When I was younger, I used to hear adults saying things like “Life goes by so quickly“. Or “Kids grow up so quickly, enjoy them while they’re young” Or “Don’t live with regrets“. Or “Look after your body and yourself“.
Most of these things escapes the mind of a young and naive person. Being young and free spirited, we attempt everything and feel fearless. From a young age, we just know it all and, we know better. I look at my children for example, all at different ages and then, I take a hard look at myself. All those things adults used to say, they’re all true. Looking back now, I wish I had listened…(Isn’t it ironic?)
My 6 year old daughter, for example, knows best regardless of whether I’m right or wrong (no wait…I’m always right!). She learns the hard way and seems to be programmed that way. I allow this process simply because I know there’s a lesson in each thing, which is imparted only via a bit of struggle. I simply love her to bits and look at her fondly (sometimes) when she becomes all stroppy and independent-like. I see a strong woman in her and just know that she’ll do great things one day. She won’t let anyone mess with her, that’s for sure. Though right now, dealing with selective mutism and all, it’s a bit more challenging.
My teenage sons, well what can I say…they’re boys and so different from one another. They come with their own challenges for me, some of which, I smile at knowingly because I recognise only too well the path they’re on. The good thing in these situations, I know it’ll all work out for the best for them. I allow them to make their own choices and if there’s one thing I want more than anything for my children – it would have to be that they are strong, independent individuals who can take care of themselves. I don’t limit them, I don’t stop them from doing things…if anything, they need to live life better than I have thus far.
So, I might be younger than most people I know but, I’m fully aware that the clock is always ticking. A little while ago, I was reminded just how quickly death comes for us. It doesn’t ask for a time or give a reason, it simply takes us ready or not. I have said before, I don’t fear death. In fact, I trust enough to know that there are some things we can control and some things which we can’t. The one desire rising in me, increasingly so, is to make a difference in this world. I want others to say that I affected their lives in a positive way…no matter how big or small. A few have done so already and that’s simply awesome! So…now I’m aiming for a higher number ?
If I had listened to the things older people told me, I would have:
“Life goes by so quickly”
Believed them when they said it and enjoyed life more. Not sweat the small stuff and stress about insignificant events or people. (I’m not the first to say this and I KNOW I won’t be the last).
“Don’t live with regrets”
This is a big one for me.
I always admire those people who say they have no regrets (Though I have to wonder if they’re being entirely honest). Nevertheless, I wish I knew their secret. I’ll be the first to admit, I cannot honestly say this is true for me. There’s so much I regret: things I shouldn’t have said, people whom I’ve hurt and more importantly who I ALLOWED to hurt me…the list is endless.
Sadly, I have been living with regrets all these years and can’t see a way out of this one. So, if I were to die tomorrow, I would fall boots and all into the category of people who have died before me…filled with regret.
“Look after your body and yourself”
Along the same vein as living with regrets, I should have listened to this one too. I used to do ballet as a young girl and, I’m sure had I continued with this and pursued it further, I would have been happier with my physique than I currently am. My health is also becoming more and more of a concern to me, aside from my Hydrocephalus (which is not in my control). There is an increase in the need to eat healthier but more so because I want to live a little longer. (I know there’s no guarantee of this because we could literally die from anything in today’s day and age). Though I can keep on trying to do the right thing for my body and myself…
“Kids grow up so quickly, enjoy them while they’re young”
Oh boy! I love my kids, don’t get me wrong. However, there are times (too many) where I have longed to know what life would be like had I not gotten married and had kids. It all just feels overwhelming sometimes. The saying is so true though.
I remember when I was pregnant with my boys, the moment I found out I was pregnant and all the happiness and joy I was overcome with. I also remember thinking what the Heck just happened to my life when I no longer appeared to have one.
I suppose the biggest thing was the fact that I felt like I had little to zero help. Feeling like I had to be a mother 24/7/365, with no break in between. Some of you might say, “Well what else is motherhood if not being there 24/7/365!“. To these people I say, have you tried it and successfully maintained your sanity 100% of the time? I have the deepest respect for single mothers. But, we all need a break. Motherhood certainly is not the Rosie picture most people paint it to be. It’s hard work and not knowing what you’re getting yourself into, it’s a big shock to ones system.
If I had to do it over, I would have taken my time in starting my family. I would have enjoyed life more and get myself to a stage where I am ready to accept full responsibility for another human being. I would have ensured that my spouse was in fact as reliable as he said he would be in terms of sharing the responsibility. (Something we both have vastly different opinions on). But, that was not the case…and, as dumb as I was, I went through it three times. If I have failed my kids because of this, I most humbly apologise for being so irresponsible.
I remember when my boys were younger, it felt like a constant crazy mess, I still feel that way a bit with my daughter, but not as bad. I always yearned for more help, wished I had more time to myself and strongly craved more sleep. I don’t know what kind of job I did with them over all these years but, I pray I didn’t do too much harm. (As parents we do this regardless of whether it’s intentional or not). No parent is perfect and neither are children. It’s a damn hard job and one no one can prepare you for. The tests of faith and self control while maintaining your sanity, are some of the hardest things I’ve had to practice in my life.
Kids certainly do grow up quicker than we realise. They become more complicated and challenging as each year passes. We either appreciate it at the time or we busy ourselves with life and live to regret it. As a parent, I realise that I need to be there for my kids to help them figure out life and all that it throws their way. However, I feel inadequate to do this especially given the fact that I’m still trying to find “5 minutes” to figure out some stuff for myself.
I would have lived more, loved more and experienced things I’ve limited myself in throughout the years. I would have been more…
I could go on and on but the fact remains I can’t get back the time which has passed. I’ll aim to keep on trying and make the most of the time I have left…how ever long that may be.
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I blog about Hydrocephalus and Selective Mutism to give a voice to the millions of people around the world with this condition and disorder. As much as these experiences are unique to me and my family, I’m sure others have experienced it too. My aim…to shine a light on it and raise awareness – simple and challenging at the same time but worth it!