Other than 'joyful' one of the favorite words to describe my life would be 'settled'. Relaxed, content, at ease, slow paced are some of the characteristics I strive for. There is no constant desire to change radically, but new habits are embraced at times and made room for in the lifestyle.
As we approach our 24th anniversary next month, I'm reminded how we purchased our first home, which is the same home we have lived in the entire time! Shortly after we moved in, some neighbors moved in. They are also family being husband's cousin and her husband. This arrangement worked out well for so many years as we had put down roots together, shared meals visits, raised children together, weathered sickness, troubles, trials, kept in constant contact and were always there for one another.
As life does, things change and my dear neighbors are living in another state right now. I'm so proud of them for seeing an opportunity and grabbing hold of it. They are exploring new areas, meeting new friends, have new jobs, are growing in new experiences and finding that they can do things they never thought they could. Of course I miss them, but we do stay in contact and it does my heart good to see them so independent and flourishing.
This arrangement was going well until my son saw an opportunity to visit them for the summer and pounced upon it. (He isn't settled like me!, but a go-getter, grab the moment, life of the party type!). So, in 2 days, he will be off across the county for 2 months.
That nagging, protective 'mama' attitude kicks in and bombards me with so many 'what if's'. Change isn't easy, and this isn't that big of a change! Holding him back from going would surely make 'me' feel better, but would not be in his best interest. One of the hardest changes through life is to let go of our own feelings for the betterment of another. To put what works best for me aside and focus on allowing him to become better.
Changes like this require a new mindset and attitude. It takes rewiring the mind to think beyond self, sadness, inconvenience and on to the good that can come. It trades not dwelling on the unpleasant things and recalling and remembering the good things - the blessings of this situation.
Often when I face challenges, my mom's down to earth advice comes to mind. "No matter how bad you think you have it, remember someone else has it even worse." I am reminded of several of my friends with boys the age of my son who are proudly sending them off to college and to the armed forces. This is a natural transition of life, one that must be walked through to prepare our children to be independent and prepared for their own journey.
I'm waiting to post this after he leaves to remind myself not to dwell on my feelings, but to be thankful for the opportunity. Thankful for:
his personality that embraces new opportunities
his common sense
his hard work ethic
his ability to make new friends
his gift of being outgoing
his sense of responsibility
and how those gifts from God equip him in his journey in life and how this experience will be a blessing.
And how every difficulty or trial we face can be used by God to refine us, and unsettle us for our best.