Saturday, July 27, 2013

It's time to celebrate

I realized this morning that I hadn’t done something I needed to do. I never stopped this week to celebrate another milestone in my new life—I finally have a full-time job!

I did my typical routine and kept on going, never stopping to let it all sink in. I don’t know why I always do that. I am truly grateful for all I have, but I fail to see the big picture sometimes.

It really is pretty amazing to look back at these past 4 years and see how far I have come. It’s amazing I never stopped moving forward and I didn’t give up even though I wanted to give up many, many times.

I went from trying to fix a troubled marriage to realizing the marriage was over to trying to find a way to take care of my children and finding a way to live the kind of life I knew we deserved.

But stepping back and looking at the big picture makes me realize that nothing happens overnight. I didn’t get into that mess overnight and I couldn’t fix it overnight. Those really bad days seemed endless and there were times when I had no idea how I would make things work.

The hardest thing for me to learn along the way is that I can’t control everything. I can’t know all the answers or know how things are going to work out. I find myself in bed at 4 a.m. in a panic—wondering how I am going to take care of everything.

One thing has been constant in all this madness these past years—everything always works out the way it is supposed to work out. In the end, I really have little control, and most times things work out better when I just have faith and step back.

About 4 years ago, I had to battle with my daughter’s school over a nurse who authorized a physical therapy evaluation in the foyer of the school without my permission—as a matter of fact, I had specifically told her not to do the evaluation. She thought she was smarter than me and did it anyway.

I scheduled a meeting with the principal to file a formal complaint against the school district. After days of planning what I would say at the meeting, I arrived at the school and realized I had left all my paperwork at home. All my notes were gone. All the planning and the script writing and the phone numbers with dates and times—everything was gone.

I started to panic and I thought I was going to lose my shit in the parking lot. My husband was leaving me to go back to Iraq and we were most likely going to divorce. My children were dependent on me to take care of them. I was broke. I had no nearby support. I was lonely. My life felt like it was falling apart and now I had forgotten my papers at home—it felt like the final straw for me mentally and physically.

For some reason, I caught my breath and closed my eyes and began to pray. I said, “God, please help me find the right words to say today. God, thank you for giving me a brain that works so that I can take care of my children. God, please take hold of me today and let the words that come out of my mouth be the right words to help my child. God, please help me.”

I calmed down and walked into the meeting. Everyone from the entire school district that had any interest in the case had already shown up and were waiting for me in a closed room.

I sat down and began to speak. The words never registered in my brain and for some reason they all came out perfectly. I said everything I wanted to say and more. I stood up for myself and my child. I had confidence and the more I spoke, the more I became sure of myself.

The meeting was a success for me and left the nurse and her counterparts in tears and apologetic.  
I realized that day that I don’t have control over most things in my life. I cannot control what others do around me. I cannot make things happen the way I want them to or when I need them to happen. I need to let others help and trust in a higher power.

I don’t know why it took so long for me to find this job—it’s actually the only job I didn’t apply for, it was offered to me.

I don’t know why I had to go to hell and back to find this life I have now. I don’t know why I have to keep 
learning the same lessons.

But I do know that I need to stop and smell the roses. I need to take in the victories and the blessings. I need to stop and take a deep breath and be thankful for what I do have whether it’s a brain that works (someone may question that fact) or hands that work so that I can write or having someone tell me “don’t worry, things will work out.”

So, today is going to be a day about celebrating the good and taking the focus off the negative. The negative will always be lurking. I choose not to acknowledge it today. If I’m smart, I will choose to ignore if more often and have faith that things seem to always work out so long as I don’t give up.

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