Friday, October 24, 2014

This is not the woman who raised me

Bill Cosby does a great bit about his mother being so different as a grandmother than she was as a mother.  I used to laugh at that until I became a grandmother.  Now I smile and knowingly nod my head in agreement.

I am sure my kids will have more observations, but here are some places where I see that I've changed over the years.

I don't have to raise my grandkids so I am able to simply enjoy and love them.  There is a lot of responsibility to raising children.  Everything is a chance to teach them something and mold their character.  Consistency is difficult and can wear you out and wear you down.  I don't have to shoulder that anymore.  Instead, I can simply listen as they talk to me.  I can enjoy them freely.

I have more time.  I'm not trying to juggle work, church, kid activities, church activities, family time, menus, house cleaning, etc, etc, etc....  I look back and don't know how I ever managed to fit it all in.  Did I ever stop?  It's pretty amazing how much time one gains when there are no children at home.  And that's a good thing because I just don't have the energy to keep up with it anymore.

Things are quieter around here.  We were an active family, actually pretty loud.  Someone was coming or going, friends filled the house, there was constant activity.  It wears me out just remembering!  It's still pretty crazy when all the grandkids are here, but for the most part, it's pretty quiet these days.  I find that I can't focus on as many things at once.  Somehow I used to keep up with multiple conversations and still knew where everyone was, what they had going on and where they needed to be.  Now I have to ask for reminders because I can't keep up with all those details at the same time anymore.

I savor things more.  I no longer feel the need to rush from one thing to another.  I no longer feel that my life is lived in a daily frenzy.  I can listen to the grandkids.  I don't have to plan something to do all the time.  I can take the time to explore the world with the grandkids because I don't have to constantly be doing something or going somewhere.

I don't raise my voice anymore.  Yeah, I confess, I could yell.  Not always, but I did yell.  I don't yell anymore.  I'd like to think it's because I'm so much more patient.  But the truth is that the amount of frenzy I felt was in direct proportion to my yelling.

I'm not afraid.  I was afraid I wasn't a good enough mother or wife or employee, etc, etc..  I was afraid I would miss something important to my kids.  I was afraid I would fail at anything I attempted.  I would go to bed afraid I'd forgotten something or would forget something.  I think the years have proved those fears were unfounded and wasted a lot of time and energy.  Fear doesn't rule me anymore.

I don't worry.  Worry and fear tend to go hand in hand.  I worried over a lot of things I had no control over.  Would my kids find good friends?  Would they be a good friend?  Would they get hurt?  Would they be exposed to something harmful?  Would they make good choices?  Finally, I've figured out that life is going to happen regardless of how much I worry.  Good things will come my way and so will bad things and so will sad things.  It's all part of life.  Worrying did nothing but suck joy out of my life.

I no longer feel my children are a reflection of me.  I confess that I tied my kids' actions way too closely to me.  Bad choices made me worry what folks thought of me.  Good choices made me want to take the credit.  Finally realizing that my kids and grandkids are all individuals and I get to be their cheerleader and supporter has brought a lot of emotional freedom.

Getting older definitely has its benefits.   I am not the woman I was but I prefer the woman I've become.

No comments:

About Me

My photo
Longview, Texas
In the autumn of my life, I am very content.