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!
Lessons From 2012
Staring out the window at my neighbor’s yard it almost seems fitting that their deflated Christmas decorations are scattered, windblown and out of place. The holidays are over and nobody really cares if blowup Santa is still sitting upright in the cut-out sleigh or that Joseph is laying down by the manger (after all I’m sure the real Joseph got a little tired standing there waiting for those fellas to show up). We spend so much time getting ready, preparing everything perfectly for Christmas that in the end, we are tired and ready to throw it all back in the box and move into the New Year without stopping to reflect on what the year has meant to us.
Reflecting on this past year I decided to take a very thoughtful look at what this year has taught me. As of today I have written 52 Karla’s Korner articles and 35 posts for Lifetime, maintained my full time teaching job, spent two weeks teaching at summer camp, sent my daughter back to college and watched my son enter high school. This year also brought about my 45th birthday, our 23rd wedding anniversary, osteoarthritis, eye glasses (bi-focals) and braces on my teeth. I also lost 40 pounds only to find most of it again; something that haunts me on a daily basis. This past year allowed me to reconnect with some pretty special people from my past, make new friends with whom I am excited to share the future with, celebrate the births of several babies and mourn with friends, family and our country as loved ones have been lost to illness, accident or shear evil.
So what is it that I have learned from this year? What big life lessons do I have to share with you as this year comes to a close? After thinking, reflecting and staring out the window for quite a while, I’ve come up with what I believe are the most important life lessons I have learned in 2012.
No matter how hard a parent tries to manage, control and manipulate every aspect of their child and his/her life, it cannot happen; it should not happen. Children grow up and become the definer of their own lives. Coming to grips with the fact that I am the parent of an adult child has been both difficult and rewarding. Knowing that she can take care of herself, make her own decisions, is kind, compassionate, faithful, honest and full of unconditional love proves that her dad and I have done a pretty good job and that our job has changed.
Once in a while relationships need to end and that sometimes old relationships need to be renewed. Having been through some pretty life changing ordeals in the past year (or so) I have discovered that some relationships are not meant to withstand difficulty or hardships. Once in a while we find out that some people are just not able to stand alongside of us when we face challenges and that those relationships are like weeds in a flower garden. We need to pull those weeds in order to make room for those relationships that are meant to be to grow and flourish. With my friendship garden weeded, I am able to focus on those relationships that are important, necessary and that will add beauty to my life.
Life is not fair; we can and will lose people in the blink of an eye. All we have to do is look back a few weeks ago at the events in Newtown CT to know that evil exists no matter how hard we try to avoid it. Placing the blame on guns, mental illness, lack of security and poor parenting won’t make it any better. Making an effort to make each moment count is important; don’t hold back on the “I love you’s” just because you are in a hurry. Put down the cell phone and give your kid a hug before he/she leaves for school every day; even when they are 14 and think it’s gross.
In order to learn new ideas or to grow our spirit we must un-learn what we have already learned. While our foundations are wonderful we sometimes tend to stay on the same paths we grew up on because that is all we know; it is comfortable for us. In order to learn or expand our hearts and minds it is necessary for us to learn and explore life to its fullest; often times embracing new ideas that were once unheard of. Therefore we must un-learn (not reject) some of the ideas of our past and open our hearts and minds to new ideas. This has been a huge lesson for me; a difficult one but one that has brought about much peace within.
Love is important. Love is wonderful. Love is necessary. Love is more than physical affection, romance, candy, cards and sparkly things. Love is falling asleep holding hands with the man you’ve been married to for 23 years. Love is an empty dishwasher, folded laundry, a full tank of gas, and a lipstick note written on the bathroom mirror. Love is getting dressed in the dark so he (or she) doesn’t wake you up too early. Love is falling asleep listening to him (or her) breathe and know that for that one moment everything is alright. Love is knowing that your children are happy, healthy and secure. Love is love.
As this year comes to an end, I hope that you are able to reflect on what life lessons you have learned and are able to put them to positive use in 2013. For me, I will continue on in my journey with my mind and heart open to all of the opportunities to learn, share and embrace. I hope that somehow my writing over the past year has encouraged you to live life to the fullest, laugh until you cry, cry until your tears are gone and love with your whole heart.
Also, please visit Karla’s Lifetime Moms page and read her articles.