Mom Lessons That Come From Odd and Unexpected Places

iced snowflake in the woods that signifies the need to let it go, from popular mom lessons.
Mom Lessons That Come From Odd and Unexpected Places

Mom Lessons That Come From Odd and Unexpected Places

Kristyn Meyer is on a journey to make herself the best human that she can be. These posts are a reflection of that. She welcomes your support via reading and through commissioned affiliate links within her posts! To stay up to date on all of her shenanigans, please subscribe to her email list! (psst…there’s a free gift involved)

One of the biggest and most important things that I have to tackle this year, my triumphant and life changing 34th year of life, is to let go. I’m instilling some new mom lessons to accomplish this.

Let go of things I cannot change

Let go of things I cannot control

And let go of unpleasant past experiences

Let it Go! Let it Go! (You know you were starting to sing it too, don’t even try)

Mom Lessons That Come From Odd and Unexpected Places

But this is a very real and a very serious challenge for me. It’s not a happily ever after Disney story, it’s a true battle that I face nearly every day. The three mom lessons above are items that I struggle with day in and day out and that really have made for some dark and depressing times for me. My focus needs to shift to resolve this.

For the “Let Go of Things I Cannot Change”

I cannot change what other people think of me. I mean, to some extent you can. If you know you’re being an asshole, you can change your asshole-like behavior. But there are always those people that you find yourself doing everything in your power to try to get them to see how great you really are. You defend yourself ad nauseam, you put way too much effort into the relationship with them, you walk on eggshells around them because you never know when they will get offended by your breathing.

But then you stop. You stop and you say: “WHY?”

Why are you doing this to yourself? Why are you letting them steal your power? If you know that you are great, and that you are wonderful and that you have done everything to make the relationship work, then why are you still putting in more effort than they are? A relationship is a two-way street. It doesn’t matter if it’s your husband, your neighbor, your cooky Great Aunt Sally who lives in the old folks home across town, your coworker or your own kid. Relationships take time and effort on both sides. It takes two to tango, doesn’t it? Well it also takes two to keep a relationship an actual relationship.

I am very much in this space. Sadly, I have been in it more times than I have wished throughout the years.

I sometimes think I’m a glutton for punishment, I truly do it to myself. There is such an ingrained desire in me to have all people like me that I go to great lengths to try to change their opinions of me. I grew up in a household where my parents were very strict and very critical. It wasn’t that they didn’t love me or that they didn’t think highly of me, they were just trying to get me to be my best. But I think because of that, I have always felt pressure to defend my decisions and highlight the good things I am doing to make people think better of me, even if they already think quite highly of me in the first place. I need to do more and prove more.

I also want to be remembered like my mom was.

My Mom passed away unexpectedly several years ago. During the time of the funeral, as is customary, wonderful stories were shared about my Mom and all the kind hearted things that she had done throughout the years. I want that.

What I want is for people to have so many nice things to say about me that they run out of space to type it all because the form only allows a 6000 character limit. I want to be a 7000 character-kindly remembered person. Where people to have to pick and choose from all my wonderful characteristics because there’s just so many to remember. I want validation that I really was a good person, even if I am in my grave. What I don’t want are people thinking back on my memory and reflecting that I had a crap personality or crazy selfish behavior. I want them to remember a person who cared a great deal, and put her heart on the line.

And this ties swimmingly into my second “Let it go”.

I cannot control what others think of me.

I could give some people $1,000,000 and I swear, hand to God, they would be pissed that it wasn’t $1,000,005.00. There is truly no winning with them. Just as I can’t change what some people think of me by bringing them fresh-baked cookies every day, I also can’t control their thoughts. It’s one of those things where I need to step back and think that maybe, just maybe, there is a possibility that it’s not actually me that they have that response about. It could quite possibly not be about me at all. Maybe I remind them of that jerk kid in elementary school that bullied them every day? I mean, I have the face of an angel, but it could happen. Maybe they also really do not like redheads. That also seems far-fetched, but there are some serious ginger-haters out there, and I have faced it. It’s not pretty.

I’m not a believer that you have to have a ton of close relationships in your life. I’m not my 3-year-old daughter who has two dozen best friends, one of them being a lady she just walked past in the cereal aisle at the grocery store. I think having a few close relationships is actually the best way, because like I said earlier – relationships are work. Even when you aren’t married to the person, it can be a lot. How many people have made a friend mad because you never pick up the phone to call? My hand is raised. But even with that, it’s never a good feeling when you know that someone doesn’t like you. Or that you never do anything right in their eyes. And it can really bring you down. Which brings me to my third in the mom lessons installment “Let it Go” –

Letting go of past experiences.

When the weather in Michigan finally turns from frostbite season to spring, I get depressed. Polar opposite reaction than what most of the human race has. As happy as I am to see the sunshine and warmth, I am also in a funk. The smell of spring, the temperature change – it reminds me of a few years ago after my Mom died and I was going through a really difficult time in my life. My depression hit rock bottom those days. I can clearly and vividly remember full days where I would lay on my couch or bed, with no tv or any noise. Those days I would just lay there doing nothing. I was too depressed to do anything, I had no energy. Outside the weather had just turned warm and I could smell the flowers through the breeze that was coming in the windows.

Before that period in my life, those moments would have brought me great joy. I would be outside doing fun things (likely cleaning out my car because that’s my go-to beginning of Spring activity). But since that year, happiness is not the emotion that I have when faced with those things.

I want to change that. Now I have two little kids now who love to be outdoors. I should be happy to spend time outside with them after a long winter. I shouldn’t want to just lay in my bed for days on end. That was ONE year of my life that had a bad experience during that season change, that doesn’t mean every year has to be bad at that time.

And this goes for so many other things. Songs that I hear, movies that I watch, things that I eat, the choices that I have made. I need to acknowledge that the connection between myself and those instances were a one-off. They do not define me, they are merely one detail of my very full and successful life. So yes, maybe drinking a Skittles margarita reminds me of the time I was single and hanging out with that guy that was far too short and not my type. Does that mean I should remember my dumb decision every time I am faced with a Skittles margarita? No. It means I should put on my big girl pants and drink the damn margarita with a smile on my face because I am an awesome woman who learns from her mistakes while still enjoying Skittles margaritas!

So as a progress report, I previously said that I was going to work on being present and in the moment, and I can truly say that I have made a great effort towards that. Some days are better than others, but there are many more successful days than not. I have already created some amazing memories with my littles in Year 34 that I might not have had otherwise.

Mom Lessons That Come From Odd and Unexpected Places

To add on to that, in addition to continuing to live in the moment and be present, I am also going to make the effort to let things go. By doing that I will open myself up to inserting good things and great memories into the slots where bad things and crappy memories once resided. Not only will I be able to look at things differently, I will also be able to reduce my stress level and have a higher self-esteem. And I will need that higher self-esteem the next time I come in contact with a ginger-hater. I will need to be able to look them in the eye and brush off their hatred like the dust on my bookshelf. Ginger-haters don’t define me, I define me. And if I think that I am great, then damn it – I am GREAT!

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