Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Release

T.S. Eliot said, "April is the cruelest month", but right now I'm thinking it could be January. In the past week my father-in-law has retired from teaching because of pulmonary fibrosis. My sister-in-law's 87 year old mother died on Sunday. This morning I learned of 2 friends who lost parents in the past 24 hours. I have 2 more friends whose mother's are dying. Add to that my son is struggling with possibly changing college majors/colleges. My daughter just started her final internship for college. My husband is struggling with his father's illness, our son's challenges, and his own work in graduate school.

That leaves me as the voice of calm and reason around the house right now, which reminds of how important it is to learn to release stress, or whatever portion of it I can. 

Learning to release stress is difficult. For me, what's really hard, is learning to accept what I have no control over. The reality of this life is that I have very little control over anything, and recognizing that lack of power is strangely empowering. It's not my job to heal the sick or raise the dead. Okay I probably already knew that, but it's also not my job to make my kids happy, solve their problems, or those of my husband either. Dealing with difficulties, heartache, loss -- that's all part of living, and for most of us the only way to grow is through those experiences. So the carry over is if I protect my kids from difficulties, I'm also hindering their growth.

So, yeah, January's been rough. And it's not over yet. But that's okay because it's not my job to keep bad things from happening. My job is to be a listening ear and a loving wife and mother, and I can do that and release a lot of the stress.

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