Posts Tagged With: supportive family

without love we are nothing

In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul wrote many beautiful things about what love is and is not. One of his more important points is that love is meant to exist without conditions.

Unconditional love.
We don’t always find that in our world.
The worst thing humans do to each other is love with conditions.

My second daughter experiences a great deal of the way selfish love works. Love is a weapon. Love is power to hold over another. Love is a tool with which to manipulate so get what you want.

I plan to make a powerful statement on love, but first I have to provide a bit of background info…
Thing 2 and her friends lost out on the house they were trying to rent. That hit her hard.
She’s not been seeing her counselor regularly (because, covid) and she didn’t realize how much she missed it until she got a call last week saying he’s starting to see clients in the office again.
She and Boyfriend M are strong and healthy.
But personally she isn’t in the best place.
She started a new job last week, one she’s enthusiastic about.
She’s making an appointment to see her therapist this week.
She and Boyfriend M had a good talk about mental health and being in a good supportive relationship.

Monday morning she wrote in our group chat

She’s excited about feeling like she’s killing it and doesn’t even need help.
Then immediately not wanting to jinx it.

Thing 1 and I shared our joy at her enthusiasm, and spoke to many things.
But I became stuck trying to make sense of this contradiction.

(here’s where the connection to love starts to make some sense)

Acknowledging you’re ‘killing it’ does not jinx it.
And, ‘killing it’ does not mean you can’t use or don’t need assistance, support, and love.
‘Killing it’ means you’re doing your best.

I believe we must celebrate what’s good. What feels positive.
But more than that, I believe being good, or successful, or feeling healthy doesn’t mean you don’t need (or want) backup.
It’s not one or the other. It’s a delicate balance of relying on yourself and the love of your tribe.
Love and support foster your personal strengths.

‘Killing it’ and needing help are not mutually exclusive.
You can ‘kill it’ and still receive support from the people who love you.
And best of all, when you’re ‘killing it’ as well as receiving love and support the world is a truly wonderful place.

Thing 2 shared how fortunate she feels to have friends, family, and “a mans” who love and support her endlessly.
Her counselor said, “God works in mysterious ways.” and later that same day Boyfriend M told her “the universe works in mysterious ways”.
She was angry and sad and didn’t want to hear it. But she knew they were right.
She knew this because in one twelve hour span, she had love and unconditional support from ‘the boys’ (her core friend group), then her counselor, then her Momma, and then Boyfriend M.
She said, “Everyone cares about me, for me, not their own selfish gain. And that it truly magical, I’m glad I appreciate that now. At the time, I was cheesed off because it felt like I was fine and everyone was treating me like a broken toy all at once –turns out I was not doing fine and needed that huge multi-directional wave of love and support.”

To which her sister replied, “We will always love and support you, that’s what we’re here for. Even if sometimes it feels like we’re being mean or treating you like a broken toy, we just want you to be the youest you you can be.”

I hope with all my might that this experience begins to shift Thing 2’s understanding.
I want her to know you cannot jinx your success by celebrating the joy of it.
You can be ‘killing it’ and still require support.
You can be as successful as humanly possible and still rely on the love of others.

(here’s where the connection to Paul starts to make some sense)

Paul knew what was up.
In his letter to the Corinthians he wrote a great deal of what love is and is not.
He wrote he was nothing without love.
He wrote we should remain hopeful and faithful and do everything in love.

I’m not as eloquent as Paul, but these are some of the most important things I know about life and love:
Love is safe.
Love comes at you to lift you up.
Love is a celebration of who you are.
Love is the greatest gift.

Categories: love | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

the view from here

The last two days, I feel like I’ve been in seriously great Momma mode!
Y’all, I’m so blessed to be my daughters mother. They are incredible women, and my love for them is unconditional and limitless!

Yesterday Thing 2 and I talked for a while for the first time since my birthday. I assisted her in some important decision making, and provided over all Momma love and support. That girl is made of some seriously sturdy stuff, but sometimes needs help remembering. It’s hard when you feel like you have to do everything on your own. Being reminded you have loving, supportive people in your corner helps get you out of your head and provides a fresh perspective on everything.

This morning Thing 1 was feeling a bit overwhelmed by her own great and arduous task of packing her house. I asked if she was needing assistance planning or simply needed to be heard. She was all about the help.
So I suggested she start with a list (I mean of course I did, I’m the freaking List Lady after all!). I suggested she plan out what needs to be packed and then create a timeline.
Of course Baby K is like, WTF mommy? when Thing 1 is trying to pack instead of playing. I know that’s hard for both of them.
But I was struck with an idea!
What if Thing 1 actively packed for only twenty minutes each hour!?! She may not feel like she’s accomplishing much, or even finish packing one box, but she might feel less overwhelmed, and Baby K won’t get her diapie in a twist at being ‘ignored’.
Set a timer! Crank the music! Make a game of it! Baby K will love that, and Thing 1 can get things done without too much stress.
And, if she does her twenty minutes at the top of each hour, they have that last forty minutes to play together!

And in this house…
Yesterday afternoon, I opened one of the bins YBW and I pulled out of the utility room.
It was labeled with the names of my grandparents followed by the words family info.
So I was pretty much expecting all the genealogy stuff my mother complied in her lifetime. That was what I remembered putting in the bin after going through all the stuff my mother’s husband gave me five years ago.
But damn if I didn’t surprise myself!
In that bin was more so much more than the genealogy information.
Some random af stuff I didn’t know what to do with when I initially received it, but felt comfortable deciding yesterday.
Grandaddy’s harmonica.
My mom’s passport in which I too am in the photo as I was in her belly.
My grandmother’s hand written birth certificate.
And this (these?) gem(s).

I was able to divide and conquer everything, saving some things I want the girls to see before I dispose of them, and only had a small discard pile.
Of course now I have a stuffy headache from the mildew that clings to some of those items. It’s worth it.

Today I’m kind of being quiet. That is, not really doing much. Some writing. A bit of tidying. A bit of ridiculousness…
YBW is working from home this week so I went in there and said, You have a minute? He turned to give me his undivided attention.
Me: Wanna know how old I am?
YBW: Forty nine.
Me: Yeah, but not in chronological time.
YBW: …
Me: I think I need a neckchain for my reading glasses.
YBW: smiles but says nothing…
Me: If I’m wearing a pony or bun-bun I can’t put them on top of my head, they fall off.
YBW: serious face but silent…
Me: Is that ridiculous?
YBW: Not if me in my shorts and tee, and socks and slippers, and hoodie isn’t too ridiculous.
Me: I love everything about you.
YBW: Me too, baby.

Good Lord, we’re ridiculous!
At least each of us thinks this about the other.

This afternoon I’ll be focusing on organizing music, doing a bit of research on brain health and mental illness, and shopping for some stylish chains for my reading glasses.
Can you handle the excitement?

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

I’m doing it!

I’ve been completely immersed in coursework. Reading, writing, and creating (more complicated than necessary) annotated bibliographies.
I passed the first of five courses in April. I’m four-fifths of the way to passing the second course. I’m fourteen-twentieths of the way through passing the third course.
The fifth and final task for the second course is that I must write an essay about how the books I read for this course impacted my personal education philosophies.
I’m over here like:

The fifteenth through twentieth portion of the third task is the last five annotated bibliographies. I’ve got all the prep work done, just need to plug summarized information into the template.

I already have a huge portion of my thesis compiled, so writing that paper will be simpler than some. That’s the fourth task.
The final task is creating a power point presentation that summarizes the thesis paper. (Waste of time, much?)

The girls, Husband N, Baby K, and Jessica are coming the third week of July for the party to celebrate Baby K. Thing 1, Husband N, and Baby K will be here for a bit over two weeks, and we’ve already started talking about how Husband N might go home, and Thing 1 and Baby K might stay here a bit longer and I’d take them home later in August. I’m not sure how long Thing 2 will be here. Jessica will be here for five days.
We’ll have a houseful! But I’m excited!!

My plan is to finish course two and three in the next week or ten days so I’ve got nothing pressing as I get ready for them to be here, and while they’re here I can simply enjoy being together.

I’ve worked so hard the last two weeks I can hardly believe it!
I’m taking breaks enough to go to the farmers market and day drink with Holly on Thursdays. Yesterday I finally had enough and decided to brave the heat and go run errands.
Today I’m debating on how much I’ll work. But YBW is on his computer and I have no idea what Thing G is doing, so I guess I’m on my own today. I can go out in the heat and be around random folks, or I can stay put and get stuff done. Or, perhaps a bit of both? Who knows.

For the first time since I began this journey of coursework I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. My term ends September thirtieth, but I plan to finish in August.
And that’s it. I’m finished with this degree plan.
I find myself wondering what I’ll do with my time once I’m not always doing coursework.
The first thing on the list is read read read. (is that actually the first three things on the list?) I’m going to tackle my TBR stack! I’m going to read for pleasure, not what’s assigned me. I’m going to sit with my stack of Southern Living magazines and devour them.

My girls are incredibly supportive of my journey. They’re quick with praise as I report my progress this term. Thing 2 has remarked on my tenacity, and that she gets hers from me. I shared with them that I’m not only doing this for myself, sticking with this commitment I made to myself even though it’s taken so much longer than anticipated. I shared that I’m doing it for them too. So they see their mom as a woman who made a commitment to herself and is working hard to keep it.

You know, since I started this degree plan, I’ve lived through a separation and divorce. My eldest graduating high school and going away to college. The sudden and unexpected deaths of both my parents. Packing up my life in South Carolina and moving it to Virginia. Two weddings, mine, and Thing 1’s. My brain injury. The death of my precious mother in law. The birth of my first grandbaby!
And those are just the big ones!
I’m not mentioning the day to day highs and lows. Simply living life, work and home and friends.
This journey started with a whole lot of hubris. I thought I had it all under control.
This journey is coming to a close with a whole lot of beautiful humility.
I’m proud of this journey! I wanted to give up so many times! But I never did. Even when I was sick. I kept on and kept on and now I’m nearing the end with joy and verve! I did the hard work that got me to this place. I will finish the hard work in the next two months.
I’m doing it!
And soon I can shout “I DID IT!!”.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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