What I've been Up To!!

Winter is downtime for CT PhotoMemories..outside of sewing camera straps and planning for Snapshops, I'm basically catching my breath from the fall and reconnecting with my family...

This week, I will be honest, has been a struggle for me...we are in the midst of scheduling for HIGH SCHOOL...

Now, that alone comes with a great emotional roller coaster...
"how is my baby ready for high school"
"I only have 4 more years with her under my roof"
"oh my goodness, now is when all that academic stuff is really going to count"
"the letting go is going to get faster and faster..."

On top of that, you have my "left-brain" that, when my "right brain" side isn't AS active...well, let's just say, it likes to make an appearance...and all the organizing and scheduling and researching and questioning and reading and writing...it comes out in full force...

I squelched my creative side all through high school...I pushed and pushed and pushed...I don't really remember going to high school football games a lot,  until my Senior year (I went to some, IF it fit into my schedule)...I didn't really participate in a ton of fun stuff, because I was studying...all the time...like, non-stop...

Oh, I put the books on the bench to participate in Basketball each fall, and I did all the other extra curricular activities that would look good on a college application: chess club, NHS, youth group, volunteering, even perfect attendance!!!, etc. etc...My life ran like a machine, back in the day...

But, I'm in my 40s now...If I could go back and talk to my 14 year old self, I would probably say, "Self, take a little break...I know you are smart, I know you love school, I know have this drive & fear that you must get a 4.0 and you must get into a great college and you must have an incredible career and must be successful at all costs...but honey, even if it's GOOD, it doesn't mean it's right or even the BEST..."

Looking back, I sometimes wish I would have known that it was OKAY...that I wasn't failing if I didn't DO IT ALL AND attempt perfection at the same time...I honestly didn't understand how to balance, to be okay if I was too exhausted to study for one class because the other class was overwhelming...I'd stay up all night if need be in order to guarantee that I'd get that A in every.single.subject.

I wouldn't have agreed with you as a 14-18 year old...I would have said, "I'm fine, I've got this...I know what I need to do...you don't understand"  And my 14-18 believed that wholeheartedly!

Hindsight is always 20/20 though isn't it?

And yet, when I'm down to the "guts" of it all...I know that a lot of my life experiences drove my perception of life...my family life, my perception of my own capabilities, and that unknown future...it pushed me...it started to mold me and the way I saw not only myself, but my pathway for the future as well...

The fact of the matter is that my girls have NONE of that background in the life they are leading...Their "family life" looks a complete 180 from my experiences growing up...although they are incredibly intelligent and do have a tendency towards perfectionism...they aren't over the top.  They don't struggle with having to BE the best, but rather just DO their best wherever they are planted...

This is such a foreign concept to me...(being vulnerable here)...and this whole "parenting thing" without my own experience to fall back on...I STILL struggle with knowing when to push, when to relax, when to challenge, when to let them make their own choices...

I have so much to learn...and wow, I'm praying that my amazing husband's influence will counter my "crazy" so that the girls "survive" me in the end :)

In the broader scope of it all, we are fine...GREAT even...everyone is seemingly healthy FINALLY...sports have calmed down so that the girls are enjoying things they don't otherwise get to enjoy: swimming, piano, ART...

Just letting you in on my family happenings...
Please feel free to drop me a note or a comment or a message or email to let me know how YOU are doing as well...are there things you struggle with too? How do you navigate the waters when you are unsure about decisions?

Anonymous –   – (23.1.16)  

Shirley, I mean Colleen, the only perfect you need is perfectly YOU, which I find to be quite amazing I must say. If you remember that you're only going to be able to influence your girls *this* long, let that drive your activities (or lack thereof). Just being YOU and being THERE for them is enough. It. is. enough. (And maybe even the BEST.)

Love,
Laverne from Milwaukee
(Do you know who I am?)

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