NEW VIEWS. OR ARE THEY?

Cute boots, huh?

Cute boots, huh?

Explaining the meaning of life...

Explaining the meaning of life…

By Melissa Flynn

It’s 2013 and I’m still moving on. What about you?

Whatever you are doing, please tell me that you didn’t make New Year’s resolutions. Please tell me that you didn’t write down that you wanted to lose weight and dump that loser.

Instead let’s all make a list of life goals. Then every year, I want you all to review and revise those goals. It’s all about retrospection and redesign.

Recently, I did one of my “Moving On” workshops at a local church. I preached the same thing to them—forget resolutions and concentrate on the bigger picture.

My sister Halima has an interesting idea of rebooting that I also shared with the group. At the beginning of each year, she cleans the house, stocks up on all supplies and toiletries, and even backs up her computer. It’s all a bit more than I want to do, but I like the idea. Feel free to read more about her ideas on her blog. (halimaflynn.blogspot.com)

I think we can all agree that it doesn’t hurt to reboot, reorganize or re-evaluate our lives—especially for those times when we feel like we are hitting a wall. It’s like that saying that I have repeated to my son over and over. “If you keep doing something and it isn’t working, then try something different.”

Sometimes when we try to move on, no matter what we do it does not work. That means it is time to re-evaluate—revise your course of action.

I explained my notion of retrospection to the church group. But I also added that we must all pull together and help one another. As I talked, I saw a smile and a nod, here and there. Being presumptuous, as I tend to be, I took those expressions and body language to mean that they agreed and understood.

My talk continued, as it usually does, with me going on and on about my trials and tribulations. I decided to move on from my mess and reach out to help others. (FYI: Helping others helps you. Helping you helps others.) And as many do, I struggle along the way. No matter how great my determination, life doesn’t always work out as planned. I conjure up inspiration wherever I can: a Psalm, a MLK Jr. Speech, The Presidential Inauguration, and maybe even a glance from my mother’s picture in my office.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

William Ernest Henley

These and many other words, help me maintain my balance. The world needs more beacons of hope and inspiration—people who are willing and able to spread the word that it is never too late to get your life on track. I have decided to be such a person. So if you need a bit of inspiration for any cause, send me a note: movingontoinspire@gmail.com.

If you have a group who needs inspiration, send me a note. If you need a coach to keep you on track, send me a note. Even if you just want to say hi, send me a note.

We all find ways to cope with what life throws at us. Sometimes those coping mechanisms are not very healthy. I can give you some tips to find healthier ones. And in the meantime, I want you all to do two things for me.

 Make a list of goals
 Then get up every day and work towards those goals

And at the end, it is not important whether or not you complete those goals. What are most important are the journey and the people you meet along the way.

To reiterate, forget the making of New Year’s resolutions. According to the definition, resolutions could look a lot like goals. That I can agree with; just don’t wait until January 1st to try and push yourself towards succeeding within the next twelve months. Sit down and set some short and long-term goals for your life. Then be realistic about the things you need to do in order to reach those goals.

And in order to stay focused, I want you all to copy these things down and repeat them regularly.

 I AM SOMEBODY
 WE ARE ALL SOMEBODY
 WE HAVE TO WORK TOGETHER, THAT’S HOW COMMUNITIES GROW
 I WILL IDENTIFY MY FEARS
 I WILL OVERCOME MY FEARS
 I WILL STAY FOCUSED
 I WILL BE A LEADER
 I WILL BE AN EXAMPLE FOR ALL CHILDREN
 I WILL HELP MY NEIGHBORS

As I put this down on paper for you, I was remembering a couple of things: that movie “Pay It Forward” and Ann Curry’s 26 acts of kindness campaign.

So let’s move on and make the most of our time.

Missed Moments as I Move On

Hello. It’s been a long month, and I’ve missed you all.

I’m unpacking and moving on. And once again, I wish my son were there by my side. I wish this for many reasons – mostly because I want to hold his hand and guide him through life. I want to help insure he succeeds at something. I want to be sure he doesn’t stumble in my footprints. But, as usual, he chooses to go it alone.

A couple of weeks ago, I asked my son to come and meet me.

“Why don’t you come out around 1pm? I’ll meet you at the library.”

“The needle is between E and ¼ of a tank.”

“I’ll give you a few dollars of gas to get back home.” I hesitate as I tell him this; he needs to work harder to support himself. He says he is grown and mature, but the evidence shows no signs of this.

He made it out. We talked, we laughed, and I gave him some gas money.

“I can come out to help you tomorrow or Friday.”

“Okay. That’s fine. I have so much to do. And, my shoulder and knee hinder me from getting much done.”

Thursday, Friday and Saturday passed. No sign of Cameron. No explanation. Calls and texts unreturned. What does that mean? What is he thinking? Will he ever come around? Will he ever be there to show his support?

My anger and I moved again, and Cam made it to help. He said he would return a few days later to help and no Cam again. I even texted him to tell him that I was sick with a fever and needed juice and soup. No Cam still.

I may be ranting a bit. But, it is cathartic; ranting is how I vent, and I vent to hide my hurt. I vent to make myself feel better about losing a friend. I vent so I won’t strangle my son. I vent so that his girlfriend can live. Okay. Maybe I went too far there. All life is sacred. But, as I was saying, I vent to not be so angry.

It’s natural to assume that a mother and son would help each other move, so you can understand my disappointment. The root of my hurt is more about what’s obviously missing in our relationship. It may seem as if I only need him, what I truly long for is for him to realize we need each other.  A mother’s love is the only unconditional love. And, though he may think I have some pre-planned agenda for his life, I only want to see him succeed at doing something that he loves. I only want to see that he thrives in this complicated world we live in. I only want him to survive the beating that the world is likely to give him. And though we don’t have to take on this world together, if we were a team, it would be much simpler.

As I ponder our relationship status, I’m reminded of another Cheshire Patch blog. So, I share once again. Before I do, I must say one thing. I love my son more than life.

************************************************************************************

The two of us together.

Is he a reflection of me?

I Miss My Best Friend

Posted on September 26, 2011 at 2:13 pm

‘I’m not alone. I’m not alone. It will get better. Things will work out. He will come to his senses.’

This cathartic mantra has become a daily routine. This is what I tell myself while I sit home wondering what my young adult son is doing with his life.

Will he eventually allow me to help get him on track? Will he dump that girl? Will he have that life he deserves? Is he eating? Does he have clean clothes?

As parents, we have to find a way to move on and let our kids make their own mistakes. From experience I can tell you that it’s hard. It’s really hard. But, sometimes we just have to believe. We think that if they don’t follow yesterdays plan that tomorrow can’t happen. This is not so.

I miss him. I miss my friend. Being a single parent, we spent most of our time together. We went to movies. We hung out at the library and bookstores. We went to the beach. We went hiking. We even traveled across country together. I miss him. I love him, but I have to move on.

We don’t always think about what it was like to grow up. We tend to forget that we too once only lived for the moment. We too thought we would outlive our youth.

Lately, I have come to some realizations about my parental expectations. I usually think that it is his way or my way. But now, I’m trying to live somewhere in between that. I’m gonna stand back, watch from a distance and let him know that when and if he falls and calls out to me that I will be there.

My birthday and Mother’s Day have come and gone and all I’m left with is a voicemail message. I just wish he could fathom the pain and the emptiness that I feel as I ponder his current predicament. Is he taking care of his needs? Is he really happy?

I’ve been trying to figure this out. What do I do? How do I deal? Who do I go to for these answers? Is it possible to get over wanting to be involved in my son’s day to day? NO.

I just have to wake up every day, put my clothes on and try to live each day to the fullest. Once I acknowledge my limitations, I can then move on to other priorities in my life. Everyone has things that they once put aside to be a parent. So, I get back to making that list – that what-do-I-want-to-do-when-I-grow-up list.

By putting aside my family struggles and unintentional shortcomings, my emotional load is lighter. I just need to add some more lines to my mantra. ‘Rebelling is natural. Growing up is okay. We can’t control our children’s lives. We can’t force our children to understand what they aren’t ready to see.’

Parents try and use their experiences to help foresee the approaching doom. We want to avoid having to watch our children stumble. Every once in a while we get lucky and some children heed our warnings. Other times, we just have to give them some space and hope that our nurturing and teachings have made enough of an impact for them to eventually flourish. Children do absorb more than we realize – it just takes time to simmer.

I can still remember when I first held my baby. He was wrinkly, long, cute and white with blue eyes. He was the sweetest thing that ever was born; with his tiny feet and powder soft skin.

I used to watch him sleep all the time – so peaceful and relaxing.

Now, oh what I would do just to stand in the doorway one more night and watch him sleep.

******************************************************************************************

 

But, in the meantime, I move on and take care of me. I love him. I miss him, but what about me?