The twins have been gone for nearly a complete week and I am feeling much better. What is the saying about a mother being only as happy as her saddest child? Well, with that in mind, I am feeling happy. I am happy for all the obvious reasons – safe arrival, good apartment, everyone is nice, great school, but, more importantly, I am at peace over the “other” things – the pursuit (and hopefully acquisition) of independence, the display of creativity, resourcefulness, growth, experience, and the satisfaction of “getting through” – all of the things we , as parents, want for our children .These are the tools we hope to give them, for we cannot give them their “success”, they have to earn that on their own or it is never theirs, we can only give them a few useful tools and endless support.
I, like a certain football player in the news, thank God for this little spot in my life – this little place of peace, a place that is difficult to locate, illusive and I know, fleeting. I will rest here for a moment, however brief, and be grateful for my time here. I know there will be “rain” again and I know I have little control over how this all turns out but I also know we have to try in life, that’s the easy part, to keep trying is what separates winning from losing.
I am not referring to my twins at this point, I am just babbling in general rhetoric that their situation reminds me of – I just have noticed that most all of us “will try something once” but few of us will stick to something that doesn’t give instant gratification – the ones that do, however, I think, achieve success. I have lived long enough to see this happen. People that begin on modest little footpaths of life, nothing special, no obvious road to “prosperity”, find success and satisfaction when others, seemingly more prepared, do not. What you don’t see is that determination to stick to “it” and after time, they have arrived at a place that is far ahead of those who have bigger promise and potential but lack the discipline and commitment to “stick to it”. I see that often in the school setting. Disadvantaged kids – disadvantaged on all levels, socioeconomic, family situations, and health – achieve far beyond those kids that were born into privilege. I think of that nearly every day that I walk the halls of the high schools – opportunities and success are not promised to a select group of people, it is something only a certain kind of person can achieve, a person with discipline.
Something else that is giving me continued contentedness is my nearly zero spending exercise. I, of course, buy groceries – but not a lot, mostly fresh produce – and petro and materials and services for repairs around the house but nothing superficial. It is so freeing to just say no to all that I am bombarded and threatened with, it’s not my concern. Keeping more of my money is great but it is really way beyond that for me – it is a lifestyle choice. I have, in the past, consumed more than my share, and I regret that about myself, but, henceforth, I hope to continue to be mindful about my purchases. I draw from the examples of my mother, my grandmothers, and a wonderful friend and mentor, Miss Sue – they all, for whatever the reason, practiced conservative spending – frugality – and I believe, it is a trait to be revered. It’s very easy to spend; it takes discipline and real character to “make do”, however. Anyway, I am slowly withdrawing from the addiction of consumerism that is gripping our society and overriding our purpose. It is freeing.
So, there, two goals, both requiring very much discipline but, I believe, offering much reward in the long run – sticking to something you believe in and turning away from the propaganda that is trying to define you (and rob you). I suppose I have just “verbalized” my resolutions without really meaning to!