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Saturday, October 3, 2009

Being Content with No Apologies

Nobody likes to hear excuses. I think it's something that once you reach about forty years of age, you realize, nobody really cares about the whys and the wherefores. You realize the fact that if you're secure with whatever it is, then that's all that matters.

Let me backtrack. We have one child. Now in the Mommy world, lots of Mommas weigh each other's rap sheets. Two kids, average. Three kids, admirable. Four, wow. More than that, Lord help you and let us all bow down to your greatness. Have one and there's always this awkward pause of, "One and only, huh?". And then the silence gets filled with what you imagine to be the ramblings of the other person's mind reviewing all the stereotypical only child traits. Brat, spoiled, self-centered, smothered, hovered over, bow-tie wearing geek, nervous parents...

I used to offer all our reasons. Six miscarriages, being turned down by multiple adoption agencies, having the disease I have...

Making excuses, trying to justify to another just why I am the mother that I am.

Reality? No one cares. And in a little blurb of excuses like that, without completely hearing your whole story, they're left with a lot of unknowns. And they judge all those unknowns with what they have--they're own experiences.

I love the honesty of kids. "Why do you only have one boy?" I got this from a little girl just trying to figure out how it all works. She was satisfied with a short simple answer. "Because that's what we got." Her answer? "Cool." If we could all just be satisfied to give and receive such acceptance. From her, I've learned to shorten my answer. "We have one. Stopped at perfection."

Laugh laugh. True human connection. No excuses.

I have one. It's enough. I haven't always been completely happy by this and if another came along, we'd be thrilled. But, I'm content. Content with no apologies. Believe me, it's taken me a long time to get here and I'd love to shout it from the rooftops.

I've found it's easier just to live in contentment than to try to sway someone who carries their own set of experiences and their own set of baggage.

I know this is a sign of getting older. I've heard a lot of people say that when you get closer to forty, you become much happier and secure in yourself. I can feel that coming. And, Lord, please forgive me, but I'm holding on to thirty nine as long as I can.

Living your life with no excuses is close impossible, I know. We somehow feel like we have to fully educate someone, but the problem with that is they don't get all the hidden little details and events that got you to where you are. The audience for such truth telling is left to best friends, husbands, and really close relatives.

What it all boils down to is that we want to be understood. And to do that, we first need to be accepting and understanding of others.

Maybe we all weigh each other. I once read a really great book about power struggles with women. It helped me tremendously in dealing with my 65 all female employees. Personally, I think the book was helpful with dealing with men too, because they do all this weighing stuff too, just in a different way. We all want to feel like our burden is greater and our journey is much longer than anyone elses. If one person appears to have more burden than the other, the second will try to offer up more. And what ends up happening is a neverending saga of trying to one up each other. It ain't pretty. When you figure out how to give some up to equalize things, so much can be accomplished.

What excuses do you make? How are you working towards contentment?

1 comment:

  1. I also HATE excuses, I think they are the works of the devil.

    I also know that the work of a mother of 1 child or many children, is still work. When I had Alex, I worked from sun up till sun down and with each child that followed it stayed the same.

    Some people (I think) don't really know what to say or HOW to express their selves. Instead of inquiring the truth, they make up their own.

    I pray for them....


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