Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Ten Lessons of 2008

This year has probably been the hardest year of my life. I have had more transitions IN my life and in myself. I have discovered many things about myself - some encouraging, many disappointing.

1. You are the biggest influencer in your kids' lives.
After the move to my new house in my new city in the new state in the new time zone, I soon realized my attitude was contagious. My outlook on our move and our life was directly mirrored in my children. If I was excited about opportunity, they were too. If I was depressed about another day alone, they soon chimed in. I could lead them down the path to success or rejection based on my attitude.

2. You set the tone for the day.
I realized my morning attitude became my kids' attitude. I truly had to take the attitude that my footsteps were not by chance or by accident. But that I would be at the right place doing the right things at the right time. I would be purposeful in my actions. Of course, you could not tell me this when I pulled the sheets over my face some summer mornings and refused to get out of bed. Or when I drowned my sorrows at the lake where no one could see my tears and thought my red face was a sun burn. But however regardless of my avoidance, I set the tone for the entire day - not only for myself, but for three others.

3. Sometimes when you get what you want, you realize you never wanted it.
I wanted to be a stay at home mom, homeschool, make my own bread, and bake cookies from scratch. When we moved to Georgia I settled in to my new home and began my excel sheets of lesson plans and started my recipe folder of homemade meals. And then, slowly but surely, I realized this was not workin for me. And the harder I tried, the more I struggled. Which leads me to #4.

4. You should not feel guilty for wanting to be you.
In my mind a "good" mom is one that stays home and packs lunches and bakes cupcakes for school parties and heads up fundraisers and keeps the house clean. I am not this woman. And I morned the fact that I could not be her. It took me almost 6 months to realize that NOT being her was okay. Being me was better. And what was good for others might not always be good for me. It took me a long time to not judge myself through someone else's eyes.

5. A good cry can make you feel better.
I feel every emotion 100%. I was the kid who used all my 48 count crayons equally as to not hurt any color's feelings. I cried at all AT&T commercials and chose white milk at lunch instead of chocolate like everyone else. I didn't want the white milk to not feel accepted. I cry at sad movies. I cry at happy movies. I cry at disappointments. I cry at successes. I feel others' pain and cry. I feel others' joy and cry. I cry at funerals for people I never met. I cry at births for babies I will never hold. I CRY. And I use to be very embarrassed over wearing my heart of my sleeve. But now, I let it go. Cause sometimes, as good cry is all you can do.

6. Someone believing in you is worth more than your weight in gold.
There is no better feeling in the world. Cherish it if you have it. Pass it on regardless. Because the more you believe in others, the more they will prove you right.

7. Your best days are ahead of you.
Hope. There is always hope.

8. When you don't know what to do, GIVE.
Life is full of uncertainties. Full of changes. Full of randomness. But when everything is chaotic, when nothing seems to be certain, when I have no clue what to do. There is one thing that will never be wrong. One thing that will never be ineffective. And that is to GIVE. Because you know what I know? No one has ever become poor from giving. I do not think of giving as a duty, but as a privilege. And I am honored.

9. At the end of the day life is only about one thing: OTHERS.
Henry Ford once said, "To do more for the world than it does for you - that is success."
Oh how I hope I taste success. How I hope that I can enable someone to have better days.

10. You can find the sweetest, most accepting people in the most unexpected places. Serendipity. And you, my friends, inspire me - challenge me - love me - and grow me daily. And I am blessed to have you.

Thanks for making me better.

Big pink fuzzy heart with glitter,
Country Girl


Treasia said...

What a beautiful post CG. So very true in so many different ways.

feather k said...

I know this year has been trying for you...I am so proud of what you have learned (relearned) about you...being you is best :)...and I totally agree with you...especially about our best days are ahead of us!!

love ya! xoxo

Anonymous said...

Oh I love this post!

You are the most caring, non-judgemental person ever and I love reading your blog!

Happy New Year!

Lo said...

What a treasure of a post.

Anonymous said...

very true, and thank you. I needed to be reminded. :-)

Chris said...

Lessons of 2008? Those are more like what I like to call 'life lessons'. I'm going to print them out and put them on my desk so I can see them every day. Thanks for the reminder.

edie said...

I love your list and it rings true for me too. I spent many years learning a skill....and tried my best to forge my life around it. But at my very core, I'm really not a career woman. And even if noone understands why I would 'give up' on that much training and that much investment, I've come to terms with it. And if I ever 'need' to use those skills again, I can. But finding that peace and acceptance for yourself is golden. And I know that you bring light and life to everyone in your life.

I pray that this year will be a wonderful year for your family...full of hope and joy and meaning!

And a lot of Starbucks, and some cute clothes, and lip gloss too.

LYLAS, Edie (I think the last time I wrote LYLAS, I had a mullet)

Molly said...

Can I just say I love you!!! I read your blog everyday and you MAKE me Laugh, Cry and want to give more than anyone I have NEVER MET!!!! I hope this year brings great joy, faith and blessings for you and your family.
~ Molly P

Jubilee on Earth said...

These were beautiful and touching. As you said to me once, "You will reap what you sow."

God bless, and happy 2009!

Just The Girl said...

What a great post. I love reading your blog and this by far was the best post ever!

Happy New Year,


Dana and Daisy said...

I bet you cried while writing that because I cried while reading it. The sunburned face thingy is a good trick!

I'm a cryer too!

Yvette said...

Very tough but true lessons.

Every single move we made as a military family was so difficult for our daughter (Lo). Since she was so sensitive at such an early age, I learned early on to keep my game face. If I was positive and made the move an adventure, she would do the same.

This holds true in life...keep your game face and make it into an adventure.

Happy New Year and HUG the twerps.

Love Yvette (aka Lo's Mom)

Jenn said...

What a touching and inspiring post - I love your lessons and took many to heart. I hope 2009 is an amazing year for you, IJ, and the three twerps!

Debilou said...

Hi,, I just recently found your blog through another blog that I love to read (lifeingrace - Edie).. Your number one rang so true with me today.. We are having to switch my son to another school and I am/was having a hard time with it,, but I have noticed that If i keep my negativity hid from him he seems to be okay with it and is dealing with it better than me. We as moms truly do have play an important role to set the tone in our household and our kids lives.. Thanks for sharing. I love reading your blog.

Jemm said...

Very nice post. I'm a cryer too!

Linda said...

Wow! You are an amazing woman. I can't imagine not meeting you when we are only 2 hours away. We WILL meet in 2009!

Anonymous said...

I love this post....I still say you're my long lost daughter. I even cry at parades, especially if there are fire trucks!! How stupid is that?? lol


kels said...

Hi, I just came across your blog... oh my goodnes #5 is ME TOO!! I had to use all my crayons so none would feel left out! I also had to hug each stuffed animal at the store, since my mom would never let me get all of them... I felt bad.

Marchelle said...

I drank the white milk too.

I cry at EV.ERY.THING.

And I would wipe snot on your peacoat if you needed me too.


OH! AND, I got some matching nail polish and lipstick today.

That's all.

ptamom3 said...

Great Post! #9- enabling- you enable me to have a good day on many days. Thanks!

Wild Mexican Rose said...

CG: You Inspire me!! You make my day much more brighter. You make me laugh and cry (in a good way). I know that I am blessed to have come across your blog because you make everyday living fun and adventurous and plain funny. You are absolutely a wonderful mother, friend, and wife. Thank you for being you always!


Lo said...

you are fantabulous with chocolate icing and refried beans and glitter stickers. i know that sounds gross but really? it is SO. SUPER. DUPER. GOOD!

you are good. i am SO FLIPPIN GLAD that i found your blog bc you? make me laugh. you? make me cry. you? are a friend, more true than most of the 'friends' i have in my 'real life.' thank you for being here and doing what you do and writing and letting us peer into your life for a lil bit. i surely do appreciate it, good golly mz. molly.

It took me a long time to not judge myself through someone else's eyes.

that? what you wrote? dang, girl. you hit the nail on the head. i learned this lesson this year too. and ya know what? i don't think i'm half bad. and i'm only gettin' better.

I SUPER DUPER LOVE YOU CG!!!!!!!!! happy happy happy new year and new experiences and LIFE!

The Kelso-Winter Family said...

i love #4 especially. keep going!