It is so easy to look at the lives of others and think about how amazing they are, and then compare our family and life to this vision. We see our own foibles and feel somehow like we fall short of the dream life and family. The truth is there is no perfect life or family. The reality is that life is a roller coaster. We can however, choose our focus and the meanings we place on events. Care for an example from my crazy weekend trip?
This was the first big out of town event with our entire extended family. We went to celebrate graduation of my DD #3 from college.
Scenario #1) Started with trouble with the truck. Had to discuss Plans A, B, C and finally decided on D. Clay gets an emergency call and needs to have an appointment. On to plan E. I ride with DD #2 and decide to wait to eat at Braums in Decatur. Really bad idea as we were starving. Finally at the hotel, the room was not what I wanted and somehow we had a room at a different hotel than my other DD. Had a bit of a melt down. I had paid way more for this hotel then I ever do and felt it should be perfect. Two wardrobe malfunctions- one concerning an iron (eek) and the other dress at the other hotel. After the nurse’s pinning ceremony we went to eat with my daughters fiance’s family. I thought we shouldn’t segregate families, so I tried to sit at their table, only to be told this seat is taken. Actually that wasn’t so bad since I wanted to sit with my kids. Grace came by in the morning for a quick breakfast before graduation. Trouble with contact lens and so vision issues. She was running late, so ate quickly before dashing off. I went to hug her and somehow my teabag was caught on my finger which I then flicked and splashed all over her dress! Oh my! Rush to graduation, crazy traffic and parking, nose bleed seats… Long ceremony, grands got fussy; they had to leave early so they missed out on pictures at the end. Nowhere in the town would take reservations, so long discussions about where to eat while everyone was hungry and a terribly long wait when we finally did decide. More pictures at the school, very hot and sweaty with lots of walking. Plan E with the truck not working, so on to plan F which means another trip next weekend to finish packing and get furniture. Clay and Josh leave since there was an issue with MIL. Spent the night with DD # 1 and the grands. Ty was getting sick and up all night so no sleep. Next day, pack up the apartment and load car to the gills. Drive home with no air conditioning. Unload at home. Drive downtown to pick up my car at DD #2. sigh exhaustion.
On the other hand
Excited about the trip and everyone coming to support Grace. Got to make the trip chauffeured by DD # 2 and enjoyed our adventure together. I nicely complained to the desk clerk about the room and she changed it. While still not at the same hotel as the kids, it was very nice and I enjoyed a cup of coffee in a beautiful porcelain cup. The pinning ceremony was very nice. I loved hearing all the stories of the new nurses and seeing the support of their families. There were many Caribbean students and I was happy their families were able to attend. Of course I had the cry for each one. Back at the hotel, Clay and I took a lovely walk around a beautiful lake and sat a bit and reminded our selves of our blessings in life. I absolutely love the softness of hotel sheets and even if I couldn’t sleep well, I enjoyed just laying there in comfort. Up early i the morning. Wonderful breakfast and sat by the lake and wrote a special letter to my daughter. Telling her how proud I was of this accomplishment and encouragement to the future. Graduation was great. I just love hearing the music, seeing everyone in their caps and gowns file in and being part of this moment in their lives. We were able to eat a great lunch all together with lots of laughter and joy. It was fun to hang in the hotel with my oldest daughter and be a part of their crazy life with little ones. Both her and my SIL are great parents and take the ups and down of life with lots of humor. Helping Grace pack up and clean her first apartment was more emotional than expected for both of us. So happy I could share this and help her out here. We laughed and sweated together all the way home. She said there was no one she would rather of made the trip with. Aww, music to my ears.
So reality is life contains many ups and downs. My life and family are far from perfect, but there are so many wonderful moments to cherish along the way. I may want just the good times, but the bumpy times make me appreciate and savor the good.
I had thought about beforehand what would make the trip a success for me.
1) Support the graduate. Make her feel special.
2) Spend one on one time with each of my kids, telling them how much I admire their accomplishments in their own journey and who they are as individuals.
3) Get some good pictures and a great all family photo.
Having tangible intentions help me to see what a great time it was and there were even more special moments. I did not get a group photo, but will have to work on that another time. For now I will enjoy the fact it was a crazy weekend, but well worth it!