Lately, when wondering how act or respond in some situations, I’ve been imagining what I’d want my kids-as-adults to do. Say, if I were a ghost following my boys as they are as full-grown men (currently they are ages 10 and 13), how would I want to witness them as their best-selves handling life? And then I try to put what I see in motion in my own life. It doesn’t always work. But it gives me some distance and perspective in my own circumstances and makes ME think about living as MY best-self.
Would I want to see them going through their days with sarcasm (something that comes most naturally to me)? With envy? With a sense of lack? As a martyr? With snarkiness? With overwhelm?
I’d want them to seek out what they love to do and make plans with people they feel good around. I’d want them to have healthy habits, to show compassion and generosity and appreciate all the good. I’d want them to have strong boundaries that make them feel safe because they value themselves too much not to. And perhaps most of all I’d wish upon them a sense of humor for how ridiculous and amazing life is. I’d want them to know that they’re allowed and downright encouraged to ‘do’ life differently as adults. For they, and only they, will live with the results of their decisions. Outsiders and judges need not apply.
I’d want all of this to come naturally, of course, but it won’t. They (and I, and all of us) will have to take small steps with intention and hopefully trust that the world will not hand us too much to handle. I truly believe it does not. Every mistake we make, emboldens us in the end. When we fall, we stand back up more resilient and compassionate toward others.
As long as we’re open to growth and imperfection, no mistake is truly a mistake.
Best of luck to you, boys. It’s a blunder-ridden journey, and when I actually am a ghost following you around, I hope that (most of) my actions and my attitude make me worthy of being your mother. After all, I’m modeling my behavior after your best-selves.