Was my life perfect? No, not by any measure of the word. I had many struggles and many hard things I was going through that people didn't know about until I went on my mission. In fact, I had a counselor tell me that the only way I made it through the challenges was because I was stubborn.
I look back at those times and I am so grateful that my parent's taught us hard work, to serve the community, to spend time together as a family, to work for good grades and take education seriously and the list goes on.
Was I mad at my parent's at times because I didn't get to go hang out with my friends instead of planting trees? Yes.
Did I fight with my siblings and even think that I hated some of them growing up? Yes.
Did I fight with my parent's and think they were wrong at times? Yes.
Did I treat others with disrespect because I was mad and thought they were wrong? Yes.
Did I cause my parent's worry and heartbreak growing up? Yes.
Do I hope that my children don't do some of the things that I did to my parent's? Yes.
Did I feel the spirit and enjoy giving service when all was said and done? Yes.
Do I have utmost respect for my parent's for all that they taught me? Yes.
Do I think it was easy for them to be parent's? No
Do I think they felt like they were failing at times? Yes.
Am I blessed because people thought highly of me and I worked at living up to that image when things weren't really as they seemed? Yes.
1. Our house is a mess and there is ALWAYS a pile of laundry
2. There are always dishes that need to be done
3. Every time I want something done in the house I have to ask my children more than once to help and sometimes I give up and just do it myself or leave it undone
4. I struggle with my health and have to work at it every day - sometimes I can't even think clearly because of the numbers from my diabetes, blood pressure, cholesterol - take your pick
5. We have gone through 4 different times of unemployment in the last 6 - 7 years.
6. With that has brought major financial struggles and we are still working on taking care of our financial obligations.
7. My boys each have their own struggles and some days are better than others.
8. We do have fighting in our home - probably on a daily basis among the brothers and sometimes with dad and mom. I have to work daily at building stronger, better relationships with my boys and my husband.
9. I struggle with being confident and have to give myself pep talks when going to meetings or getting up in front of people (I am TERRIFIED to be in front of people). I often lose sleep the night before a meeting that I am in charge of. I struggle with anxiety and have a major fear of making mistakes.
10. I yell. I get mad. I have an opinion and can get really frustrated when I am at home. Not very often in public, because I have a major guilt problem and worry so much about hurting people's feelings.
1. I am enjoying making memories with my family, because the mess will always be there. There will always be laundry to be done, as long as we have clean clothes to wear each day we are doing great!
2. Yes, the dishes have to be done. It's a part of life, but it's alright if they wait for a short bit. It can be a team effort when they do get done.
3. It is frustrating asking my children over and over, but hard work and learning to do household things is very important. These are skills they will need for their missions and cleaning can be fun and very rewarding. Sometimes we have to take a breather or negotiate for a different time when we are all feeling like we can do it.
4. Due to a doctor helping me face my reality, I am getting healthier. I love that I have perspective that if I get healthier I can be around longer for my boys. That is very important to me. I love that I might have a bad day, but that I can start over tomorrow or even in 10 minutes and make things better. I love a good challenge and this is the one for me.
5. Unemployment has not been easy by any sense of the word. It has taken a financial and emotional toll on our family. It has caused many tears,worry, stress, etc. On the other hand, unemployment has helped us appreciate the simple life. We don't have to have the big things. Playing a board game and pancakes and eggs for dinner is the best meal ever. We have also learned what it is like to be served and helped by so many. It has been extremely humbling, but in turn it has helped us empathize and reach out to others and give back when we haven't been unemployed. Also, with each time there has always been a reason, something to learn and something better on the other side. Rick has a job that he absolutely loves and that wouldn't have happened without losing his other jobs.
6. Financial struggles stink. Owing people money, not making ends meet, finding balance between the needs and wants and providing my boys with opportunities they would like is really a challenge. This can be a very heavy weight. On the other side of things, my boys appreciate the simple things we are able to do for them. They don't just assume that they can do everything they would like to do. They learn to make decisions and are learning great lessons for their future. Because we don't have money for everything out there we really get to spend a lot of quality time as a family that we will cherish forever. When we pay something off it is so rewarding. We recognize both sides of the coin on this one and we are still working at it, but I don't let it get me down.
7. My boys struggles. We all have hard days with our own weaknesses, disappointments, etc. What I love is that they are learning to battle through them. When they go through the experiences they are better people for it. They are stronger and find a feeling of success and momentum to take on the next challenge, because it will be there. There is no need to beat ourselves or others up over their mistakes. We all make them in different ways so it is important to be a team and work together, be a cheerleader. I want them to know that there is still happiness and laughter through struggles.
8. Fighting in our home - surprise!!! Someone is mad, wrestling started out as fun and now someone is hurt, I got impatient and yelled at one of the boys or felt disappointment that something wasn't done, etc. We all know the story, because I am sure it happens in all of our homes. We have a saying that we are working for eternity and these are the people we want to be with forever. We apologize, work through things, apologize when we are wrong (I probably do the most apologizing) and we love each other. Our best friends and those that are truly our safety nets live right within the walls of our home. This is our safe place.
9. I am working on myself constantly. I am not a very confident person internally, but I would bet those who know me or who have worked with me would totally think that I am confident. I give myself pep talks and I go for it. I give things a try. I do fail and I recognize that some things are just not for me and it is alright. I am proud of myself for reaching outside of my comfort zone and becoming a better person. I like making progress in the right direction so I have to do hard things. Due to doing hard things I have been extremely blessed with great friends and a network of people who have not only blessed my life, but my entire family. If I didn't face my fears I wouldn't know the joy that comes with the things that I do.
10. Guilt and getting mad are probably the greatest things I need to work on all of the time, but due to those two characteristics in my life I really strive hard to keep my mean feelings or opinions to myself or vent to Rick when I am at home. The blessing of this is that I find myself really trying hard to understand where that person is coming from or what they need. I want to leave each situation helping people feel better about themselves. I want them to think about their interactions with me as a positive thing. I want to be a better person and in turn help others to be their very best.
Alright, this has been an EXTREMELY long post, but I just felt that I should share a little more about myself and what my reality or my real life is really all about. I truly believe life is all about counting our blessings right where we are and finding happiness in the struggles - we all have them. Good or bad - happiness makes each day better.