Saith Me… One Size Doesn’t Fit All

I think that as adults we try too hard to tame our bodies and our emotions to such an extent that we do ourselves harm. Like trying to wear a shoe that is too small, we try to force ourselves into a mold that works quite well for someone else but does not fit our needs. I think that we do better when we embrace the notion that one size does not fit all.

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Saith Me… Embrace the Hills

Many years ago a friend gave me some advice. He said that rather than dreading the hills I should embrace them. So after lacing on my running shoes, I began a chant. “I love hills, I love hills…”

Learning to love hills, or at least telling myself that I loved hills, greatly benefited me during my years of running. For some odd reason, I always ended up living in an area dominated by undulating terrain.

Hills come in all forms, and life’s undulating terrain challenge even the most fit among us. Sometimes the only thing that stands between success and failure is the mental chant, “I love hills.”

Hills are never fun, no matter what we tell ourselves. They require determination and perseverance. Sometimes they require great sacrifice and can even cause great pain. However, as we scale a hill, we become stronger, and when we stand at the summit, we become sure in the knowledge of our newly gained strength.

 

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One Bite at a Time – Adjusting a Classic Saying

For years I have used the old saying,

“How do you eat and elephant – one bite at a time.”

Recently I realized something was missing. In light of the disposable nature of a commercial world and the addiction of instant gratification, I feel the old saying needs to be adjusted.

So how do you eat and elephant?

One bite at a time, day after day, until the task is complete. 

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Saith Me… Peace

We should seek peace in all things, but sometimes we must speak our minds if we want to be instruments of change.

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FYI: I cannot view, nor do I endorse any of the ads that are shown on my blog.

Pain Sucks, Life Doesn’t

Pain sucks, but life doesn’t. Whether it is physical or emotional, sometimes it is easy to forget that it is pain not life to which we want an end.

Chronic physical pain can lead to emotional pain and can be compounded by the pains of loss and loneliness. A bad day can turn into a bad week, then a bad month becomes a bad year. As with most creatures, the pain causes us to withdraw from those who seem unable to understand or assist. Caring people seem too busy or seem too happy to be bothered with the task of giving us a lift. Unlike the temporary pain most people experience, chronic pain never leaves. Sometimes it can diminish and give us a rare glimpse of relief, but then it can flare back up worse than ever. Some chronic pain sufferers face an ever shifting collection of pain that causes even the closest of loved ones to become frustrated.

Pain can seem all consuming and extremely defeating. Pain sucks, but life, despite the pain, contains joy and beauty. The dark lenses of pain may dim the light, but they do not eradicate it or cease it to exist. Daily life for people in pain requires a constant effort to see past the dark lenses, to see the light. Their efforts are helped when a loved one takes the time to lift the window shades and let in greater light.

As busy as we may be, as frustrated as we might get, we must work to lift the shades and bring in the light. Sometimes it is all that prevents the misery of pain from becoming the misery of life.

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Saith Me… Progress

Progress comes when you focus on your successes while keeping an eye on what still needs to be changed.

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FYI: I cannot view, nor do I endorse any of the ads that are shown on my blog.

Roller Coasters Rather Than Rockets

Well-balanced young people, especially those who are venturing into the world of adulthood away from home, tend to ride roller coasters rather than rockets. While this is extremely stressful, for them and for their families, it is actually a much better mode of transportation than rockets. Sometimes it may feel like the roller coaster simply goes in an unending loop, but unlike the rocket, the roller coaster remains on a sure track. Rockets on the other hand shoot off into space and seldom land gently back to earth. The chance of crashing or burning up on reentry is much greater than the chance of roller coaster derailment.

As a parent who chose to homeschool her children, I have faced more opposition than support in my decision. With the public or private school options there is no guarantee that the children will succeed, but there is a greater notion that utter failure will be less the parents fault than the systems fault. With homeschooling, from day one, there is the fear (more often the public’s not the parent’s) that the children will be socially inept, and the blame will rest solely on the parents. Homeschooling takes years and therefore the parents live with this worry for a long time; a worry that accompanies the worry that all parents share, the worry of a child rocketing wildly through life only to crash and burn on landing.

My kids are now off on roller coasters of their own choosing. Some days are filled with thrill and excitement, other days make them queasy. Failure and success now rest on their shoulders and their choices. They have already recognized that mom taught them well, and they know that they must now build on the foundations learned at home. Their roller coasters of life take them up and down on an undulating path, sometimes fairly extreme in its course. Over time, their course may smooth out and be less extreme, but maybe it won’t. Only time will tell. In either case as long as they do not derail, they will not crash and burn.

As for me, I am finding the job of mom different these days but strangely familiar. While the work is never done, the 24-7 routine is no more. I can’t track their every move, success, or failure. I can’t share every joy or pain. Sometimes this is a blessing and sometimes it doesn’t feel so much so. Yet, early this morning something dawned on me – I succeeded. I ran the race, did the time, and persevered to the end; not to the end of their roller coaster ride, only to the end of my homeschooling ride. The questions, well-meaning concerns, and downright rude comments from friends and strangers about socialization have stopped! Why? Because like any other human, my children must now blend or standout among the human mass of diversity we call society. The skills they learned outside the classroom, as they mingled with people of all ages, are helping them find their way. Amazingly, they are finding that they have less bad habits than their contemporaries, and I am not speaking of the bad habits like drugs, etc. I am speaking of the habits learned in the classroom: regurgitating rather than thinking, seeking the grade rather than the knowledge, and working the system rather than the task. Added to these habits are the learned anxieties that come from a system that puts monetary and popular success above the health of one’s body and mind.

Today as I write, my children are riding their roller coasters, and while I still stress over their journeys, they have shared with me their gratitude for the lessons I taught them. Lessons which have helped them stay in the tracks rather than derail. Certainly, they have long lives to live and there are no guarantees, but it is a comfort to know that my journey as a homeschooling mom, with all its bumps and bends, was a successful roller coaster ride. I did not derail, crash, or burn.

 

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The Sadness of Finding Fault

We all do it at one time or another, finding fault. In the process of evaluation, it is vital that both positive and negative attributes are noted and examined. Yet, even when the evaluation presents a finding of greater negative than positive, it is up to the individual to choose how to process the findings.

When buying an object, say like a car or a sofa, it is clear that the positives must outweigh the negatives. However, since very little in life is perfectly positive, we do well when we focus our thoughts to the positive attributes of the imperfect.

Sadly, it is often the case that when evaluating people, whether it be an individual or a group, we focus on the negative aspects more than the positive, even when the positive attributes outweigh the negative. Worse yet, we seek to blame others for the things that make us sad, angry, or depressed. True, the actions of others can adversely affect our emotional and physical state of being, but in the end we seem to choose to find fault with others more consistently than we try to find happiness in ourselves. When we focus on fault finding and neglect to nurture a spirit of compassion, we become the originator of a greater sadness than that which may have come from the actions of others. For while we can separate ourselves from others, we cannot walk away from our self.

 

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FYI: I cannot view, nor do I endorse any of the ads that are shown on my blog.