How you view life is influenced by your attitude. It’s easy to look at others and make snap assessments about their life which may or may not be true. Do you do the same thing with yourself by judging your challenging situations too quickly, not seeing the hidden gifts that can come from difficult surpriseS? Failure may seem only a step away as you fall over stumbling blocks unless you see that with some creativity, unwanted surprises can be turned into stepping stones.
For most people who marry, divorce can be seen as a failure of the highest magnitude. Whatever the cause of this surprise separation, two formerly in love partners did commit once to live together. I would rate my divorce as my biggest challenge in life. As I’ve gained the perspective of years, I can see how it’s actually benefited me in many ways. Being a single parent demanded that I build on my strengths and overcome my weaknesses. Raising four sons alone required ingenuity and lots of patience that I reluctantly developed. There was the choice of lamenting the unfairness of it all, the why me or pity parties that could’ve dominated my thinking if allowed or I could choose to move on with the daily demands of supporting and nurturing my growing family of four active boys.
Raised as an only child, the biggest surprise for me after becoming a mother was that siblings sometimes disagree with each other. As a single parent, I became a REFEREE, BREAD EARNER, COACH, and CHEERLEADER all wrapped up in one package called Mom. Was I successful every day? No, there were times when I was ready to dump my responsibilities and run away, but to where? The love and commitment for my children became stronger after my divorce and steadied my course through their teen years that were full of surprises.
Fast forward, now as a grand parent I find I have less patience with grand children’s misbehavior than I remember having as a parent. Maybe because…I’ve been there, done that before. Not that my love is any less for these children of my children, but I don’t have the same responsibility towards them as their parents do. SURPRISE! I’m in a new role where I can give advice (when asked) and be a resource of love and encouragement to all generations of my family. NEXT TIME: Changing Roles