life is what you make it

{found via pinterest}

i turned 31 yesterday. it's not terribly eventful, turning 31. not like the inverse. turning 13 - that was a big deal. it also happened a long time ago. in many ways i'm not where i thought i would be at this point. in another sense i don't really know where i thought i would be.

this sunday i was asked how i like being a stay-at-home-mom. i answered honestly - it depends on the day. i think that's true of life no matter what age and stage you are. sometimes life treats you well. sometimes it slaps you across the face. 

we americans do a really poor job of realizing this though. we are all about happiness. but being happy all the time doesn't lead to growth. no matter what path i choose in life there will be hard times. no.matter.what.

some days i look at my life and i think "ugh more poopy diapers and toddler tantrums, and nursing problems, and how is this my life??" and other times i realize that a few snippets do not make up my whole life. just like being a s.a.h.m. right now doesn't mean that i am nothing else.

i may not be a rock star hyphenate like some other people out there, but i have more than one descriptor to me. we are not just what we do for work. i am not just a mom. i'm also a wife, a runner, a writer, a coach. just to name a few.

and i think it's important to own who i am, and who i am not

i talked to my cousin yesterday, and she was picking up birthday treats for her son [he also happens to be my birthday twin - happy birthday logan!]. she was stopping at target, and told me "some moms are really good at making homemade treats. me? i'm good at picking up ice cream sandwiches and popsicles." and it just struck me. she owns who she is, and who she is not.

and that is so important. sometimes we work so hard at being someone else. we work so hard trying to do something, or like something, or be something else. 

i think if i could answer that question again - the one about enjoying my "day job" - i would say this: i am glad that i have an opportunity to be at home with my kids, but some days are hard. some days i need to remind myself that i am not only a poop wiper, and a nose wiper, a lunch fixer, a cuddler, and a milk machine. i am not just "mommy" and all that goes with that title - in the best and worst sense. i need time to be the other parts of myself too. and those times are so important to being a good mom for my kids.

i don't understand why we put people in boxes and decide they have to stay there. for some reason we're surprised when people encompass more than one label, but we don't like to be labeled as one thing and only one thing if we're being honest with ourselves.

life is largely what we make of it. we cannot control other people. we can only control a certain amount of what happens to us. but we can control how we react to everything and everyone around us. we can control our own actions and reactions. we control our effort and our attitude. we cannot control everything, but that doesn't mean life just happens to us and there is nothing we can do about it.

yes, God is ultimately in control, but he also made us with gifts and talents. he made me with a certain personality and gave me my passions.

we all have a role to play.

and we all need to know who we are, and who we are not. and we need to stop apologizing for who we are not.

this is not a pass to be rude and inconsiderate, but it does mean that it's okay to say no and take a pass sometimes.

i may be getting older, but every year i figure out how much i don't know. and as i get older i don't want to stop learning and growing as a person.

so there you go. a little bit of who i am, and who i'm not. i'm finally figuring out that it's important to know and understand both sides of the coin.



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