I am proud to introduce a new column to Madame Deals! I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!
Kids are funny. They tend to say what’s on their mind without any filtering or caution when they say it. A few weeks one of my preschoolers proclaimed “Ms. Karla, you are so funny and you are old”. Well, funny I can handle, but old? I had a tough time with that one. When I asked him why he said I was old he simply replied “because you are.” I would not consider 44 old, but I guess when you are only three, 44 is pretty old. I’ve always heard that as wisdom comes with age. However, it appears to me that as wise as I like to think I am, my children seem to know way more than me. Several years ago my daughter introduced me to her favorite author, Oscar Wilde. (Actually she introduced me to some of his writings and quotes as he is no longer living” Wilde says “The old believe everything, the middle-aged suspect everything, the young know everything. “When I read this I immediately thought about young adults and the fact that they seem to know so much more than us old folks. And sometimes whether we like to admit it or not, our children can and will teach us a lesson.
I went into town today to deliver a book to my daughter that came in the mail this week. She went back to school a bit early and the book arrived after she left. Naturally I offered to take it to her. (I won’t mention that her dad works at her college and could have taken it to her and save me a trip) We decided to grab some lunch before I left; that made my heart happy since it meant I would get to spend a little extra time with her. While chowing down on turkey burgers and salad, I asked her what she thought I should write about this week. She said “worry”. Not quite sure which direction she thought I should take, I asked for an explanation. Without hesitation she tells me that I worry too much. Now most folks would argue or deny the accusation, however, I know that she is absolutely correct in her deduction of my worrisome behavior. Knowing she was more than willing to share her thoughts with me, I encouraged her to give me some examples of excessive worry. Within seconds she spouts off several quick answers one of which hit me pretty hard; apparently every time I see her I bring her food. Every time I take her to get her groceries something extra always ends up in the shopping cart….I call them her “just in case” items. You know, just in case you need two packages of cookie dough or just in case you need a two pound bag of Milky Ways or just in case you need a carton of ice cream, Hot Pockets or pudding cups. Yikes, I am so totally guilty. My worry is pushing my food addiction on my family.
As parents, we find ourselves in constant worry over our children and their lives. Wanting to make sure our children are happy we tend to go overboard with showering them with things of comfort and familiarity. Having a child who has moved away to school has heightened my sense of worry. Thankfully she is a pretty smart “cookie” and knows how to handle her worrisome momma and handle herself out in this big bad world.
When babies are born we are their sole source of everything. Parents are put in charge of this little person without an instruction manual and are expected to produce a healthy, happy, respectful, productive adult. Hence, the worry begins. Fear and worry has followed me in my parenthood journey from the very beginning. Sometimes it follows me at a distance and other times it sits on my shoulder and whispers in my ear. It is the times when I allow the worry to whisper the “what if’s” in my ear that I overcompensate. But somewhere along the line we parents must begin to let go of some of the worry and replace it with trust. Trusting in our own selves and the “job” we have done in raising our children and trusting that our children go out into the world and use the life skills we have taught them is a key factor in parenting. Admitting that I need to follow my own advice, or that of my adult child, I struggle to find a replacement for the worry. Worry takes up a lot of space in my brain sometimes and putting the worry away leaves an empty spot for me to fill with things like peace, joy, encouragement and confidence. Now I can assure you that the worry will never completely go away and that is okay. Worry in small doses is a good thing. Being concerned for our children and their well being is good, however, being overbearing and controlling is not so good.
What does all of this mean for you? That is up to you to decide. How you handle worry is your decision. Will you let worry consume your every thought or will you release the excess worry and replace it with peace? For me working toward a more peaceful outlook on life as a parent will be difficult at times but necessary. As my sweet girl climbed out of my car today with her new book (which ironically is all about the brain), she kissed me on the cheek, told me she loved me and asked me not worry and then with a grin that only she could give me asked me not to send her any more beefy macaroni….apparently I have worried so much about her getting enough to eat she now has nearly a dozen cans of the tasty treat along with enough food to in her words “sink a small battleship”.
This week put your worries away and embrace life with peace in your heart; fill the worry space with joy. I leave you with the words of singer Bobby McFerrin…..”Don’t worry….be happy”
To see all Karla’s Korner articles click here.