Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Reflections ...

"Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts."
~Arnold Bennett~

**Note - this photo has nothing to do with the post, I just liked it and blogs should have photos.**

I think most people *know* that life can change in a moment.  Most humans have at least a basic grasp on temporary vs. eternal.  The only constant is change, right?

But how many of us truly acknowledge that in our daily lives? That is, until we are forced to.

Three years ago, I questioned by qualifications, my very identify as a mother, challenged as never before.

Two and a half years ago, I was forced to come to terms with the fact that I won't always be surrounded by those close to me.  It wouldn't always be illness and age that steals them away.

Two years ago, a carefully crafted career crashed down around me.  Suddenly, ever-present financial security vanished.  A new fear swept in, followed quickly by a humility I never anticipated I would need.

A year ago I received a chance that a year before I would have sworn I never wanted!  The chance to homeschool and be at home more.

And now, things are changing again.  Although my work schedule is going to return to its "traditional nature" I have this gut feeling there is more change coming.  I'm doing my best to think positively about it, to be open to the possibilities - whatever they may be.

The changes mentioned above were hard.  Some tragic, even.  And yet, all have impacted me strongly.

Obviously, I never wanted to lose my father.  I am a different person because of it, stronger in some ways. I (of course) would give it all back to have him, but I know that's not an option.  So I do the best to look at the positive outcomes - the benefits I got from him during his life and the way that I grew after his death.  To appreciate the memories my kids have of him, the stories - even though they were so little when we lost him.  I love that they still talk about Papa Joe.  His presence is still with us.  Some things survive change, stay with us and make us stronger.

When I lost my job, I lost my identify for awhile. I was scared.  And yet... I wouldn't trade that experience.  Our entire family dynamic shifted. Things we thought we were never capable of were suddenly necessary.  And we not only survived, we thrived!  It led to a new job, one that I would have considered myself "above" ... a job that has been fun and fulfilling and taught me so much!

Our homeschool journey, it seems, was brief.  And yet... my entire way of thinking about our family and about education has changed. I no longer will accept things "because that is the way it is."  I have already noticed that my advocacy skills have changed for the better.  I truly understand that learning happens all the time.  My kids may return to a classroom and be exposed to all kinds of wonderful (and some not-so-wonderful) things there, but the bulk of their learning will occur outside school walls, much in our own home.  That thought is so freeing.  

My journey as a mother is a continuing one, constantly morphing, changing.  I have never questioned myself so much as I have in these years since adding children who have suffered trauma.  Never have I felt so inadequate.  Yet, I look at the person I was before and can now see this huge hole - this whole part of me that was missing.  I can't imagine life without them.

These were not doors slammed in my face - simply directives onto a new page.

Feeling hopeful at the possibilities... 

"Flowers never emit so sweet and strong a fragrance as before a storm. When a storm approaches thee, be as fragrant as a sweet smelling flower."
-Jean Paul Richter

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful post, Cat. Your attitude towards even the hardest of situations is encouraging!