Today’s one of those days when I find myself wishing I could just scrap my life and start everything all over again. I wish I could go back 10 11 years and start from scratch, to make the right choices using the information I now have. That is, assuming I could get the same awesome children and wonderful man who I have today, but without all the crap that happened in between the all-too-brief good moments.
Alas, I cannot. Even with a time machine, it would be impossible to ensure that my children would be the same. (Especially since I would never choose my first husband again!) And, had I not suffered through an abusive marriage and ended up desperate for love and support, I might never have realized how much I truly need my best friend to also be my life partner.
So, since I can’t start over, how can I move forward?
That’s a hard question to answer right now, as all I can think about are the many ways in which I have gone wrong – wrong choices, wrong directions, wrong timing, wrong thinking…
After reading several articles over the past few days, I’m reminded of so many things about the way I have been living my life that simply are not “up to par” with the way I want to live it.
If I Could Turn Back Time
If I could go back (but keep the people I love) I would parent differently, accepting only biblical advice, and disallowing others from harming my children in subtle but permanent ways.
I would educate my children at home from the start, and never get to this current struggle of some wanting to go to public school (which I know will hinder them academically and spiritually) and just one willing to learn at home.
I would hold my third son more in his infancy and vacuum the living room less.
I would learn to be a girly girl and teach myself to enjoy those types of interactions with my daughter.
I would refuse the C-section that robbed me of quality bonding time with her and got our relationship off to a rocky start.
I would continue to breastfeed all six full term or longer, instead of listening to everyone’s advice that bottles are not only easier but “just as good”.
I would spend more time caring for myself while the children were awake, so that they would learn the importance of both self-care and mom-care from early on.
I would allow myself to accept love without pain attached to it, and therefore not embrace abuse as a normal part of life.
I would love more openly – in word and in deed – and not be ashamed when I came across as sappy.
I would not fear romance.
I would learn to dance and not be afraid who was watching.
I would stop focusing my attention on how my clothes fit, how many calories I consumed, my lack of time and/or privacy for exercise, and instead focus it on enjoying every bite of food and on the joys of spending quality time with the people I love.
I would actually keep a journal in the notebooks my Grandma gave me back before I knew I needed them and get into the habit of tracking my thoughts early on.
I would if I could, but I can’t so I shan’t.
I could let myself sit here and wallow in the self-pity that comes with knowing how much I’ve failed my children, my husband, and the person that I could have become, that I “should” have been. But what good would that do?
None. Zip. Zilch. Zero. Null. You get the picture.
So, even though I kinda feel like crying out apologies to everyone I’ve failed, I’m choosing not to concentrate on all this stuff I didn’t do.
Instead, I’m choosing right now to make a difference in my future. Sure, there are some things I can’t undo. Choices I can’t unchoose (it’s a word now, because I said so). Words I can’t take back. Time I can’t un-waste.
But, and let me tell you, I’ve got a big BUTT, I’m only 29 years old, for goodness’ sake! I’ve got plenty of time left to live. Plenty of time to make better choices. Plenty of time to build new bonds and strengthen weak ones. Plenty of time to teach my children well, to attend my (almost)husband more, to love myself for what I am.
Today I chose to forgive myself for all the mistakes I’ve made…
Kathy, I forgive you.
You did your best (most of the time)
and I know that you’re going to try harder from now on.
…and accept the forgiveness that Jesus paid for.
“I release you from the bondage of sin.
You are free to live as one approved.
You are My child, and I love you.
Go now, and sin no more.”
Oh, and isn’t His freedom amazing?!
As I sit here, a moment after typing those words as my Savior spoke tem to me, I feel such a powerful sensation in my core. Not just peace in knowing I am free, but also an urgency to continue on in pursuit of the life I am destined to live.
Moving On Up
And so I will. Move on, that is. While I cannot change the past, I can choose a better future. Looking back over my list of things I would do differently, I realize there are some that I still have time for. So I’m changing those “I woulds” into “I wills”…
I will parent and educate my children according to what I know is right, based on the Bible and my gut.
I will find ways to connect with my most difficult child on a more regular basis. There’s gotta be something we can enjoy together!
I will learn to enjoy the moments spent doing feminine things with my daughter. Perhaps I’ll find I’m girlier than I think.
I will begin to do things for me, deliberately, in front of the children. Starting with something simple like sitting on the couch with Shirley Hugh (my kindle) or trimming my fingernails instead of biting them, I’ll allow myself 10 or 15 minutes of me time each day.
I will practice being open about my feelings and do my best to learn what true romance should be. I’m sure the hot Peruvian has some tips he’d like to share.
I will decide to be comfortable in my own body. I will move without concern for who is watching. I will remind myself, over and over, that I am beautiful, regardless of my dress size or how my clothes hang today.
I will eat with pleasure.
I will learn to dance. But not just any dance will suit these ample curves. I will learn to salsa.
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