Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I am not my mother...and other lessons learned this past year.

My 27th year bestowed upon me plenty of necessary lessons.

It's not a good year unless there are lessons, right?

As I grow into my adulthood, I've began to measure my years by said lessons, and it is in fact, quite rewarding at the end of another year, to reflect on the lessons, or the themes woven throughout my year.

Here's what year 27 threw my way:

A lesson on Friendship:
Part of having friends and being a good friend to yourself,
is knowing when to release and let go.
There is a growing and a changing that inevitably happens over time to each one of us. It's the moving with and being flexible to this change that I've found to be the only means of understanding changing relationships, and what might otherwise remain a frustrating, sad, mystery.

A MAJOR lesson on Balance:
The illusive target of my life.
Seems I've had to teeter on the edge of insanity this year to experience the jumbled mess that life can be without balance! Who knew that such a subject would require such touch lessons?!
I'll admit,
I allow myself to suffer from overload and feeling overwhelmed because I want to do everything MYSELF! During the upheaval that such nonsense brings, balance calls to me, saying, catch me if you can!
It's a horrible game to play, and even worse when it is self-inflicted.
Undoing and sorting through the expectations that I've given my life is a task in itself.
However, I believe there is a sweet balance to be lived in my life, where I can be mommy/wife/creative spirit in the perfect proportions, and where we (my family, friends and I) all win!

A lesson on Mystery:
There is more mystery in this life than I've cared to acknowledge at times.
I think it is normal to want to understand this life that we are living, and attempt to do so by separating the factors into boxes in our minds (I heard this analogy a bit ago and it makes sense to me).
But, I've learned!
Placing people into boxes is wrong, while attempting to understand everyone and everything
is a fete unattainable for the human mind,
AND is not my job.
During this last year, there has been a handful of moments when I've realized what I thought I had figured out, was exactly not.
I've been humbled and accept the mystery a little more.
I don't love feeling vulnerable to this life and the unknowing,
but there is no two ways around it.
Mystery wins again!

Lessons on God:
He is on my side.
I am learning and progressing in my walk to solely depend on Him--
He wants my whole heart.
Just as in my relationships and in life's mystery at times, I feel vulnerable and it can be hard for me to throw my arms up and ask Him the big questions and expect an answer~
What next God?
Why do I feel tangled between ideals and reality?
When will it unravel and come together the right way?
This year I pray to be more faithful, to step fully into His walk for me.
I know it's enough for me, and there will be the balance that I need.
I've also learned to foster an attitude of expectancy when it comes to having a relationship with God.
He's a big God who wants us to ask him big things.
He's waiting to be beckoned. He's waiting for us to ask Him to show us the way.

Lessons on Marriage:
Whoever claimed the first year of marriage to be most rocky,
was WRONG.
I would like to executively change this saying to the first FIVE years.
I feel better.
As I am coming up on year five of marriage, I'd like to shout hoorah!
Toughing through the first five years of marriage and having children early in this time,
has required some serious elbow grease.
Was it worth it? Surely.
We've been creating a beautiful thing over these years.
A good thing requires work,
and when you work hard at something,
it's that much easier to protect and nurture.

A lesson on Strength:
This year I completed my second half-marathon and a 15k with great personal records!
When I threw my back out in April, plans for the Portland Marathon were tossed out.
My injury humbled me in away, and lead me to notice how exercise can become a vice,
and take focus from areas that might need more attending.
The time out has helped me slow down.
Learning what I'm physically capable of has increased my confidence in myself. 
It's amazing what the physical can do for the mental and vice versus.
I am strong both physically and mentally.

An on-going lesson--I Am Not My Mother,
and it's okay:
I grew up with a wonderful, dedicated, loving housewife as my mother.
She volunteered at my school, packed me lunches, took me to lessons, and had dinner prepared every night.
Even as I slept in in High School, she'd still cook me up a couple eggs if I was running late and bring them to me in my bathroom.
I know. Spoiled.
Although she has blessed my upbringing in unmeasurable ways, her example exhausts me.
I try and I try to do all the things she did for me and expect them for my own life and for my family, but constantly feel as though I am falling short. I fight with myself over the things my heart longs to do that might take me from the home; the fact that I wouldn't be an exclusive housewife feels negative, and scares me back into wanting to fill those shoes that aren't mine.
This is not to say that I don't love being home with my children. I do. I feel privileged to be their main care-taker, and that I am married to a successful business owner who can help us afford for me to do so. Let me tell you though, it ain't all rainbows and flowers helping your Husband run a business. But there is this part of me that wants to use my other talents and gifts outside of the home, and to show my children that I love them and have other passions that drive me as well.
The self-inflicted expectations are silly, and are not scary when recognized.
I am not raising my daughter to be me, nor did my mother raise me to be her.
Somewhere between the life I've known and the one I'm creating is the balance that I am seeking.
It's there...and
I can't wait to claim it.
Hopefully the answer that I am searching for will happen upon me during this 28th year.


The Neo-Traditionalist September 15, 2010 at 8:03 AM  

Does this mean you've just had a birthday?? If so, happy birthday : ) I relate to so much you've written---especially taking on too much and wanting to do everything yourself. I can't wait until my husband and I can boast we made it to five years!

xx Katie

a little bit biased September 15, 2010 at 12:07 PM  

Good for you for taking note of the lessons; the high and lows of this past year. Hope next year is even more fabulous and full of "a ha" moments!


shannon September 15, 2010 at 2:43 PM  

Awesome post Cassie... thanks so much for sharing!

Erin September 15, 2010 at 4:02 PM  

Great way to record your inner thoughts and reflections! Such a good idea and will be so interesting to look back each year! :)

Cassie September 15, 2010 at 8:06 PM  

Good idea Er- I should do this every year to compare the years and see the changes. xo

Princess and the Pea September 16, 2010 at 12:31 PM  

Happy birthday, whenever it was! Sounds like you're getting very wise in your old age ;)

Connie September 16, 2010 at 10:42 PM  

Cassie, it's your mama here. I am so proud of the woman you have become! You are beautiful inside and out. Some of your attributes are maybe a little bit because of me, but others you have become in spite of me. I love you, Hon!

Cassie September 17, 2010 at 9:08 AM  

Mama-I've done nothing in "spite" of you. YOU are a wonderful woman, and I am so lucky to call you Mom. xoxo, C

“You must write every single day of your life... You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads... may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.” ― Ray Bradbury
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