Yeah, I'm Good With That


“Life is a mirror and will reflect back to the thinker what he thinks into it.” ~Ernest Holmes

My presence on the interwebs has been subdued of late. Less blogging. Less
tweeting. Less Facebooking. In general, far less surfing of the world wide web wave. This has been a good thing. In fact, the trend will likely continue in some capacity. This absence has given me far more time to just be me and to think. This used to be scary territory… me alone with my brain… but it’s not so frightening to stare into that reflecting pool anymore.

I turned 36 this week. Not old. Not too young. Maybe it is age or medication or
sleep, but this last month of thirty-five has brought an odd sense of peace acceptance about certain aspects of my life. For a while there I was drowning in the abyss of my personal reflecting pool. Now… well, now I wade through, cool my feet, skip a few rocks and wait for the ripples to do their thing. Some are gentle and many intersect, but ripples are not to be stopped. It’s more exhausting, time consuming and the very definition of futility to try and slow down or stop a ripple. Usually the result is more violent ripples… tidal waves of pain and regret. Trust me. I am exhausted.

Staring into the pool of my life with acceptance… finding the ability to say, “This is the way it is and I am okay with that,” is a relief. Here are a few things from which I have been freed.

I still hate where I live. Honestly people, there is n-o-t-h-i-n-g to do here, but this is now home to my boys. I would prefer a house as opposed to my crummy apartment and, yet, this is where we live and love and laugh. The house may come (Miracles happen, right?) but here we will remain until the youngest graduates from high school. Not too very long ago that realization consumed me from the inside out. Today I am okay with it. Yeah.

There are parts of my past that I will never, ever be able to bury or forget or completely let go. I used to perceive this as a massive weakness and I chastised myself daily; however, the mental flogging has stopped. I like to reminisce. I am not wired to “let go” of some things but I can put them on a metaphorical shelf where they can be seen and remembered with the knowledge that, should I take one down for closer examination from time to time, I’ll have to put it back and continue moving on with my life. Yeah, I’m totally cool with that.

I blog but I’m not “A Blogger”. Meaning? I will never have thousands of site visits a day on this or any future blog endeavor. Nor will I make money blogging. I have been okay with those facts from the beginning. But, I will also never be one of the cool kids. No one ever asks me if I’m going to
BlogHer or any other blogging/social media conference. I don’t get invited to local, semi-local or regional blogger get-togethers. I tried once to gain some sort of popularity… visiting all the “popular” blogs that I also happen to enjoy reading… leaving witty comments… responding to the few comments on my own posts… interacting… networking… before realizing that I would never be a member of any particular national, regional or topic specific blogging inner circle. I didn’t realize I was seeking some sort of acceptance from the blog community at the time, but I was. I now continue to read and comment and (occasionally) write with no agenda. No mass acceptance required and I am more than good with that. Yeah, I’m awesome.

A domestic goddess I am not. I simply cannot do mornings and breakfast in this house is fix-your-own every single day. There are no magazine cover place settings with perfect scrambled eggs, bacon, strawberries, wheat toast and orange juice or milk waiting for my boys when they awaken. It’ll never happen. My kids eat school lunches. I do, for the most part, cook healthy dinners and keep the good kinds of snacks available. My house will always be a bit on the cluttered side. The laundry tends to swallow the hallway as I have to haul it to the laundromat to get it out of the way. Often the dishes stay overnight. I make beds once a week… and only once a week… when clean sheets are required. I kill house plants. I never volunteer at school or chaperone field trips because I’m always at work and, honestly, I have issues dealing with other people’s kids. My bookshelves are dusty and unorganized. Every photograph in this house is in a box. No scrapbooking here. I used to be ashamed that our home didn’t look like the homes my boys visited when they went to see friends and that I simply cannot sit comfortably in a room with a bunch of housewives and swap recipes or cleaning ideas or talk about discipline techniques and decorating. No longer. I am a good mom. My boys love me. We have epic board game marathons while the house is waiting to be cleaned. My opinion matters and they openly and without shame come to me with their problems and struggles. They are fifteen and ten but we still read novels aloud together. They think I am the best mom in the world and that is enough for me. Yeah.

I was supposed to finally go back to college this fall semester. Classes begin in a week and I’m not registered. Why? The economy. For various reasons, mainly that I share physical custody of my boys with the ex, I don’t qualify for any single parent grants. That means I have to rely on school loans when I do return. Right now the schools are tossing around loan money like free candy. Students are graduating and far too many of them cannot find gainful employment. Were I to finish school and find myself in that same position… I would never, ever be able to assume payments of those loans on my current salary. The school loan system is in trouble. This economy will have to take a big ‘ole bounce up before I put myself, and my boys, in that situation. This decision has tortured me for most of the summer. It still hurts, but I know it is the right choice for right now. Accepting this was difficult but my time will come and, yeah, I am cool with it.

With acceptance comes freedom from self torture. The waters recede. I gain footing. And, the capability to stare at the reflection of my life in those waters without hating what I see is one level of the maturing process that I welcome whole-heartedly… even if it comes with a few little wrinkles and knees that can predict the weather.

Yeah… I’m good with that.


Photo credit: Joseph Robertson

5 comments:

  1. Beth, bless you for this wonderful expression, in which you put yourself in a confessional box called Blogspot, trusting the entire world to be your priest. It feels to me as if you have washed yourself clean by this act and as you say reach acceptance. What strikes me about it (I take the priest role very lightly, it's not to give advice but convey a blessing from somewhere else) is that you are so talented, both in self-knowledge and writing. Doubtless in a million other ways that are not visible to the reader. So that the mismatch between your actual and potential horizons is enormous. From this post, more than any other, I feel that it's being sorted out. You are getting to grips with it. Or else you have told your guardian angel so clearly what's what, that life cannot do otherwise than adjust itself in your favour.

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  2. Ah, thank goodness you wrote something again. I was worried.

    I'm really happy to read that you are accepting things a little more.

    I also liked what you said about your approach to blogging - I'm also beginning to learn that blogging isn't about what other 'bloggers' achieve, but a personal space to reflect or do whatever you want.

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  3. Acceptance is so freeing. Things change and if you really want certain things you will get them when the time is right.

    Trust me, your kids will never remember how clean the house is or isn't. What they will remember is the time they spent with you. You are an excellent mother.

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  4. Vincent ~ It is quite the confessional box. Thank you for the talented compliment. That truly means something to me.

    Vernon ~ I'm still here. Sometimes the break is needed... or, like you, the change. =)

    Finn ~ Simply: Thank you!

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  5. You sound like a wonderful mom to me! I know what you mean about the laundry swallowing the hallway before laundromat day. lol Did I already say you're a wonderful mom? Well, you've got 2 kids, why not say it twice? A big hug from another continent.

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"Stranger, if you passing meet me and desire to speak to me, why should you not speak to me? And why should I not speak to you?" ~Walt Whitman

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