Retiring Supermom, Superwoman

For the last couple weeks I ran away. No, not literally, just figuratively. In other words I turned tail, headed for the hills, flew the coop, bowed out, fell behind, disengaged, and withdrew.

The last two synonyms express it perfectly: I disengaged. I withdrew.

Sure, I had my reasons for withdrawing! Don’t we all have our reasons when we quit something, even if only temporarily? After I wrote my reasons on a piece of paper, I looked at them staring back at me in black and white, (yes, I really DO this exercise and it REALLY works, I don’t just coach my clients to do this!)

Then I felt very foolish and weak, because my list seemed quite ridiculous and pathetic. Even the ones that looked like insurmountable mountains in my mind looked like common and easily brushed aside ant hills in the light of day on that piece of paper!

All my BIG problems looked so very BIG and scary because I was keeping them in my head and in the dark where they could fill every nook and cranny of my very active mind with worry, fear, frustration, confusion and self-doubt.

Problems have a funny way of multiplying. They’re a lot like rabbits!

But once I separated them, kept them apart, I was able to stop the rampant procreation of my problems and begin dissecting and tackling them one-by-one!

As I said, after I wrote all my problems down on a piece of paper and looked at them, I actually laughed. Yes, some of the things on my list of problems may not be insignificant, BUT, they are not without solutions. Especially when I am so blessed to have so many people who are able and willing to help me!

For example, the week before Thanksgiving, my laptop died. I was working on it, stepped away for an hour or so, came back and voila, it was frozen. I tried to turn it off and reboot, but though I held the OFF button down firmly and for an extended period, it didn’t turn off.

Mind you, this was not the start to my “problems,” but rather some very undesirable and bitter icing on a piece of cake that had been going rotten for weeks by that point! After a trip to the store where I purchased the computer, I was told that the mother board had died and I needed to send it back to the manufacturer (yes, I’d bought the extended warranty – amen – a small, silver lining!) and that it would be 2-3 weeks before it would be repaired and returned to me.

Aaaahhhh…life goes on. I’ve resurrected my old desktop and I’m hobbling along, slower, humbled again by technology, but grateful because I can communicate with so many because of it.

Due to mounting “stress” from my growing list of problems that were lining up in a row like orderly children on the playground before school, I caught a doozy of a head cold two days before Thanksgiving. My famous last words to my friend who accepted my warm embrace despite warning me that she had “the sniffles” were, “Don’t worry, I never get sick!”

Over a week later, I am still coughing, blowing my nose constantly and feeling like a sick pup.

So back to my list…I wrote another list of problems. One that put my common cold promptly in perspective…along with my computer problems, and everything else I have been grappling with over the last few months.

Here’s the second list of problems I wrote, imagining another person, whom I hope and pray never to be!

My List of Reasons for Running Away from Life

Survived a tsunami, earthquake, tornado, hurricane, war, etc

Lost loved ones; and many more injured

May even have no family or friends left alive

Suffered severe physical trauma or disability

Lost home, furniture, clothing, all belongings

Have no water for bathing and little, if any, for drinking

Have no heat or air conditioning

No medical facilities to treat injuries and illness

Haven’t eaten for days and no food in sight

Afraid to sleep at night for fear of pillagers

Have no communication with the “outside” world

Can’t imagine how this hell might end

There are millions of people on this planet at this very moment with THIS list of problems. I would totally understand if THOSE people wanted to run away from their lives! Wouldn’t you want to run away? The real problem is…they can’t!

My “problems,” in comparison, are so insignificant as to be like a single star in the galaxy, let alone the entire universe.

Many years ago, my brother-in-law helped me set-up a computer and handed me a card upon which he had written a username and password that he’d made up for me. At the time, I was flattered by the username he chose for me: “supermom,” followed by some numerals.

Although he told me I could change it if I wanted, I liked his choice for me. Certainly, I had always tried to be a super mom, especially after I became the only parent after my husband’s death. However, I’ve come to equate being a super mother with being a super woman and the truth of the matter is, I don’t want to be either!

I am fallible. I am limited. I can be wrong, confused, lonely, scared, overwhelmed, fed-up, tired and just plain, old sick!

And that does NOT mean that I am bad, worthless, careless, uncaring, over-the-hill or beyond redemption! It just means that I am human. I am real. I am limited and I am vulnerable.

But I am also resilient, determined, committed and still capable of great things!

Somewhere in my past, I was sent this poem/prayer. This week, after a dear friend of mine (who REALLY had a BIG list) faced her list with incredible faith, I sent it to her. I think it came back into my consciousness both for her AND for me. Here it is; sorry I don’t know who to attribute it to…if anyone knows, please advise me, as it is a wonderful poem/prayer.

Whether you believe in God, Universe, Source, I think this will speak to you. May you be blessed with strength to persevere through your problems.

Life’s Crosssroads

Sometimes we come to life’s crossroads and view what we think is the end,

But God has a much wider vision and God knows it’s only a bend –

The road will go on and get smoother, and after we’ve stopped for a rest,

The path that lies hidden beyond us is often the part that is best,

So rest and relax and grow stronger

Let go and let God share your load,

And have faith in a brighter tomorrow

you’ve just come to a bend in the road.

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