Monday, August 29, 2011


1.  To 10 year old Me: "You're wrong.  I know it doesn't seem like it today, but things will be okay again.  And you will be happy again. And you will one day look back at today, and see how it shaped you into who will be... and in good ways."

2.  To 24 year old Me: "Don't sell it.  You're a busy mom to three very small children.  You don't have time to practice, and it costs money you don't currently possess to fix it.  But someday, you will look back and kinda wish you still had your flute."

3.  To 8 year old Me: "Tell Mom it was your fault.  Do it now, get it over with.  Save yourself 8 years of guilt. She knows, anyway."

4.  To 22 year old Me: "Don't be in such a hurry to get to the next phase. Enjoy what you have while you have it.  It flees so quickly."

5.  To 18 year old Me: "Just go home. You don't belong here and you are lost.  Wait and start over next year.  But wait at home where you aren't alone."

6. To 14 year old Me (and 15 year old Me, and 16 year old Me, and 17 year old Me): "Be nicer to your dad.  He's not really trying to ruin your life."

7.  To 33 year old Me: "Pay attention to manipulation. It comes in many forms and you are blind to most of them."

8. To Me at just about every age: "Enjoy where you are. Dream, hope, plan for the future, yes.  But enjoy where you are right now."

9. To 15 year old Me: "Umm, you know that Mom doesn't really buy that it's cooler a block away, right?"

10. To Yesterday Me: "Don't let who you think you are expected to be become who you think you must be.  Be who you are.  Nothing more, nothing less."

Saturday, August 20, 2011


"Change isn't one simple choice. It's a process of a series of steps."

My daughter came home from camp a couple weeks ago with this little tidbit in her notes. I think that, more than anything, it gives me hope.

Sometimes I wish I was a different sort of person... the kind of person who could quit habits without struggling every moment.  The kind of person who could decide to make a change, and then have that change be easy to carry out.  The kind of person who doesn't backslide quite so much.

But, the truth is I'm not that kind of person.  I'm the kind of person that fights tooth and nail to stop doing what I don't want to do, but can't seem to help.  I'm the kind of person who can't quite master "I'm never going to do this again" but instead sets a somewhat less lofty goal of "I'm not going to do this... today," and sometimes finds even that a hard thing to accomplish.  I'm the kind of person who seems to celebrate every step of success with half a step of backsliding.  Sure, it's still overall progress, but my gosh, it's slow going.

So, yes, sometimes I wish I could be that person who decides to make a change, and makes it *snap* like that. If that is you, I look at you with envy, yes I do. I envy your commitment, your resolve, your determination, your ability to simply do what must be done.

But, I think I recognize that there is something to be gained in being the person who fights desperately for every win, too... and even for every loss. There is something to be learned in taking small steps, learning to accept small victories.  Even in learning to accept the mini-defeats, but also in learning not to let the mini-defeats beat YOU.

Maybe I'll never be the person who can change easily.  But I can be the person that grows in wisdom and character with every mini-change along the journey.