I think Mothers Day went well for me this year because I let go of any expectations. We’ve been struggling money wise since I haven’t been working full time so I knew there would be no big surprises or special treats. It turns out that most of the treats were things that cost no money at all. I started preparing for Mother’s Day early in a sense because being a Year 1 parent I had the opportunity to help on the school Mothers Day stall. So for the past few months, in between other projects, I’ve knitted a series of cotton face washers in moss stitch. I managed to complete 8 and they were sold very quickly so perhaps I should aim for a few more next year.
The celebrations started on Friday with a Mass for mothers which has now become an annual event at the boys’ school. I went along even though I knew it would feel a bit strange sitting up the back on my own instead of being with a class. During his homily, Fr Peter told the children to go and put their hands on their Mums if they were present. I could just imagine the teachers cringing at the chaos which ensued however my two boys found me and laid their hands on me, repeating a blessing by Father Peter so it was very special. After Mass I spent several hours working on the Mothers Day stall mainly taking the money. I was careful to “avert the eyes” when my boys were shopping for their presents and I really enjoyed watching the very careful shoppers making their selections. I gave Eric money for presents and raffle tickets and he was clever enough to win me one of the raffle prizes – a large white platter decorated with raised olives. I can see myself putting it to good use at the next Book Club gathering at my place and at the big celebration we will be having for Eric’s Confirmation and First Eucharist in a few weeks.
On Saturday night I was asked to specify the time until which I would sleep in and at the appointed hour on Sunday morning the boys came in bearing gifts and then served breakfast in bed. Coffee and croissants – what a great start to the day! Eric then surprised me by standing at the foot of the bed and reading out a POEM he had written in my honour. Wow! I will publish it here but at present it is back at school for possible publication in the school newsletter. I am very impressed! In amongst the gifts bought by the boys there was also a voucher for a pedicure and manicure purchased by dh. I spent a quiet Sunday pottering around and on Monday night we went out for dinner. A pretty good celebration all round with just the right amounts of everything.
They are fairly simple but involve a lot of work and the common thread running through them all is “getting back on track”. I’ve had my time out from the workplace and from just about everything else so this is the year to step up and take action in the following areas:
- Weight Loss – I won’t divulge how many kgs there are to lose but there are several. This is the year to get serious about diet and exercise.
- Family – This family needs to work together, play together and pray together.
- Home – I have the necessary skills and this is the year to put them into action.
- Career – Teaching is in my blood and I need to get back to it!
New Year’s Day has been a slow one for us. I’m taking the boys to see Fantastic Mr Fox this afternoon.
All of us have someone in our lives that is less than positive and quite often it is someone we have to live with and deal with on a day to day basis. I’ve been thinking about how I deal with people who are negative recently and I’ve worked on this series of posts to outline my ways of managing life with a negative person. I’m certainly no expert on relationships or personal development of anything else but in this series I’m just going to share what has worked for me and if it helps someone else that’s an added bonus.
The negative person might be the last person you want to pray for but I find that if there is absolutely nothing I can do to change the person’s attitude in the short term then it is of some small comfort to me to pray for them. At least then I am doing something positive and I can meditate on the ways of improving the situations. The negative people in my life are the first ones in my prayers each night because they are my biggest challenges. It really does give me peace when perhaps it hasn’t been a good day or any other strategies I have employed haven’t worked. It can always be placed before God.
Those words resonated for me from a post I read at the In-Courage website earlier this week. Today I’ve had to face a very great disappointment. I’m still reeling from it. That’s all I can say about it except that it is going to change the course of my life for the next year or more. But the woman discussed in the post above had a far greater disappointment (she lost the use of her legs) and she really did use it to make herself better rather than bitter. I’m not kidding myself. I’m going to have some bitter moments but I have to see this as part of God’s plan for me and try to use it to change my life for the better. I’ve still got my husband and family and reasonably good health. We still have our house. In a week’s time we’re going on a two week holiday to the beach that was already paid for thank goodness.
To make myself better I’m going to:
- really work hard on improving my health and fitness
- get a real handle on the housework so everything runs really smoothly
- make a better contribution to the life of my family
- cast my net wider for different opportunities in life.
But for right now the tears will flow for a little while. I’ve got some time to feel sorry for myself because the boys have gone to a friend’s house before Little Athletics. But I’m not going to wallow – because I’m going to be better than that.
I was asked today about where I was on my faith journey. I’ll confess that I didn’t answer the question very well at the time and as a result have had it ticking away at the back of my mind ever since. When I was a youngster I believed what I was told to believe and prayed or tried to pray in the way that I was told. Somehow or other I was always too busy and active to linger in bed and say a morning offering. As a young adult I questioned a lot of things about my faith but I continued to practice as a catholic. My faith was one thing in my life I could depend upon. It was around this time that I started to pray for things to happen. I wanted a job. I wanted a job in another place. I wanted a husband. And oh how I wanted babies! The whole Conception/Pregnancy saga was the greatest test of my faith so far and I daresay it was the same for my husband although he doesn’t talk about it. Once Eric, then Daniel were here I would pray for God to make me a good mother and a good teacher, to help me do the best I could in all my jobs.
However life doesn’t go to plan and really the events surrounding the birth of Eric and then Daniel were just the start of life not going to plan. I didn’t plan on having a premie baby, not being able to breastfeed, having post natal depression or returning to work in term 4 to teach Year 7! I didn’t plan on a baby with severe reflux and even more post natal depression. I wasn’t intending on continuing to suffer from anxiety and depression in varying degrees until the present day. I certainly wasn’t going to have burnout in 2007 or decide to give up my job in 2009.
But all of those things were in God’s plan for me. They have made me the person I am today and I wouldn’t change any of them. What I would change and have changed to a certain extent is my acceptance of these things. I start to pray and start asking God for things and then I stop and wonder what God’s plan for me is in all of this. Then I start to pray again and this time it is simply for the strength to handle whatever life will throw at me. I trust that God will only send me things that I can handle or learn to handle and this trust has given me great peace. The phrase “Your will be done” as spoken by Jesus in the garden at Gethsemane constantly springs to mind. God is going to continue to challenge me with events in my life but I can handle anything because if my faith in Him. I don’t need to endlessly petition him for what I want. He will give me what I need.