All the things I would do differently

All the things I would do differently

2010 11 Travel, Life, Working Mom,

Nobody wants to hear you wax morose about the things in your life you’d change. It’s not a very good blog post. It’s a much better bartender story. Bartenders are trained in that sort of thing: Indecision, Regret, Wondering.

The Internet as a whole, not so much.

But, oh hell, you’re getting it anyway.

I’m so busy being a “jack of all trades” that I haven’t narrowed down my one passion. I’m so.. passionate… that I haven’t figured out where to concentrate that passion on.

I’m actually, literally, A-D-D with my passion.

This is ultimately what’s wrong with telling our children they can have the world. THE WORLD IS YOUR OYSTER! Which, side-note, gross, right? Why not my globe or my fortress or my bitch? I digress.

We tell our children they can be anything! ANYTHING! OMG YOU CAN GO TO THE MOON.

But look, most children won’t make it to the moon so that’s a little bit of false advertising, no? YOU CAN BE PRESIDENT. Well, comon, maybe? But most likely you’ll end up a slightly over-weight middle manager at a firm who could use several more employees and a little more vacation time and a mortgage that swallows you whole.

The pessimism, it is dripping off of me.

I blame the weather.

In most respects I am an optimistic person, always thinking I can do it all! I can be great at all things! I WIN! THE ENTIRE WORLD! IT IS MINE! [evil laugh as I claim my empire] And in other respects I realize there’s no way to live up to my own expectations. It’s learning how to balance my own wants and needs with reality and that is crushing. How do we tell our children life is not a fairy tale without squishing their dream of greatness?

And how do we prevent them wondering what the hell happened in their mid thirties?

Insight? I need it.

Comments

  • November 18, 2010

    Maybe the problem is managing your expectations. There’s nothing wrong with being a good-enough mom and an employee who doesn’t hate their job. That’s a hell of a lot more than a lot of people have.

    My big goal in life? To be content. I don’t have to conquer the world - hell, I don’t WANT to. I don’t want to be CEO of *anything*. I would just like to carve out my tiny little nook of space in this world where I can be myself and be happy. That’s enough.

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  • November 18, 2010

    CINDY WINS THE WORLD. smile

    Awesome reply, babe. Of course. Content? That’s a great goal.

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  • shari
    November 18, 2010

    Well said Leslie! I think we all go through this at some point in our thirties. Hang in there the sun is just around the corner (figuratively…. not literally, at least in our part of the world.)

    Matthew tends to spread himself thin. He wants to do it ALL right NOW. This is a wonderful personality trait of my kid but the kicker is he is ultra-aware of how well, or NOT, he does things. He is acutely aware when someone else is better than he is at something. He is our “sensitive” one so this also leads to tears and anguish. My solution to not stomping on his dreams of doing it all and having it all and giving him a dose of reality is to encourage him to MASTER one thing at a time!  We are working on sight word books as he is soooo close to reading on his own. We have 12 sight word books and I wanted to work on one at a time until he mastered the book and then move on. He didn’t. He wanted to read one a day and then he saids he’ll know all the words and wouldn’t forget. Yeah well after a week of doing it his way we are back to book one over and over until he really gets it. It is a hard lesson to teach our kids. Hope this helps!

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  • November 18, 2010

    Keep telling them they can go to the Moon!  How else are they going get there? wink

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  • November 18, 2010

    Great comment Cindy!

    I tell O he can grow up to be anything he wants but we need to take it one day at a time. That way I feel as though I’m not crushing any potential dreams, but instilling that any dream takes time? Or something. Fuck, I’m probably doing it all wrong.

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  • November 18, 2010

    (Have you read Nurture Shock? You should.)

    Do you think the root of this is the belief that you can do anything? Or rather the fear that you can’t?

    It seems like the fear of failure would create the need to juggle a variety of success-attempts, hoping that maybe just one will not drop to the ground and shatter your confidence.

    The greatest way we fail our children is by trying to remove failure from their lives. They need to fail. They need to struggle. They need to know that when they can’t do something on their own, they can ask for help, or outsource, or just fucking QUIT while they are ahead.

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  • November 18, 2010

    “most children won’t make it to the moon”
    Most of them don’t try but are happy in the knowledge that they could if they wanted to.
    Same for us grown-ups. How many of us actually tried to do something we really wanted with our life as opposed to settling for just falling into place and rolling with it.

    “You are not gonna win any competitions unless you enter as many as you can” and other suitable nuggets of wisdom

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  • November 18, 2010

    I would say “try to find the thing that doesn’t feel like work and do it.” That’s where your real talents lie. So many of us spend our lives fighting to make our pegs fit into the wrong holes and being miserable doing it.

    My other advice is: do what is right in front of you to the best of your abilities. Washing the dishes, wiping faces, driving down the road, making phone calls to customer service - do it all so you would be proud to say before God or your mom or whoever is important to you “I did that. That was me.” That will go a long way to making your heart rest easier.

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  • November 18, 2010

    This is what I love about you people. Nuggest of wisdom.

    Two coffees and a workout later and I’m feeling a bit more optimistic.

    I love the “do what is right in front of you to the best of your abilities” that’s just enough of a “presence” type attitude that my A-D-D can handle. Be HERE when you are HERE and be THERE when you are THERE. That’s something I have been trying to do more often. WORK when I work and be home when I am home. Excellent advice.

    And JH, that’s true. Knowing you can do anything and choosing to do ONE thing is probably better than not trying to do anything at all.

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  • November 20, 2010

    great site, first time here…stumbled over from loralee’s. i actually got into a blowout with my man recently on my add ambitions. sometimes wish i could have 3-4 lives to try out all the options…

    as far as parenting i read something recently that really struck home…tell kids good job when they succeed…NOT good boy/good girl. Complimenting the effort rather than the child apparently helps to build productive self-esteem and teach effort pays off to life goals.

    whoa i just got pretty heavy for some lite blog surfing over a morning cup of coffee!

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  • Marion
    November 27, 2010

    I don’t think you need to do a damn thing to let your kids know life is not a fairy tale.  Remember junior high?  Making it through the hell that is the ages of 11 - 14 will make them figure it out fast.  You have to be there to pick up the pieces and figure out how to keep their self images from crumbling.  Let them have the fairy tales now while they’re little.  You’re a fine mom just the way you are.

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