Enjoy the Journey You Are On – Day 149

October 27, 2010 5 Comments

 

365 Days to a Balanced Life Journey – Day 149

 

Quote of the Day

When you have brought up kids, there are memories you store directly in your tear ducts.”  – Robert Brault

When I started this trip my fear was that I would have too much lonely time on my hands in a foreign country.  Indeed my first few days in Melbourne I felt like a fish out of water and I saw the weeks in front of me giving me more than enough time to do what I came here to do.   However, I am now entering the last 2 weeks of my Solitude Journey and I fear that it is ending far too soon.  It is not that I don’t miss my family and my home it is just that I am now just starting to feel like I’m getting to the stage where I can do some serious reflective work and as we know that cannot be rushed.

I am in the Gold Coast now and this week I have a dear friend with me who has a very special place in my heart.  She was the lady I trusted to look after my infant son almost 22 years ago.  Carmel was a steady influence in Russ’s life for 6 years and the reason I could do the high stress/high energy work that I did in those days.  She moved back to Australia 8 years ago so sadly we have not seen much of her.  At 72 she is in amazing shape and still looking after two little boys here in Australia (she has fewer wrinkles than most 50 year olds !!!) Through the magic of Skype she has been able to visit with Russ back in Vancouver and his father, Archie in Maui.  In addition his father was able to send us home videos through Skype so we could reminisce about the days that we both adored one little boy who had stolen our hearts.

Of course this started me on the trail of reflecting on my time as a young mother struggling to be the best I could be at two demanding jobs; motherhood and my career.  I am sure I made a lot of mistakes along the way but I also know I put everything I could spare into that child and his development (and his sister’s who followed 7 years later).  I tried to make all the important events in their lives and I focused my evening, vacation time and weekends on being a good mother.  When I think about all the family vacations we have shared together and the big family dinners with uncles, aunts, cousins and the much loved Nanny and Poppa, I’m proud of the life I created for these children.

It must be said that I was a workaholic which resulted in a burnout several years ago.  What I don’t think most people saw in those days was that even though I put a great deal of energy into my work, I put an equal amount into being a mother (hence the burnout).  It was motherhood that was my greatest pleasure in life.  My kids have brought me more joy than any amount of money, prestige, travel and creature comforts could bring.  If I could have a “do over” I would most certainly have worked less, stressed less and laughed more.  With my youngest at 15 and away for 7 weeks in New Zealand, I am faced with the ugly reality that my usefulness in their lives is diminishing.  It seems so unfair that just when you start to have the time to spend with them, they no longer want to spend it with you. 

I ignored the warnings when I was embarking on my Motherhood Journey.  We all heard it at our baby shower didn’t we?  “Enjoy this time as it goes by so fast”. I remember the sleepless nights with my son (for eleven months!) when I would have to get up for work in the morning, I would be thinking, ” please God let this end soon”.  What I wouldn’t give now for that time back again; the cuddle of a freshly bathed child, the endless good night stories and songs, the snakes and ladders games,  sitting in the park watching them play; wishing they would let me take them home soon, watching Jungle Book and Little Mermaid for the 223rd time, Christmas Concerts, School Plays, Ballet, Figure Skating, Kickboxing, Swimming lessons, Play Dates, Soccer, Baseball and the dreaded TBall! Not to mention driving, driving and more driving.  No sleep and no time for myself.  I admit, at times I felt that it was a mind numbing waste of time. 

Fast forward to 22 years later and I am a 54 year old woman on a Solitude Journey yearning for the days when solitude was a rare moment grabbed between commitments and always with the feeling that I was letting someone else down.  What would I give to have this time back again and do it right?  I’d like to think that I would savor every moment and really get that these are the most precious moments of our lives.

I know that like everyone, my kids will probably look back at their childhood and focus on the flaws of their parents (mainly mom’s) and lament that if only I had done this or not done that, they would have been better human beings.  I can only pray that they will be fair in their judgment and hopefully will appreciate the sacrifices I made and the love I lavished on them as well as forgive me for my weaknesses.  I was doing the best I could with the knowledge I had.

There is an interesting parallel between my Motherhood Journey and my Solitude Journey; I should have taken care to make the most out of every day as it too has gone by far too fast.  The definition of insanity is to continue to do the same thing and expect different results.  I am determined to enjoy every moment of the next two weeks and when I get home I will consciously live my life spending as much quality time with my children and my future grandchildren as they will let me.  I hope that they will realize sooner than I did that it will end all too soon. 

In the end all we have of the past are the memories of our times together.  I hope in the future when my children speak of me, and they will, they will remember those times as fondly as I am remembering them now.

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5 Comments to “Enjoy the Journey You Are On – Day 149”
  1. […] To read the article click on the above title and then again on here                                                […]

  2. Ceri Bowles says:

    Beautifully written Roneen.

  3. Kristi Littell says:

    What a brave, interesting journey you are on. You are inspiring and Carmel is truly amazing! 72? NO WAY!
    This will be an amazing sojourn for you and for those of us who will accompany you vicariously.

  4. Mary Slack says:

    Today’s writing brought back memories of Wylie and I spending time with you,3year old Russ and Archie in Maui. I have been following your journey and your writings have inspired me to do better in my everyday life. Enjoy the rest of your trip, enjoy your beautiful family and live your best life. Many hugs from Mary

  5. rachelle says:

    bawled. my. eyes. out. but got frozen on the statement about a lack of use you feel as russ and kali age. i have not read further yet, but roneen from the bottom of my heart you will always have a use and always be useful to them. like i told you on your birthday, you are force. you offer pulls to them, keep them on track, and keep russ (be it through nature or nurture) striving to take on a million tasks and emulating you in his personality.

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