…she said, “According to statistics, I only have a 2% chance or less of finding love since I’m over 40...” Mustering up courage and my most tactful voice, I interrupted her mid-thought and verbal runoff saying, “Woah, WOAH, WOAH there, why the friggin’ hell would you leave THAT to a statistic?!? If I lived MY life by a statistic then I should be missing teeth, have more children than I could handle, be on welfare, remain uneducated and still live in the trailer park and poverty I grew up in!! I was labeled a high risk mother when I had my first daughter as a teenager… meaning, there was a group of ‘well meaning’ peeps that thought I was going to fail!“ God bless those lovely folks, it made me sit myself down and think, how can I be the best mom I can even though my little ones came along WAY earlier than I planned.
A couple of weeks ago, I went to my best ski buddy’s college graduation. We had the honor of being addressed by our governor as the guest speaker. He spoke about a few things he had learned along the way of life and on those bullet points he expounded. When he told a group of bright eyed college students they were going to fail in life. Holy cats, I popped up and down in my seat like a jumping bean once or twice and felt like hauling ass up to the stage to beg to differ.
I can’t calm down on this one!! It’s been on my mind for a couple of weeks now and bam ~ topic to share about. Resilience baby…the ability to bounce. Come back with your inner champion, find your inner resourcefulness, take accountability for creating life and most of all, GET UP when you fall flat on your face.
It’s hard for me to sit still anyways… and it’s especially hard for me to sit still when I feel people squashing their future, their potential, or their soul’s light. Just gotta speak up.
I do just thank God for the gift of resilience. For as many times as life as smacked me square in the face with a 2x4 or I have made dumb decisions which involved clean up, I seem to find a way to “turn death into a fighting chance to live.” (One of my fav Star Trek quotes) :)
In the face of statistics and the sometimes loud, obnoxious, negative focused peanut gallery: I thrive. A WAY different word choice than survive, which implies to me -just getting by, existing, fighting to breathe and just be in this life -often in a very small way. Thriving is seeing miracles in everyday life, finding the good as much as possible in everything, enjoying the in the moment creation, laughing, crying, and living in vivid color. (My personal choice)
Figuring life out and executing the processes of moving anything in life is bumpy and rough! If you are moving, you are winning! Period. There is only one fail in my book in life and that is: quitting moving. It means you refuse to take any movement options. Moving at any speed, means you have the privilege and honor of your next step in the process whether it's living, celebrating or breaking.
For me, when I come across those dreams I want to elevate into a living reality or when crappy things happen, I turn inwards. That inside chat you have with yourself is priceless.
Being a mom and having a family was a super important dream of mine and crikey! It came along in my life timeline really early! I can’t tell you how many inside fits I threw and how mad I was at me, for not being smarter. However, pretty darn quick after they were born, I thought, Well, they are here and sh** I gotta grow up pretty damn quick -(BIG understatement). It won’t be too long before they are caught up to me. I had very few parenting skills that I could bring forward from my own upbringing for application and I threw most of the junk information out. So now what? My parenting toolbox was mostly empty. I had moved to a new town so there weren’t any familiar people references and my marriage was already making high squealing tension noises in my head. No matter what, I only had one shot to raise my daughters the very best I could.
Barb, the blue-green haired (literally) lady from social services visited me soon after I got my daughter home. She came into our tiny apartment, sat on the couch. I sat on the floor next to my daughter sleeping on the floor near the only little heater we had. I almost whispered, “Well I have fed her, talked to her, bathed, changed her, what else do you do with a baby?” A hint of compassionate smile crossed her face and she began to talk to me about parenting and listening to me. It was a relationship that lasted over two years and gave me the best jumper cables start I could ask for to begin make my way, MY way. I allowed her belief in me to open up my shut down mind.
From there, I read parenting books, made daily choices and LIVING the desire I had to be the best mom I could. I did not have the 'how' figured out, I only had the 'why' figured out. I fell on my face as I figured out what didn‘t work, had to course correct, rephrase my voice and actions, cried and yes, sometimes I got foot stomping mad. I did not give up. I knew my why and held that close to my heart. I chose to bounce. I chose to bounce, get up, start, and thrive with what I had.
My daughters and I have gone through injuries, hospitalization, some deep emotional traumas, scrimping by on super low budgets, arguments, tears, death… AND we have celebrated birthdays, have had food adventures, holidays, learned about the world around us together through libraries, museums, picnics, cooking, goodwill shopping. We have learned about money, communicating, laughed, just plain figured life stuff out and lived joyfully out loud together as all three of us figured out who we were.
Resilience is a way of feeling your way through life with your heart, ALLOWING your heart to know that there IS always a door to something else, and running with your arms wide open towards the curiosity to explore those doors!
Outside of smart safety statistics and listening to wise advice… ignore statistics and “well meaning” folks when they feel a need to rain down peanut shells from the gallery. Most importantly, tune into your heart and soul’s voice. The best wisdom is there.
When all seems hopeless, do what I do to get the process going -get physical! I was inspired to jump on a trampoline for an inspirational pic for this story… I looked high and low for a place to jump and take a picture to share. This became a treasure hunt and In a serendipitous moment I remembered, we have a gymnastics place in town!! :)
Man-o-man, for the love of you, if I could infuse some of my natural bounce in ya after reading this, I would! I just know you are struggling to figure out something in your life after you have gotten knocked down. I am going to say it again: Resilience baby…the ability to bounce. Come back with your inner champion, find your inner resourcefulness, take accountability for creating life and most of all, GET UP when you fall flat on your face.
Share with someone you know that could use some faith and hope today. Share a comment below and send it out there with a whole bunch of courage and resilience today!
Blog by Mary Riitano...
I'm a Montana actress on a journey sharing my heart and growth through blogging, stories, and poetry, I have faith you'll find empowerment and inspiration to create like a champion in your own life!
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