In my 42 years of life I've learned a few things about myself:
First, that when I write after taking Nyquil I should probably put up a big disclaimer that I can not guarantee it makes sense.
So, on to the things I've learned:
I really like to sleep.
I love reading in the bath.
I prefer the cake over the frosting.
I love music but am horrible at remembering titles and artists.
I'm a horrible house keeper.
I love my kids with a love I never thought humanly possible
And, when I want something I tend to do what needs to be done to get it.
And that may be one of the biggest life lessons I have learned from my 30's and early 40's (damn, why is it still so hard to admit that I'm IN my 40's?).
The lesson? Perhaps not what you think it is, because its not the lesson I was always taught that "if you work hard you can achieve anything." And I do believe that lesson. I have worked very hard to accomplish things in my life.
Sometimes though, sometimes...you have to just hold back a bit and let things happen as it will. You can't push everything. And you can't always expect people to work on your time line.
Now, I've learned this lesson the hard way a few times, mostly while dating. And I can't say I always remember to practice it. But, when I have remembered, things usually work out the way they are supposed to. Both of my children are perfect examples of this philosophy. Of course there was a lot of work and planning put into first Noah's adoption and then Kiels conception and IVF, but through much of it I was very zen. I did what I knew I could do, and I let go of what I couldn't control. And both times things happened the way they were supposed, I just didn't know in the beginning quite how the ending was going to be.
And that's the kicker, "the way they are supposed to." That doesn't always mean the way I want. And boy oh boy is that a hard one to deal with sometimes.
So when I read the latest From Left to Write book club book (formerly the Silicon Valley Moms Group book club), This Is Not The Story You Think It Is by Laura Munson, I thought to myself that she seemed to have learned that lesson somewhere along the way as well.
Faced with her husband's declaration that he no longer loves her, Munson announces that she just doesn't buy into the fact that he feels this way. And she doesn't accept that it is about her, or is her fault. So she gives him time to figure it out. Some may call her passive, but I think only in a way that she wasn't telling him what to do and what to feel.
I know as a woman and mother I want to fix things for people. If my husband came to me and said he didn't think he loved me anymore I would be crushed of course, but then my first reaction would be to try and fix it. To find out what is wrong with him. To find out how I can fix things for him.
Laura choose a different path and gave her husband time. No ultimatums, little pressure, just kept the home fires burning, but also continued with her life. And she chose to be happy in it. To find the happiness that was already there. Because you can't base your personal happiness on things that are entirely outside of your control. As Laura's therapist told her "that's insanity."
This post was inspired by the book This Is Not The Story You Think It Is which was given to me free of charge and without obligation by the publisher as a member of the From Left to Write book club writers group.