January 2, 2012

Karla's Korner: Chill Out!

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!

Chill Out….

As I sit down to write this week, it is January 1, 2012 and my heart is heavy. While everyone is saying “Happy New Year!” I find that I am in somewhat less than a celebratory mood. Not quite sure what to do with myself today, I made the decision to set up shop in the bedroom of our basement, lock the door and cry. Crying for me comes quite easy and today it came easier than ever before. With the world literally locked out of my own little isolated space I have decided to let it all out and just be in the quiet of the room without anything or anyone to get in the way.

For over three years I have worked on my emotional self trying to figure out just what it is that makes me “tick”. You would think that after 44 years I would have some sort of idea as to why I do the things I do or feel the feelings that I have. But today, New Year’s Day, the start of a fresh year that should bring hope and celebration I find that I am still searching for answers. I have found some answers to a few of my many life questions, but have come to realize that if I live to be 100, I may never find all the answers.

While everyone is making resolutions for the new year feeling refreshed and ready to start over my need to continue carrying last year’s load is really weighing heavy on my heart. Literally, my heart physically aches for the events of the past year, especially the past month; I walked into church this morning a bit out of sorts. And then, like the proverbial ton of bricks that falls on my noggin from time to time it hit me during the pastor’s sermon that I am supposed to feel like this sometimes. Parenting hurts. Not wanting to re-preach the sermon, let me just say that the story went something like this….The parents of a newborn baby went to the church to dedicate their baby boy and when they handed him over to the church leaders to dedicate him to God one of the leaders told this brand new mother that her child would not be liked so much and would have all kinds of opposition and one day something would happen and it would be like a sword to her soul. What the heck? Seriously, this so called spiritual leader tells this new momma that her life as a parent is going to be difficult and painful? Oh there will be some good times sprinkled in for good measure but her job as a parent would not be a walk in the park (or in her case a walk in the desert). Taking out the historical timeline, let me focus on what all this means to me as a parent in today’s world; a parent in the year 2012.

Children come into this world completely and utterly naked, helpless and innocent. Our job is to raise our children to the best of our ability and mold them into responsible adults. Being a mother is my most treasured title. Having made a conscious decision to become a parent I embrace all that has come with that title even if it has come with some difficulty at times. I can promise you that our parents did not always enjoy everything we did as children, teenagers and even now as adults. Our world today is full of so much “stuff” that sometimes the “stuff” gets in the way of living life. Having just celebrated Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza or whatever it is that you celebrate are you finding it difficult to put away all the “stuff” that was received. I must confess that I often succumb to the idea that “stuff”will make my children happy. And only after the celebrations are over and the halls are undecked do I realize that all they really want is me and their dad. The “stuff” is secondary.

As I sat with my children on New Year’s Eve and nitpicked about various things, the adult child looked at me and told me to “chill out”. Of course, that went over like a load of lead bricks which then led to a conversation that like the mother in the story from church experienced pierced my soul. How often is it that we as parents want to put our children out in this world as perfect little specimens of ourselves? How often is it that we give our children the “you are a reflection of me” speech before leaving the house? How often do we find ourselves getting angry over spilled milk? How many times a day do we find ourselves saying “clean up your room”? Do the words, stop, quit and don’t fill every corner of your parenting vocabulary? For 18 years those words have been a staple in my mommy dialogue. And after my heart breaking conversation with my child last night I have decided to make one resolution. Knowing how difficult it is to keep resolutions and knowing that this one is HUGE for me I do not have the inner ability to keep more than this one. So here goes; this year I resolve to simply “chill out” Does that mean that I will promote messy rooms, undone homework and skipped chores? No, it simply means that I will diligently work to lower my voice, overlook a bit of the mess, help clean up the spilled milk and use more positive words with not only my children but those around me. I will not focus on the giving of “stuff” but giving more of myself.

A dear friend of mine woke up this morning, the first day of the New Year without her husband; she is now a widow. Today, her daughters woke up without their daddy for the first time in their lives. You see, he had an accident a few days before Christmas and just before midnight on New Year’s Eve his physical body gave out and he passed on to eternity. This family has to face the beginning of the New Year without him, and I and those who read my words have been blessed with another day to do things right. Parenting is difficult. Life is difficult. We will never be perfect. Our “to do” list will always have something on it. So in the words of my adult child, who at times is wiser than me, I urge you to embrace the New Year with the eyes of your heart wide open and resolve to simply take a few moments every day and “chill out”.

Happy New Year!


To see all Karla’s Korner articles click here.

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