Thursday, January 24, 2013

Not Every Loss is a Defeat

and Not Every Win is a Victory.  

Sometimes we have a single perspective that if we win it's good and if we lose it's bad.  If we get the job - good, if our interview goes terribly - bad.  But this is a very one dimensional perspective.  It would be really easy to look at my life for the last year and say I've been losing and therefore that's bad.  To be honest there are times that I've totally embraced that perspective.  I've had one or two sobbing on the bathroom floor kind of moments and moments where I have just felt defeated period.  

BUT  (and it's a big butt ;-)) as I reflect on the last year of my life I see many defeats that were actually victories and some wins that were disguised as losses.  It's not entirely my perspective, but truthfully that's most of it.   

Sure, I've lost a lot.  But I have gained so much more.  I have freedom, happiness and peace.  There is finally some justice.  That has been a long time coming.  And it's possible that others would not think it's justice.  But they're wrong.

As I was sitting down with bathed, jammied, homework finished children the other night watching Veggie Tales I had an overwhelming sense of peace.  It was an epiphany, I don't use that word casually.  "We are good, we are better than good, we are great."  It went something like that.  I was reflecting on how healthy and happy my children are.  How healthy and happy I am and how blessed we have been.  It helped that they all smelled like baby shampoo and were behaving like little angels.  

It's the truth, and it's a very pleasant one.  Partially we are good because I am focused on creating a good life for us, I have a positive attitude that is not unrealistic.  I am aware of what our challenges are and I don't allow myself to focus to far in the future.  I take one thing at a time.  In my house, the tenor and tempo depends on me.  

I am the one who decides to surmount challenges or succumb to them.  I am the one who decides when we really need to make chocolate chip cookies instead of dinner tonight.  I am the one who decides to parent in a way that is effective yet not easy.  I am the one who chooses my tone of voice when speaking to my children, the voice that eventually becomes their inner monologue.  I am the one who chooses to work too hard, not enough or just enough.  I am the one who decides to cut myself some slack, or not to.  

It rides on me, that's both a comfort and a challenge. But I get to choose my mandate and my mandate is love all of us, myself included.  To focus on the positive in our losses and our victories.  Sometimes victories can make me a little gun shy.  I get nervous, waiting for the other shoe to drop.  But that is an unhelpful and earthly perspective.  Every good and perfect gift is from God, he means for us to accept them with open arms.  Not hedging wondering if we're going to get smacked for licking some icing off the side of the cake. 

Today I choose to schedule a celebration, complete with cupcakes and champagne.  

She's allowed to have the cupcakes
But not the champagne

Not even with those big brown eyes

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