Sunday, September 7, 2014

Reflections

I had the most amazing weekend. Darian came home on Friday evening, bringing my nephew Jared with her, and we had a whole 48 hours of fabulous together. We ate a lot and lazed around a lot and talked and laughed a lot and played Clue and and just had a generally grand time. But of course, as it always does, time flew by and now they are on the road back to Southern while I watch the minutes on my clock tick ever closer to bedtime.

...Sigh...

But the good news is, Savana is still home. She is currently at the table in the dining room studying while I write this. Jace is in bed--exhausted from a full day of playing. And I know that Darian and Jare are chasing their own dreams there in Tennessee and that so many good things are going on for both of them. They are both exactly where they should be and I can't expect anything more than that.

Some time over the weekend--I have no idea when or even where--I read a quote that says this:

The world is a mirror, forever reflecting what you see in yourself.

That quote made me stop. It gave me pause, wondering What exactly do I see in myself?

Sometimes, sadly, I don't like what I see. I've noticed the past couple of years that I have little tolerance. Now I'm not really sure if that's because I'm in my mid-40's...or if it's just the real me shining through. The I've spent the past 20 years of my life raising a family and taking care of others and being nice and smiling when I didn't mean it and saying yes when I really meant no and saying no when I really meant yes and pretending and now...well, now I'm over it and I'm just a little more real. A little more willing to speak my mind.

Today I was talking to a girl from Verizon and I found myself getting just a tad bit frustrated. It's a long story and I'll spare the details as they aren't that interesting...but I was surrounded by Jared and Darian and Savana at the time. So as I am talking, and clearly annoyed, Savana looked at me, her eyes wide, and said, "Bring it down, Mom. She's a real person on the other side of that line."

Jared said, "My mom's the same way I don't ever let her talk to people for me on the phone because she gets annoyed way too easily. It's embarrassing."

I put my hand over the phone so that the girl on the other end (her name was Kristen) wouldn't hear me and said, "Maybe it's a genetic thing."

And then? Well, I tried desperately to lower my voice, to find a bit of calm inside of me--you know, picture rainbows and waterfalls and sunsets in my head--so that I could finish out the conversation with a bit more kindness.

The other day on Facebook someone posted a quote by Meryl Streep. It goes like this:

“I no longer have patience for certain things, not because I’ve become arrogant, but simply because I reached a point in my life where I do not want to waste more time with what displeases me or hurts me. I have no patience for cynicism, excessive criticism and demands of any nature. I lost the will to please those who do not like me, to love those who do not love me and to smile at those who do not want to smile at me. I no longer spend a single minute on those who lie or want to manipulate. I decided not to coexist anymore with pretense, hypocrisy, dishonesty and cheap praise. I do not tolerate selective erudition nor academic arrogance. I do not adjust either to popular gossiping. I hate conflict and comparisons. I believe in a world of opposites and that’s why I avoid people with rigid and inflexible personalities. In friendship I dislike the lack of loyalty and betrayal. I do not get along with those who do not know how to give a compliment or a word of encouragement. Exaggerations bore me and I have difficulty accepting those who do not like animals. And on top of everything I have no patience for anyone who does not deserve my patience.” _ Meryl Streep

And when I read that? I thought Ah. She's over 40, too. 

I don't totally agree with everything she says. But I think the part that stands out the most to me--the part that resonates within me, I suppose--is how she's learned to be real. She's learned that it isn't worth pretending anymore.

My sweet nephew Jare and I were talking over the weekend, and he made a comment about how he used to feel frustrated about certain aspects of himself. But now? Well, now he says he's learning to embrace those things because it's just part of who he is.

And I say Go you, Jare. I'm so glad he's learning to accept himself before the age of 20. It took me far too many years to learn to be nice to me. And if there's anything I've learned in my life time, it's that life is a whole lot more fun when we like ourselves, when we're good to ourselves inside of our heads.

When one hits the mid-40's there are a lot of cracks about getting old. Just the other day, Roy and I were talking while Savana watched us. I turned and looked at her....like What? She kind of laughed and said, It's so weird watching your parents get old.

Thanks, Savana.

But the truth is, I like my 40's. I like not having to work so hard for the approval of others. I like feeling a whole lot more authentic about who I am.

But if the world is a mirror, and the world reflects what I see in me...well, I want to see tolerance. I think tolerance for others--no matter who they are or what they believe in or what they stand for--is of utmost importance. And of course that doesn't mean that we should tolerate abuse of any sort. Certainly not. But we should tolerate differences--slight or otherwise.

And so, I am happy to be where I am these days. It's a good place. But when it comes to tolerance, I do believe I need to dig a little deeper. I need to stop a bit more, think before I speak.

I need more pictures of sandy beaches and rugged mountains and fluttering butterflies.

I need the mirror of my heart to be the voice of tolerance because that's a world I believe in. That's the me I want the world to see.

3 comments:

  1. first of all....I don't think we know who we even are in our 20s or maybe 30s so 40s is when we start to decide who we are and what we like about that.
    second...I really like who I see in your mirror. I love how much you love your husband and children. That is evident in every post. I love how your home seems a center of fun and nurture. I love that you have a new job and pretty red fingernails. And I love how supportive and encouraging you are to your friends. There will always be too many verizon girls and to few sandy beaches and butterflies. But through it all you seem to display grace and smiles! And late forties is not that old!!! *&*^(% IT! :)

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  2. Aw. I love your blogs. And I had such an amazing weekend too! Wish I could relive it all over again. I want to be a reflection of kindness and acceptance. I also want to be a better blogger. I love you so much!

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