Saturday, September 26, 2015

Accepting What Is

Those closest to me could tell you that I'm not very good at letting go.

If I ever find myself in a situation where a relationship is dying, I just don't want to let go. I keep trying and trying and trying to make it work -- even when it's obvious to everyone around me that it just isn't going to.  Probably, a lot of that is because I'm so goshdarned stubborn.

I don't want to admit defeat.

I think it's more than just stubbornness, though. I guess I just don't like to give up on someone. I don't want to be the one to walk away...  because it isn't just a relationship I'm walking away from.  It's a person.  And perhaps because I struggle so much myself with feeling like I'm not "enough," I never want to be the cause of someone else feeling like they aren't enough.

Sometimes, though, I hang on long past the point of sanity. It gets to the point where we're more poison to each other as friends than we ever would have been if we had just said, "We're not really that good for each other anymore" and walked peaceably away.

Some people start out the year with picking a WORD for their year. I admire that, but always marvel at it. I can't quite figure out how anyone does it before the year even happens.  For myself, I often find myself looking BACK at a year and seeing a word or a concept come up over and over... and I'll know that was my word.

A couple years ago, it was "CHOICE."  Another year, it was "IDENTITY."

This year, as I look back, I think this year has been "ACCEPTANCE."

The beginning of the year, I walked through accepting people as they are... not expecting them to change for me.

The middle of the year, I walked through accepting my need to people please for what it is... and began to understand and internalize that not everyone was going to like me -- and how that wasn't a statement about who I was or about my self-worth.

Perhaps, now, I'm walking through accepting relationships for what they are. Sometimes that's pure beauty.  Sometimes that's relationships that are simply in need of my attention and my priority. And sometimes... that's relationships that have run their course and perhaps need to be accepted for having played their part.

And that's not defeat. That's just life.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Thursday Tales: The Return Home

Morning was almost here.

The grey of the fog began to lighten just the slightest bit and I quickened my step. Looming in the distance, the manor appeared and I sighed -- both in relief and resignation. It had been a long journey and it would be good to home.

But, it was also hard to be home.

It seemed always odd to me that both were true.

I climbed the steps and reached to push open the doors, but before I could, they swung open.

"You're nearly late, Miss Jane." Reproof and worry creased the man's features for just a moment before he smoothed it away to the aloof expression he usually wore. "My apologies, Miss."

I couldn't help but smile. Even after all these years, Thomas still clung to the old ways.  But, he was from an old family -- and that was saying something. "I'm sorry for worrying you," I consoled gently. "It all just took longer than I had expected. There were... complications." I followed him up the stairs to the upstairs hallway.

At the top, he turned and raised one eyebrow. "Complications, Miss?"

I shrugged. "The old hag agreed. Father won't like her demands. But she agreed. Could you tell him that I'd like to rest a little before reporting? I'm so very tired." The exhaustion had finally caught up with me, it seemed.

Thomas pushed open the heavy door to my bedroom. "Of course, Miss Jane." The ivory glistened in the candlelight. "Your coffin awaits."

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

You Have Permission

When I was a very young mother, I remember visiting the NICU to say Hello to our nurses shortly after taking our last twin home. I was sharing with the two that I had grown closest to how tired I was. I was trying to breastfeed -- which meant feeding one premature twin, feeding the second one. Repeatedly waking her up because she'd fall asleep after sucking twice, and starting again. Supplementing her with bottle feeding because it was important that she have a certain amount per feeding. Pumping breast milk. Changing everyone's diapers. And by the time that was done, it was pretty much time to do it all over again.

One of them touched my hand and said, "They're three months old and you are already a mess. It is okay to formula feed. It doesn't make you a bad mom."

And I cried.  Because I needed the permission. I just needed someone to say "It's okay."

I've grown up a bit since then... and don't need anyone else's permission so much.
But I find that I do need my own.

So, as we head into a new school year, I'm giving myself permission.

Permission to be myself.
Permission to be involved or not involved.
Permission to say yes.
Permission to say no.
Permission to do all the things.
Permission to be busy.
But also permission to do none of the things.
Permission to relax.
Permission to try.
Permission to fail.
Permission to succeed.
Permission to grow.
Permission to fly.

You, Jo, have free rein this year. Live without apology.
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