number of roles My Creator has given me in my life.   

When the doctor slapped my butt and I took my first breath, right off the bat I was a daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece, and cousin.  Quite a heavy load for baby shoulders.  But, at that stage of the game, all that was expected of me was to be cute and cuddly.

At age 5, my parents shipped me off to kindergarten, and things started heating up when I became a student, a classmate, and friend.  The shocker came in high school when I realized I was a girlfriend.  Just imagine, somebody, outside my family, actually liked me for who I had grown to be.

My Creator cast me into the roles of sister-in-law and aunt.  I took auntship extremely serious, because this meant it was my turn to bestow love onto new lives and show them what I had learned on the paths of babyhood, childhood, and up to adulthood.  At age 21, I could write Mrs. in front of my name, as I was proudly a wife and daughter-in-law.  The workplace defined me as an employee and co-worker.  I was beginning to feel the demands that were placed on me and the effort it took on my part to keep doing all that I was supposed to be doing.

When we settled into our home, I became a next-door-neighbor, town citizen, church parishioner, and volunteer.  Great-aunt and parental caretaker came later on.

A person doesn't stop to realize how many responsibilities we assume along the way.  I know now that my downfall was giving 100% of myself and loving others too much. When one invests oneself too much in others, only one thing will happen.  One will get hurt. 

We go about living life, devoting our waking moments tending to our respective responsibilities and playing out our assigned relationship roles, and then suddenly we realize that Our Creator is starting to take back His blessings when we least expect it.  The day I was no longer a granddaughter, the heartache about killed me.  Years later, when I found myself no longer a daughter, well, I had lived long enough to know that loss is a constant companion in life.  We experience tiny deaths, not necessarily physical deaths, but loss of life as we knew it.  Change.  Honestly, it took me decades to realize that the only way for me to learn Acceptance and Perspective, was for me to adapt myself to new circumstances, fumble around in darkness for awhile, and quit wasting precious time feeling sorry for myself.

The way I personally stay on track is to remember these things......
  •  No matter what problem I have, there are at least a million other people in the world who are going through the same thing, or something similar.
  • My very best, most trusted, and loyal friend in the world is me.  The second is that high school boyfriend who liked me so much that he wanted to marry me.
  • Money and personal possessions add zero value to my character and integrity.
  • Job titles, degrees, certificates, medals, and trophies add zero value to character and integrity.    
  • One year from today, I will have either taken 365 steps toward my life goals, or 365 steps in another direction, or none at all.  It's all up to me.
  • There is no yesterday or tomorrow.  The only life I have is the present moment.
  • It is possible that my life could end today, tomorrow, next week, or a month from right now.
  • It is possible that the life of someone I love could end today, tomorrow, next week, or a month from right now.
  • No worries about past mistakes. 
  • The overwhelming majority of what I have worried about never happened, except those things that I gave my overwhelming attention to and shouldn't have.
  • What I choose to think about is a choice completely controlled by me.
  • If I choose to think negative thoughts, I will get negative results.
  • If I choose to think positive thoughts, I will get positive results.
  • The only mistake I can ever make is not trying or giving up completely.
  • Failing is a normal part of any process of achievement.  When I screw up, I try again.
  • Strength is developed by staying on course toward what I want, regardless of what obstacles are in my way.
  • The measure of who I am as a person is in my ability to stay on track, regardless of whether I have support and encouragement from other people.
  • With any new undertaking, I have to go through a time of awkwardness before I will become competent.  Then I have to go through a time of being just competent before I become darned good.
  • Courage cannot be gained intellectually.  It can only be gained through action.
  • Courage is not the absence of fear.  Courage is going ahead anyway, even though I'm really scared.
  • The most important key to being me is being grateful every single day for all the good things and the good people in my life. 
Last night's fleeting thought stirred up quite a lot of dust.  Now I know why some days I'm weary and tuckered out.  When we look back on all we've been through, all we've lost, the burdens we carried, well, it's no wonder that as retirees, it feels so good to lay on the couch, cover up with a fleecy blanket and take a nap.  My Creator knows just how hard I've tried to responsibly fulfill the roles he asked me to play, and I guess if He knows......well, that's all that really matters.

Tata for today.