Lend your voices only to sounds of freedom
No longer lend your strength to that which you wish to be free from
Fill your lives with love and bravery
And you shall lead a life uncommon
~ Life Uncommon by Jewel
When I think of making resolutions, I think less of something I want to accomplish or change and more about the person I want to become. It’s a never ending process, becoming that person. And I have a long way to go before I get there. But I am working towards it, every day, every year.
I think back on people in my life that I admire, those who have lived the “life uncommon”. Some are living and some have passed on. All taught or are teaching me something. They aren’t perfect people, in fact, they are quite flawed beings. That’s ok. It keeps things interesting. And maybe I’m teaching them something. Maybe.
My mom is at the top of my list. Although she passed on a few years ago, she’s still teaching me. I see so many things now that I failed to recognize when she was alive. My mother was a strong woman but you had to get to know her to see it. She seemed amiable, compliant, and non-confrontational. She was all of those things to a certain extent. But once she made up her mind about something, it was going to happen. Several years ago, Mom wanted to go to Egypt to see the pyramids, sort of a spiritual journey. Dad was not interested. Really, no one was. So she went by herself and she had one of the best times of her life. She went with a tour group and one of my favorite pictures has her sitting on a camel in the desert in front of a pyramid. The look on her face is one of pure joy. She was not afraid to go halfway around the world by herself to do something she alone wanted to do. There are many more stories like that – being the first in her family to go to college, graduating from college despite getting married, having 2 small children and no money, getting her masters degree at 39 while pregnant with my youngest sister. She never let anyone tell her she couldn’t do something and if she wanted to do it, she did, no matter what got in her way.
Each of my siblings have inspired me and also taught me things. We are all so different from each other and there is a lot to be learned from each other. My brother’s dedication to his children and his efforts at personal growth encourage me. My middle sister is one of the most giving people I’ve ever met and her strong dedication to her faith inspire me. My youngest sister is one of the smartest people I know and her enjoyment of living make me want to close my eyes and dance, just like she does.
My children teach me and inspire me every day . . . to be a better parent, to be a better person, and to have fun every day. I can allow myself to be a little introverted and they pull me out, get me to do things and encourage me to just have more fun. The picture at right was taken when we were making our annual holiday photo. None of us were really in the mood. We had done the traditional thing in front of the tree, in front of the fireplace, etc. As my daughter’s friend, Sara, our photographer was fooling with the lights, the jumping began. First my daughter, then my son and my daughter. Eventually I joined in and Sara clicked away. We laughed and had the best time. And this was the photo that went in our Christmas cards along with one of the traditional ones. It shows our true personalities.
There are friends too, many of them. Some I see daily and others not for years. Some I work with, some I work for, some I scrapbook with, some are relatives that are friends, some I just hang out with. Others are from high school, some were long lost and now found on Facebook, and some are blogger friends I have never met. They are in my life for many reasons, not the least of all being to teach me to move myself towards growth and knowledge and patience and bravery and love.
I’m working on Living a Life Uncommon. Please be patient with me.