Monday, February 24, 2014

Thankful for Thorns

"Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns;
I am thankfulthat thorns have roses."

-Alphonse Karr

This morning while puttering in the kitchen, getting the day started, I decided to write a blog post about things I'm thankful for. Usually when I get a writing idea when I'm busy parenting, I grab the nearest post-it and jot my thoughts down so I can revisit them after bedtime to try and reignite the spark. Doing this allows me to go about my day focused on the kids rather than obsessing about not forgetting my idea.

I did exactly that this morning and expected to get a few thoughts down before moving on. The usual suspects made the transition from abstract brain wave to ink on paper right away: kids, Nathan, family, friends, running, Raising Little Heroes...I thought that would do it so put my pen down and went to pick up the living room. As I attempted to move on, I kept running back to the post-it every few seconds, getting down random bursts of gratitude before they dissolved. Within five minutes, the post-it was full. I could fit nothing more and was finally able to move on with my day. That crammed to the edges post-it filled my being with hope, and I'm so glad I allowed it to happen.

Since I would be here all night if I tried to share them all with you, I thought I'd share the ones that came up after the obvious ones did. The ones that surprised me. The ones I wrote down before realizing why I was doing so and therefore had to think on a bit...

I've recently learned that fear shows me where my passions lie. What I'm most afraid of (with a few exceptions) are the things I want most of all. I'm afraid of them because I'm afraid to strive for them. I'm practicing using fear to nurture my passion and build stronger walls of defense so that I can rise and conquer.

Along with this practice of going after what I want, I've had to face what I've done my best to avoid most of my life: failure. There's been a part of my subconscious that has relentlessly told me if I fail, I'm a loser. I suck. I'm worthless. The more failures I collect however, the more evidence I have supporting the fact that no matter what happens, I am most certainly NOT a loser. In fact, trying again after failure gives me more to feel proud of.

The thorn in my side these days. I have so little time to devote to it and as much as I love it, it's not my top priority. Mothering small children leaves room for precious few priorities on any given day and writing is not making the cut as regularly as it does in my dreams. It's important enough that it's taking up space in my head and heart though, so not working on it has made me sad and disappointed. I realized this morning though that despite the thorns, discovering my desire to write has allowed me to enjoy the roses. For now, I get one or two to brighten up my psyche once in a while but someday, when I have a bit more time, it will be a garden I know it will.

Chocolate, wine and coffee
Three things I constantly berate myself about. I get bogged down by what I "should" be doing and of course, like many people, I'm never doing it well enough. This morning I just admitted that these "vices" bring me comfort and, unlike other times in my life, I don't get out of control with them so who cares.

The source of my little family's current struggle. If only we knew what our future looked like. If only Nathan's relentless hard work could be validated. If only we could start talking to the kids about our new home. If only I could start researching schools, looking for an apartment, a job. If only I could start seriously considering going back to school myself or trying to turn Raising Little Heroes into a nonprofit. If only we had health insurance, a steady income, a secure job. If only we knew the answer our kids will give to people their whole lives when asked the question "Where are you from?" It's rough. The weight of it is making our knees start to buckle. As torturous as it is though, it's solidified my belief that Nathan and I are building an unconventional yet passionate history. One I feel proud to talk about because we believe in each other and our potential. We aren't what you would call "dreamers". We aren't afraid of hard work, of facing reality when necessary. As they grow, engraved in our kids' subconscious will be a strong example of what it means to fight for what you want. To look for treasure amid rubble but have the common sense to turn around and go the other way if the tunnel is collapsing. Through all of that, they will have a sense of humor and feel a strong foundation of love behind them. That's what we do for each other when things are uncertain. We find joy in simplicity and strength in adversity.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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