It was a tempestuous year that taught me a lot about life, people and karma. It churned me to be a little better and wiser too, or so I would like to believe. It showed me the importance of being present and to appreciate all the good I have in my life - health, environment, wealth, people and animals.
Every day I see my own reflection in my children’s eyes, is a blessing and an opportunity bestowed upon me to try out something new or to repeat something old.
At the stroke of midnight every 31st December, I used to exclaim my resolution. It was a tradition I picked up and many I knew were doing it too. However all that has been forgotten over the last decade. I stopped making resolutions because I got real with myself. My resolutions always got swept under a dusty rug either because I don’t have the sustainability in me to keep them or they were not properly thought through. So when my tween asked what was my resolution for 2015, I fell into the same trap of trying to make one up. I had to because she was just too young for my cynicism in relation to resolutions.
Ha! So here I was, in the middle of February with a new year's resolution. A resolution nevertheless even if it was made to feed her curiosity.
Little did I know, that I had actually made that resolution sometime in December, (which was why I was quick at responding to my tween) looking back at the valuable lessons I learned over the past year during a trying time in our family (my mom-in-law’s battle with cancer). A time which brought many of us together and forced us to set our differences (or indifferences) aside. It had taught me to appreciate everything I had in my life, good or bad. To be thankful and to be present. To be grateful for each day even if I dreaded it and wished it to end soon, because her words have etched themselves forever in my mind. "I am sad that I had to suffer this illness to see my family back together, but I am grateful for it."
I learned to accept people for who they are and accept their way of life, no matter how different or weird it may seem to me. I learned to be comfortable at being just me and not change in another person's company just to fit in.
Seeing the amount people, from near and far, that stepped up to offer support at my mother-in-law's funeral was an eye opener. Flashbacks of another funeral long ago began playing in my mind. I remembered seeing as many people for my dad’s funeral too but I was too young to understand the significance of it, I do today.
Both my dad and mom in law must have been very good community people to receive such an overwhelming send off at their funeral or was it that people in the past were more connected than the generation now? I wondered.
I am no exception. I too had become too preoccupied with my little family that my world shrunk and revolved around only a handful of people. Life in my little world was comfortable and it made me feel like I was the greatest mom ever, by placing all of me - my every waking moment, into looking after their needs and wants.
My family became my top priority and I turned down many requests or invitations for weddings, reunions, dinners, parties or meet-ups because these inconvenienced the setting's of my little world. I always had an excuse up my sleeve whenever any chance to reconnect with others interfered with my children’s nap time, play time, feeding time, school, music lessons and so much more. I had grown accustomed to my new mundane routine life and I liked what I had or was too lazy to change it.
I turned into a desperate housewives who craved for some connection other than my virtual connection and that's when I realised, I had my mothering (not parenting) all wrong. Although the past cannot be erased or rewind, I learned a lot from it and I am grateful that I did sooner, than later.
My realisation came the day I started believing in enough is OK. It was easy for me to believe that because I was never a go-getter, chasing after the best in everything but somehow, without me knowing it, I became exactly that in my mothering journey - always trying to ensure that my children got the best of the best; meals, a spick-and-span home, and safe environment, just to name a few.
All that is history and my kids are still happy and alive! They’re happier now that we are going out more often, meeting more people and learning new stuff. They did not turn into little gremlins like I thought they would if they had missed their nap, food was served late, they had to dig out their clothes from my piled up laundry basket (I am cringing as I confess to this) or had to wear pyjamas, all day long.
Children are amazing! They adapt so much easier compared to adults. They have proven to be survivors and fend for themselves without my meddling.
They occupied themselves while I learned to adapt to connecting, face to face, with other people. Touchy, feely, breathing, smelly with no screen protector people! Feeling people’s emotions, laughter and sorrow in real time, without any delay or buffering. I learned to do it the old-school way, how it was and should be. I slowly, brick by brick, built my own (real) community, the way my dad and mom in law stayed connected with their community. It is a slow progress because without my keyboard to communicate my thoughts, I feel handicapped. Luckily no one has come up with some smart label for this or else there would be one new disorder I would be belting up.
Happy New Year, even if I am late by a couple of months but lets celebrate because every day above the ground, is a good day.
Thank you for stopping by at A cuppa for my thoughts
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