We’ve had so much going on. So many ups and downs. So many reasons to just throw in the towel, but so many reasons to just keep going. But all in all we haven’t had it as rough as some. It’s easy to forget that. It’s easy to forget about that friend going through a rough divorce, or that mentor struggling with the recent news that she only has 6 months to live. After all they are not our problems, and we don’t see them happening. Until they post it on Facebook.
I am so stressed about money, but I look back and think why? We’ll get through this. I don’t know how, but I know we will. It is, after all, only money. Sure we may have to make sacrifices, but that will force us to live simpler lives. Is that a bad thing? Is it better to shell out money for every shiny new item or is it better to spend time together, or pursuing actual interests away from the commodities of commercialism. What kind of precedent are we setting for our children by just caving into them and buying them that toy, or taking them out to eat every night, or letting them rot there brain on TV and not help out with the house.
Right now, I am having a really hard time. That does not mean that tomorrow will not be better. Or next week. Or next month. Or next year. It sucks making sacrifices that affect the whole family, but really the benefits of those sacrifices are worth more than the trinkets not making the sacrifices would by. The family will learn self-reliance, and gratefulness, and respect. Something that my wife and I both struggle with teaching our kids.
It becomes easier to cave rather than listen to the incessant whining, or tantrums that come from saying no. It’s like we spoil our children for our own peace of mind, but then they get older and we realize that we put them on a bad path. We don’t need to be hard on them, or boot camp-ish, but we can’t just make them feel that they did a good job by just showing up. We eventually realize that we have become THOSE parents. Not because we wanted to, but because we were stressed, tired, overwhelmed and strapped.
Right now, I am having an issue with my oldest. God, he is an amazing, smart, and beautiful boy. He can make me laugh like nobody else can. His timing is perfect, and his heart is the biggest I have ever seen. He is also like me. Easily distracted, and prone to shut down his focus to let his mind completely visit his imagination. Everyday, I love him more and more, and everyday I fail at showing it. I am guilty of being that parent who makes the children run in fear. I am trying to stop this, but it’s hard. I keep reminding myself “Look where you came from. You are fighting something that started when you were a child and didn’t know it.” The thing is … he loves me anyway. He loves hanging out with me. He loves doing what I do when it’s the fun stuff. He loves the spirit of creating, and I need to show the freedom of simplicity. Everyday he teaches me what I need to know. Both of my boys do.
Today is a good day. It started out rocky, but it is a good day. I need to hold on to that. After all, the only real bad thing that we are facing is financial. Yes, it is overwhelming, but it is only money. I have faced, we have faced, storms much worse than this, and we have weathered those with more grace than we thought possible.
It’s just a matter of perspective.