Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Adulting Fuel

Kevin found a local coffee store that roasts and sells coffee.  He took a few kids and had a combined field trip/coffee purchase experience.  This is what he bought -- Adulting Fuel.

What is Adulting?

Adulting (v): to do grown up things and hold responsibilities such as, a 9-5 job, a mortgage/rent, a car payment, or anything else that makes one think of grown ups.

English keeps changing :-).  Gotta love those new words that keep entering the langugage.  I like this word.

So yes, I'm 47 and definitely an adult. A middle aged adult, even.  I've been doing this "adulting" thing for a long time.

And 47 is a reasonable time to have a midlife crisis.

I am NOT having a midlife crisis, but I at least understand it better than I used to understand the concept.

I have always been a very driven, conscientious person. I'm not particularly ambitious on a grand scale, but I always wanted to do my job and do it well (perfectly.)

So I pursued academics with vigor. I strove to be an excellent wife once I was married, and a devoted mother once we had children.

My faith has always been important to me. I definitely incline towards the legalistic side of faith, and God's biggest message to me in the last few years has been about grace.  My Father in Heaven loves me ALL the time.  Jesus died for my sins. I should strive to serve and follow the Lord at all times, but that doesn't mean I can't relax and enjoy myself on occasion.

The truth is that my sins are forgiven because Jesus died for me.  I am going to Heaven, not because I'm anywhere close to perfect, but because His blood covers my sins.  I am loved because I am God's child, not because of my performance.  I want to obey the Lord and serve Him and others, but because I love Him, not because I'm afraid of His punishment.

I've been mellowing the last few years.  I am more able to relax and spend time doing things I enjoy.  I am not carrying as heavy a load about my responsibility for my children's lives.  I am still a committed, devoted mother, but I'm grasping that I can't control their lives or their futures.  I need to support them and encourage them as they mature to adulthood, but I can't try to control their specific educational and career and relationship paths.  

Kevin has an acquaintance at work who was one of the rare people to really be negative about our very large family. The reason is interesting -- he himself was one of a large family and at some point both his parents just freaked out and lost it.  Both became alcoholics (presumably due to stress?) and abdicated their responsibility to their children.

I am horrified by that and, I admit it, can at least grasp the problem. Of course, this isn't only a problem for parents of large families.  Life can be very challenging for everyone. People lose jobs, and relatives.  People lose houses to wildfires and earthquakes.  Children, be it 1 or 9, are a lot of work and can cause great stress.  Sometimes we just want to escape into something to get away from it all.  Alcohol is an obvious temptation to some (not to me -- alcohol isn't remotely my thing.)  But I can imagine diving headlong into something academic because frankly, that is way easier to deal with than the 9350th tantrum by a toddler I've dealt with.  But I stick with my job for now, and do something about the tantrum even if it isn't the best job I have ever done.

I'm embracing like never before that "something is way better than nothing."  By that I mean that when I can't do something perfectly, it is still better to do something.  If I can't read 5 books to my 4 year old, I can read one.  If I can't spend 30 minutes a day working with our 6 yo on reading, I can spend 10 minutes 3 times a week.  That kind of thing.  In my youth (before children), I could and did work myself to the bone studying. I did VERY well because I spent so much time at it.  My life doesn't allow for infinite time devoted towards every important thing.  I need to balance the needs and wants, and I need to pay attention to my own health and sanity.

This season of life is quite challenging, with a darling and rambunctious toddler and a beautiful eldest daughter who is stepping firmly towards adulthood -- and everyone in between.  I keep praying for wisdom and stamina, and am also acknowledging my personal weakness like never before.  I'm not God and I never have been. I am a very important person in the lives of my family but I'm not God in their lives.  That's not my job, and I'm glad.

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