My daughter’s bicycle was stolen from the front lawn yesterday….and it may be the best thing to ever happen to her.
Madison greets me at the door, huge tears streaming down her face, barely able to tell me what’s wrong. In that moment, the Mommy/Protector in me almost took over. I didn’t want her to feel the hurt or the loss. I didn’t want her to feel regret that she didn’t put her bike up, despite her Stepdad’s constant reminders to do just that. I didn’t even want her to have to say the words- “Mom, my bike was stolen” -out loud…Then something within me pressed pause…and I realized that in protecting her, I’d also be stealing from her a very important opportunity.
All of us have had those moments in life that we’d love to forget- a bad day in court, a breakup, a terrible presentation at work, a failed project, a car accident. When these things happen- and we are at fault- it’s even worse… But I’ve learned that the lesson is usually hidden somewhere in the pain. That’s why when we mess up- we need to let it burn. We need to sit for a while with our feelings.
I don’t think Maddie will never again want to feel like she felt yesterday . She will never want to lose anything precious to her because she didn’t take care of it. And because I spend time with my hurt, disappointment, and loss- I’ll never want to walk into a courtroom underprepared…or hurt someone I care about…or overspend…or overeat…or skip my workout…or drive while distracted… ever again…
Winners FINISH strong…period. It really doesn’t even matter how they begin. The important thing is they make a move towards reaching a goal, and they make that move with the END in mind.
SIDEBAR CONFESSION: I’m a giver. I tend to pour all I have into the people and projects in my life…and because of that, I’m probably losing. Why??? Well, If I think of my journey towards each goal as a 800 meter race (two laps around an Olympic track)-I’m losing because I rarely conserve anything for my final lap.
We are conditioned to give our all to everything. We think that makes us the best. However, I’ve observed a common thread among those who are at the top of their game. While winners pursue those things that feed their end goal with reckless abandon- they simply don’t give as much to those things that don’t. As a matter of fact, they may neglect some things altogether (i.e. sleep, long showers, their day job). The next Whitney Houston may wait tables for money today, but what would be the point in giving so much to that job that she has nothing left over to give on stage or in the studio?
The key, I believe, is understanding where you are in life. Are you working a “first lap” job, are you in a “first lap” relationship? If you aren’t fulfilled, if you find yourself longing for more..you probably are. And if you are, then why would you want to give everything you’ll ever have to give before you can get where you need to be??? I know I don’t. I have a finish line to get to….
I talk…a lot…. I’m paid to articulate facts, opinions, and points of view. I’m paid to be able to articulate these things under the gun- shoot, sometimes, at the speed of light. At other times, I’m paid to think about an issue ad nauseam before I utter a single word.
I’ve found myself practicing the latter more these days in roles that I’m not paid for (friend, co-worker, daughter, mother, wife). These are all very complex relationships, and they don’t exist without conflict. Now, instead of jumping straight to oral arguments when conflicts occur, I tend to approach issues in three steps:
1) BREATHE- A nice cleansing breath has been known to save me from myself , particularly my sadistically sarcastic ways. Hey, I’m working on this and acknowledgment is the first step to recovery, right???
2) SHUT UP- No matter how much I’m tempted to brilliantly and eloquently state my case- I zip it….Surprisingly, I have yet to require a needle, thread, or super glue to keep these little busy lips of mine closed.
3) TALK ABOUT IT- Not to them…but to me. I talk to myself about how I feel, why I feel how I feel, what I can do unilaterally to stop feeling that way, and how to avoid that feeling in the future. It’s called self-responsibility folks…It’s very empowering to understand that YOU are the master of your emotions.
….THEN and only THEN- after I have put in my work- do I open my mouth.
So I’m leaving Burger King this morning (having a Gotta-Have-A-Cinnabon-PMS-Moment) and a guy walks up to my car. He explains that he and his wife are in town with no money, and he was “led by the Spirit” to ask me for help in getting them a meal. I had no cash, so I asked if he wanted to head back in BK to get a couple of breakfast combos. *Crickets*….He finally recovers from the awkward silence and takes me up on my offer. The entire experience was weird. I realized at that point what he really wanted was money. Now he was frustrated- with me, with himself, and probably even with the little girl behind the counter ringing up those Croissan’wiches that he didn’t really want. At the end of the day, however, he got exactly what he asked for.
Sometimes we as women are afraid to be assertive about what we want. This manifests itself both by silence and by deception. We pretend we’re ok when we aren’t. We ask for a promotion, when what we really want is a raise. We ask for a friend, when what we really want is a husband. We ask for appreciation (“I just want you to recognize all I do around here!”) , when what we really want is assistance. Or we just don’t ask at all.
My experience with that guy today reminded me that sometimes even open mouths don’t get fed. Know what you want, and never be afraid to ask for it.
Just read this article on leadership. It’s about not expecting more from others than you are willing to give. I realize that this speaks to my personal relationships as well- and maybe even more so. Every day, when I leave for work and I take a second and peek into the kids’ rooms to make sure their beds are made.. And every day, my goal is to make my bed before hubby gets home- at 8pm. After reading this article- I can imagine the rolling of all ten of their little eyes as I remind them that the world will end (yes, literally) if their beds aren’t made daily by noon. Welp, enjoy the article….I’ll be making my bed.
Seems time is a hot commodity for everyone these days. Figuring out how to do more with very little time on my hands has never been my greatest challenge when it comes to time management, however- it’s being ok with doing less….
My husband took an unscheduled break yesterday just to call me and say- “You know, we have five wonderful children…and we have a great life. We may not have everything we want, but do you realize some people struggle with one child, or two, and we have a great life with five.” I knew that, but he had done something I often fail to do. He took a break- and noticed it. Really noticed. I need to do that more often- receive more by doing less. Yep.
That said…For those of you who Pin, our blog now has a Pinterest account. I created a board (here: http://www.pinterest.com/shannonweaver92/timesavers/ ) where I’ll be posting some of my favorite timesavers over the weekend. Enjoy and feel free to share some of your favorite time saving tips in the comment section! You can also follow my blog via Pinterest at: http://www.pinterest.com/shannonweaver92/blogs/