It All Starts With Me

Confession: I still don’t know what I am going to be when I grow up; I am not even sure that I will grow up; or that I even want to; especially if it means giving up my dreams and settling for the status quo.

I suppose in some ways I have always gone against the grain. Not because I want to be difficult, but more because I pondered the various possibilites, not readily accepting all of the conventions set before me. Why must I have a successful job or career in a field I dislike while I struggle to juggle my responsibilities at home, and try to make time to raise my children? I have several Supermom and Dad friends who do just that – and well too. I think of them with admiration; which turns into guilt that I too don’t do it all; which promptly turns into relief that I do not have to; and gratitude that I may choose not to. I digress…

What I want is to be happy, and to raise happy children, who will grow into happy adults. I don’t believe there is a prescribed method to achieve this dream. The path to such bliss is different for each of us. One thing is for certain though – it all starts with me. Each day, we are given another opportunity to improve ourselves, to make necessary changes and adjustments, to strive for goodness – greatness even.

Two of the most important lessons I have learned (mostly the hard way) to be true are: The more I express gratitude for each of my blessings, the larger the list of things to be grateful for becomes. And, whatever I devote my time and attention to will expand, whether positive or negative in nature makes no difference, it will grow in any case.

It has taken me a while to understand that where I am and where I am going is a direct reflection of the choices I have made and will continue to make. And I choose to follow my own heart’s bliss, regardless of the accepted cultural standards that whisper to me, “The Jones’ do it best! Why aren’t you keeping up with them?”

I always found the Jones’ to be a bit of a bore anyway.

photo credit: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-TeMrI-sBUqM/VCArKAQ-eJI/AAAAAAAABCg/Qx8ER2c2DoY/s1600/happiness-is-an-inside-job-90.jpg

On FEX Living In The Basement – A Note To Maya Angelou’s Voice In-My-Head

People are asking. They are scratching their heads and wondering. There are those who come right out and ask me; others who remain perplexed, or make various assumptions. My personal favorites are the ones who have a firm opinion on the matter, one way or the other, of which they adamantly try to convince me. Most just want to know WHY on earth I have allowed FEX (future ex-husband) to move back into the house and take up residence in the basement?

As they say, “It’s complicated.” FEX moved out 3 years ago. Since then, we have put forth our best efforts towards effectively and cooperatively (mostly) co-parenting our son, 8 (the lawyer) and our daughter, 6 (the performer). After more than a year of discussing the possibility of trying to live in the same house again, as friends and mutual adorers of our wee-ones, we decided to make a go of this unconventional arrangement. This past September, to the elation of my children, FEX moved back in. My expectations of him are as follows.

#1. Put the children first.

#2. I need to be able to rely upon your word.

Easy. Right? Well, one out of two isn’t that bad. Is it? The whole keep your word thing has evaded FEX for many years now. I should have known that this would be the case, because Maya Angelou has said so, and she is usually right about these things.

To my defense – FEX and I are able to provide more for our children, when supporting one household, instead of two. Now we work together on the daily challenges, responsibilities and chaos that is attached to raising young children. In my mind, I was thinking, “I didn’t have them alone, so why should I raise them alone?” Most importantly, and the clincher for me was that my children desperately wanted to see both of their parents, each and every day.

Although, in the opposing voice in-my-head, I hear the words of Maya Angelou. I can hear her gently reminding me of one of my favorite quotes.

Get out of my head Maya. I have to try this out. 

Dear Miss Angelou’s voice in-my-head,

I know that you said, “When somebody shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” The Universe has enthusiastically chimed in on this point, on several occasions throughout my life. I surrender. I get it. Believe them the first time.

I am aware that in heeding the wisdom of your advise, allowing FEX back in, was not the best idea. But, I ask you, who else in the world is going to love my children as much as I do, and help me raise them on a daily basis, as well as maintaining a house and yard, etc…? Who, Maya? Who?

I mean no disrespect, as you are a most-admired role model to me. But Maya, I wanted to teach my children that we love them so much that we willingly put our differences aside to do our best in raising them together, even though our marriage was over. Is this wrong? I suppose only time will tell.

Families look all different ways these days, as I am sure you are aware. I know that our living arrangement is unusual, and though it has not been the ideal situation for me personally, having another parent in the house, and seeing the way my children light up when their father comes home, is reason enough for me to be proud of myself for trying. Wish me luck. xo

Also Maya, any dating advice would be most welcomed. 😉

With Fondest Admiration,

Victoria

photo credit: aware.org.sg