Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Balancing Strengths and Weaknesses

I was watching a single mom freak out at a "surprise" twist on a cooking reality show. She said she had everything timed perfectly in her head, and the twist threw her for a loop. Cut to after commercial break and she had it all figured it out again. Such is the life of a single mom.

The girls would completely agree with me that in the moment where my perfect plan falls apart, I too freak out. Yes, I am calling that a weakness, but of course, I have to defend myself!

There's a lot to think about every day. There's a lot that has to get done. There have been mornings when I get to work, I'm completely exhausted before I walk in the building; after getting up and getting the girls up and getting ready and telling the girls to get ready and finding another pair of pants for Riley because she's outgrown them overnight and getting dinner in the slow cooker and just getting in the car feels like a major accomplishment, and making my way through the hour and a half commute without an accident feels like a complete miracle.

Then there are the fire drills at work and the doctors' appointments to make, and the thing I forgot to tell Sylvia and trying to figure out how I'm going to remember to tell her, and the paying of the bills and the worry over that unexpected car repair bill, and wanting to talk to my sister and hoping to just be for a few minutes at the end of a day. So you get through it by making plans, by making a priority list and trying to knock things out only to get a phone call from the school that your kid is sick or discover that your recycling bin wasn't emptied. And it just keeps happening over and over.

Yeah, sometimes it gets to me.

The girls are kind of used to it by now. They know to just give me a minute to clear my head and revise my plan and then we'll keep going. And most of the time, what gets me through is one of my greatest strengths.

I was hoping to take the first crack at something at work, but didn't have the time, and the lawyer I was working with pointed out that it was something I had never done before. My response: "that's never stopped me before!"

While I have been lucky in many instances to have great opportunities, I do give myself credit for taking advantage of them. I plunge myself into things, and even more so when it's something new to me. Come to think of it, that must be where Riley gets her fearlessness.

It also started for me in childhood, where everything is new and the lack of expectations is part of what makes it so exciting. By now, I have a plethora of memories that I know I wouldn't have had I not tried, and that keeps me motivated to keep going for it.

Call it stubbornness or optimistic or just plain stupid, but the failures don't stop me from trying again. Because I know looking back, I will still be proud of myself for trying.

As I told Riley, I put safety & security first, but everything else is fair game. I know I'm a better parent for it, and it makes the most interesting highlights of my journey on this earth.

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