Homework is hell. If kids think it’s torture to have to do more work after spending an
entire day immersed in it, how do they think we parents feel?
I remember disliking homework, but what I don’t remember is giving my mother a full on
battle about every little thing that had to do with homework. She says I would
frustrate easily, which I can see that being true, but I also remember going to
my grandparents’ house after school and getting right down to business so I
could watch TV or go outside. I don’t remember having to be forced into getting
my work done. My son, however, is a different breed.
Like me, he wants to go outside and play, but unlike me, he’ll put homework off until,
well, never doing it at all if he could get away with it. I’ve tried constantly
to reason with him that he should come in, take a little break, have a snack and
then get his work out of the way so he can have the rest of the afternoon and
evening to do whatever he wants. Sounds reasonable, right? I mean come on, he’s
in the second grade, it’s not like he’s coming home with two hours worth of
work. And considering how bright he is, when he does get serious he’s finished
in no time flat.
Yet and still, each day it’s a battle to get him to settle down and get started. Then it’s
another challenge to get him to TRY. Since he already doesn’t want to do the work, he’ll take one look at something and say “I don’t know how to do it”. He doesn’t bother to try and analyze and think things through before he just throws in the towel. I want him to really make use of that beautiful mind God gave him! And let’s not even go into the matter of self-editing his work for accuracy, missed problems and neatness before he
gives it to me to check. I don’t expect perfection (I’m sure you’ll find some typos in this blog), but I do expect you to catch that you somehow missed three problems because you were rushing.
Ok, so here’s where it gets interesting. Since this is a blog all about experiencing
an early midlife celebration and all of the emotional and spiritual elements that go along with it – it should go without saying that fighting over homework daily is a real emotional zapper.
Well, the other day my son and me are doing our regular song and dance, ring around the homework routine and I was ready to snap. I mean I was ready to just scream a bunch of obscenities at the top of my lungs and send the kid running out of the room in tears (I’m being honest here). But instead, I took a deep breath and blurted out “Why do you have to fight me every step of the way? Why can’t you just trust me when I tell you to do something and you say ‘okay’?”. And in that moment, I had a great big AH HA!
I realized before the last word left my lips that God was telling me something, and I got
the message loud and clear. I do to God exactly what my son does to me. I resist, I kick and scream, I question and I argue.
I’ve floundered around for a good portion of my adult life wondering why things didn’t always work out the way I had wanted or hoped and why luck, fame and fortune seemed to come so easily to others but not me. Yet the harder I tried to make things turn around, the harder it seemed to be. Especially when it came to my entrepreneurial efforts.
I always tried to force my businesses to flourish, but they never did. I made money, but
I wasn’t successful. I wanted success, damn it! But it wasn’t happening, no matter how hard I tried. And it was about a year ago that my husband so insightfully pointed out to me: “It seems like you’re fighting the Universe trying to make this stuff work. If this is what you were meant to do, it would be working for you right now. Why don’t you just step back and get out of the way and just let whatever is meant to come to you come? Otherwise if you keep fighting it’s never going to happen.”
Of course at the time I dismissed his little philosophical insight (showoff!) and figured
that if I just got serious, I mean really serious about my business that things would be better and that 2008 would be a bold and successful year for me. And so off I went, taking on this whole new attitude to how I approached my business. But it didn’t work. And I see now that God gave my husband the words to speak to me and I resisted them. I kept going about things my way.
And as far as my business efforts go, 2008 unfolded for me as probably one of the
worst years for me ever. Not only did I not do well financially, but I lost the passion for what I was doing. Truth be told, I was never rah rah about it in the first place. It was fun, but it didn’t light my fire, and I always knew that, but again, I was trying to force it into being successful. God had been telling me all along to do something different, but I didn’t want to listen. I didn’t want to just “trust and say ‘okay'”.
So can you imagine the feeling that went through me when I realized that the words I was speaking to my son applied to me too? It was like God was knocking on my head saying “Hello! Do you get it now?” And boy do I get it.
I have kicked and screamed and challenged everything I should’ve been doing instead of
just saying “okay”. Even right down to this very blog that I’m writing. Reaching out to other women experiencing early midlife celebrations just didn’t make sense to me…I mean, who am I, going through it myself, to try and help someone else? I ignored it and even tried to tell myself that this couldn’t possibly be what I’m supposed to do. I didn’t even know where to begin. Yet and still, that “knowing” part of me kept telling me this IS what I’m supposed to do. So here I am.
It was in that moment that God showed me myself through my son that I completely stepped back and said “OKAY”. Now, prior to that little epiphany, at the beginning of the year I made my ode to a New Year Resolution; I vowed for the first time ever that instead of me saying “Okay God, this is what I’m doing this year”, I decided to ask “What would you like for me to do?” Now mind you, even in taking that very new step of putting God in the driver’s seat, I still resisted, I still questioned and I still kept trying to reach over and take over the wheel or put my foot on the brake because I just didn’t trust…and we’re still in the first month of the year here!
But I think that if I was to be completely sincere about my intentions to let go and let
God, I needed to see myself before I would be able to do that. And now that I know that is how I’ve been acting I won’t say that I’m diving in head first. It’s a process – and it’s not that I don’t trust God, because I do – but this is an
old habit that has to be laid to rest.
So now instead of me fighting, kicking and screaming, I just simply say “I don’t get it, but I’ll do it”. I’ve heard of some spiritually enlightened individuals who don’t question, don’t comment, nothing. They just do. I think it takes a lot of time to develop that type of discipline and faith. I’m just coming into my knowing and I get the feeling that God is going to give me the space I need to grow into this, and I appreciate that.
So, as you find yourself with a persistent challenge in the midst of your early midlife celebration – especially as it relates to the undesirable behaviors of your loved ones, co-workers or friends – stop and ask yourself could your Higher Source be trying to tell you something. Take a closer look at those things that drive you bonkers about someone else. That person is probably serving as a mirror for you to see yourself so that you may correct whatever it is that you don’t like. And as I am learning through my mirror, my son, as I begin trusting and saying “okay”, so will he.