Thursday, December 29, 2011

The forest for the trees

Hindsight, they say, is 20/20. Today I ponder foresight. Our family is currently undergoing some pretty massive changes, which though hard on all of us, weigh particularly on the smalls. Boy-o especially.

And tonight, after a particularly challenging evening of parenting, and struggling to maintain an even-keeled-steady-eye-to-a-kinder-gentler-distant-future, I am left wrestling with the course my own life trajectory takes the kidlets on.

Guilt in this particular wrestling match is inevitable. But if I force myself to move beyond getting stuck in that knee-jerk, a too familiar place of ' bad mother,' I'm also left with the question: 'what do my kids stand to gain from this process? And though escaping that stuck in guilt position is tough (and boy, let me tell you, I've had loads if external, um, support for that particular position of late), I do find myself occasionally catching some glimmers of positive long-term teachables too.

I live by my heart. Always have. Always will. (You can love that about me or hate that about me - it just... is). It leads me (oftentimes) places my rational self tells me are too risky. Its 1000 times braver than my brain. And it has yet to fail me. Its not that I don't get hurt - I do, Frequently, even. Embarrased. Downright squished sometimes. But rarely have I really regretted a decision that I've made based on feeling and intuition (my two favourite epistemologies). Even the ones that resulted in painful consequences. Because to me, those leaps of faith, that stubborn belief in taking risks based on heart-knowing, are the really important stuff of being alive. (Yup - I'm one of those leapers ;).

I guess what I hope the most is that maybe some of this will rub off on the kiddos. I hope they will grow up with the faith that their instincts and their hearts will take them where they need to go.

And maybe, just maybe, at some point in the future, this big, uncomfortable, scary, wild mess of life changes will be part of the catalyst for just that very thing.

Maybe. Though no one ever really says foresight is 20/20...

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  1. picking up on what your children stand to someone whose parents didn't divorce when they should have (likely when I was just a tad older than boyo),- but who were entirely civilized to each other through my growing up - I can tell you the lessons I learned from my parents NOT divorcing: that relationships are unemotional, that visible affection is wierd and uncomfortable, that married people don't really talk to each other about intimate things- just politics and social issues, I could go on and on. I realize I would have paid a different price if they had divorced, but I certainly paid a price for them staying together. The challenge with not divorcing is that there isn't anything to deal with - it all happens under the radar - so I didn't even realize that my view of the world of relationships was skewed until I was almost 35.

    As hard as it can be for families, my philosophy is that the best I can give to my children is my love, and an example of how to live a life that is true to myself (my heart?) and true to those that are closest to me - even if that truth is hurtful.

    with love and kindness to your whole family.

  2. "But rarely have I really regretted a decision that I've made based on feeling and intuition (my two favourite epistemologies)" I love this sentence. Thank you for calling feeling and intuition epistemologies. I could just eat that sentence with a spoon.

  3. :) Thanks Next. And thanks Kate. xoxoxo