I am fortunate to have a friend that resides with her family in D.C. We have been friends now for 30 years. We don't talk weekly or even monthly but we pick up each time we get together right where we left off.
The boys and I were fortunate enough to get to visit her and her family this past week. The week was full of so many rich experiences.
I didn't anticipate what the city would entail for Lucas or how much he would quickly fall in love with the history. Every day he exhibits more and more of his dad. At every Smithsonian he wanted me to read every plaque. If you've been to a Smithsonian you know that is simply not possible. I strolled along with him laughing inside my head. The last time I was in D.C. was with Daniel and I can remember dragging him onward. He wanted to read everything! Enthusiasm is great but come on?!
We walked over to the Lincoln memorial and Lucas wanted to know why Abraham Lincoln was a statue. I thought, not for the first time, your dad would be so much better at answering these questions than I am. I stumbled through an answer about the 16th president and his role with the Civil War and then proceeded to explain that we would read the plaques! The question following was why doesn't daddy have a statue if he’s dead too? People who are statues have done really important things for America. Hmm- really, that's what I came up with?
Our first stop on our last day in D.C. was to Arlington. This was an interesting experience for the boys but one that I believed was important. I always enjoy going and wanted to share that with them. The conversation generated from that trip however was one of graves and markers and the newly introduced topic of cremation. Lucas and Reed have seen Daniel’s urn. They have asked what’s in the beautifully carves box however I have glossed over the topic feeling that we weren’t ready to address it. This week however was a different story as Daniel chose to be cremated. I answered Lucas’s questions as directly as I could. It was another of those moments when I thought, Am I adding more traumas to them? Was this the right decision?
I over analyze myself and my actions so much I drive myself a little crazy. It’s unnecessary. "Only you know what you can handle," was advice given to me recently.
Sometimes generic thoughts such as these frustrate the hell out of me. Do I really know what I can handle? I believe that implies that you have hit the mother lode, that at some point you have broken down and all of a sudden you know you can't take anymore.
While I teeter on that edge much more often than not, I'm not sure that I am aware of that limit. I continue to add to my plate as though I have not eaten in weeks.
What's the alternative? To say no? What if I like saying yes? What if I enjoy taking it on? What does it say about me if I like to pile it on? That I cannot relax? That I’ve forgotten to enjoy things?
Possibly, more likely, probably.
Life is a series of choices as my mother would say. And she's correct- it's all about choices. A series of choices and actions that are often guided by a desire to do well, progress and provide but with little direction. I frequently read the signs but are they suggestions provided to us or are they factual?
I think we are all driven by these like minded goals. Trying to make choices for ourselves and our families and trying to achieve goals. Sometimes, and yes I’m talking to myself, we need to take a breath. We need to stop chasing what is in front of us and enjoy the moment.
Hit the reset button.
I am. I'm releasing my mommy guilt. I’m releasing my I ate chocolate chip cookies last night guilt. I am releasing the I work too much guilt. Thank you for the advice of me only knowing what I can handle. You are right. And life is all about choices. I think the important thing here is that even when you make the wrong choices or feel as though you are lead astray hit the reset button.
I do and I am.
Meet the Author (me)
Driven by a need to help others. I have known from a young age that this is what I wanted to do. This is my very real, somewhat sarcastic, look into my newfound widowhood. I hope this site will help you as much as it helps me.