On Creating ME…

The last few weeks have been more introspective than normal. Which is already a LOT for those who really know me.

I was blessed with a number of conversations with old friends who each said something to me that sparked a smile deep in my heart. Both mentioned a confidence I seems to have been missing the last time we spoke. Both mentioned my writing in a way and talked about being able to hear my voice… in one case the voice he heard and adored 25 years ago… and I’m not talking about the physical sound of my voice but rather my “voice.” Creators of all types will get this.

After these conversations, I began to look at a number of different parts of my world and thinking about choices I’ve made in the past and make in the present to see if I’m honoring “my voice” or allowing my choices to define me in ways I don’t necessarily like.

A chance text from a blast from my past allowed me to redefine our friendship in a new way… keeping the best parts of what worked for us and discarding the things that no longer serve.

And then Swim Meet Weekend.

{There is so much I could write about swim meet weekend but I have a few hundred pictures to comb through and that’s not happening today}

I sat in the stands for two days listening to the conversations around me.

I’m NOT the parent that points out the flaws and foibles of each race. My kids know what they did and don’t need me to point it out. Like me, they are their own worst critic.

I’m not the parent that will berate a child for missing the qualifying time by less than a second. They’ve known how to read results for a few meets now.

I’m not the parent that fusses over every choice and decision their child makes down to which swim suit they need to rush to put on. My kids are fully capable of dressing themselves.

As I sat and listened to the conversations around me I was constantly deciding what kind of parent I want to be…

Don’t get me wrong – I’d love for my kids to be the fastest record breaking swimmers too…. but not at the expense of their own self esteem or the fun of the sport.

After each race, the boys would walk up to where their dad and I were sitting…{it’s easier to just save seats for all of us to sit together than to put the boys through the juggle of which parent do I hang with so again, I put my feelings aside for the greater good.} They tend to get enough condescension from one half of us. It doesn’t need to be me.

After each race, I would find the good.

“You swam faster than last time!”

“That dive was amazing!”

“Your flip turns are really improving”

Words that I mean to the core of my being.  I’m not lying.  I’m not sugar coating anything – y’all know that’s not in my nature. I’m simply finding the good that they are too busy beating themselves up over about a slight wardrobe malfunction or “slower than they wanted time” to see.

And as I dried the tears after a particular difficult event for both my babies, I hoped more than ever that my words stick.

“I’m proud of you.  You went out there and you did your best.  I’m so proud of that.”

Create yourself | Slightly Off Kilter

I’m not always perfect.  I lose my temper and yell over stupid shit.  I get stressed and frustrated with things that don’t matter.  I do all the things I tell myself I’ll never do.

But there are moments like these that remind me of the kind of person I CHOOSE to be.

Their cheerleader… their biggest fan… the one who will always be proud of them… the one that exemplifies the idea of “finding the good”… the one who loves more and criticizes less.

The kind that puts the boys needs over my own desires even when it sucks.  The kind of person who practices compassion instead of just preaching it.  The kind of mom who loves unconditionally instead of just when you do good.

I look back over the last few years and reflect on the growth instead of the mistakes.  It hasn’t always been easy but I like this person in the mirror.

I look at my friendships and I like the person I am in their presence.

I look at my babies and I’m happy with the mother I’m becoming.

“Life isn’t about finding yourself.  Life is about creating yourself.” ~George Bernard Shaw couldn’t have said it any better and I like the me I’m creating.



  1. Careful who you are calling “old”…someone could take offense!

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