Six words that I live by. My mom said them to me when I was a young newlywed, although I think she was referring mostly to cooking and ironing for the hubby, rather than life in general (my stepdad, bless his heart, can not manage without three squares a day), but it’s still good advice. The problem lies in determining exactly what I can or can not finish, and to understand the difference in “can” and “will.” Can I finish the Goofy Challenge? Yes, I can. Will I finish it? I won’t know until I get there.
Sometimes we don’t get to finish the things we start, or we finish them in a different way from what we had planned. Almost five years ago, I “retired” from a shall-remain-unnamed investor-owned utility (“power”) company based in the southeastern U.S. I did so for a couple of reasons, but mostly because our daughter had just gotten out of the hospital after showing up for the holidays when she wasn’t due until March. Although I didn’t really consider myself the stay-at-home mom type at the time, and I really expected to go back to work after an adjustment period following the move, back in the recesses of my mind I had dreams of play dates and preschool day at the skating rink. I imagined first steps in the living room or on the front lawn, and all of those other things. That was the life that I thought I was embarking upon when I left my job.
Fast forward five years – Sarah Kate will start kindergarten in August, so I am almost finished with the preschool years. Most of the things I dreamed of never happened, in part due to my general sorriness in not making them happen (where does the time go?!?!?), but mostly because the child I dreamed of is not the child that I was blessed with. First steps were taken in a physical therapy gym, skating is still out of the question, and while we did have play dates, they were often less than ideal for me because I was always giving assistance to my child, rather than connecting with the other moms.At the start, I anticipated a different journey to the finish. Would I have chosen it? No. Would I trade it? Not on your life. The journey hasn’t been easy, but when I see Sarah Kate at her Pre-K graduation (yes, they really do have such a thing) I’ll know that I have finished the job I started – nurturing the precious gift I have been given until the day I let her test her wings just a little bit.