“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” – Maya Angelou
One of the most interesting and delightful changes I’ve noticed as a single parent of a 13 year old boy (!!) is the subtle shift going on between the two of us regarding accountability and inspiration. I now have a teenager who not only looks to me for guidance, answers, protection & comfort – but also as the most prominent role model in his life when it comes to goal-setting and commitment. His goals are becoming more “real” and adult-like. He is thinking beyond the immediate and looking towards the future. He is beginning to understand that having a plan, putting in the work & gradually chipping away at the goal is kind of exciting. He sees the rewards.
My job as his mom is not just to support and cheer him on. That’s easy. It’s the (gentle) pushing and nudging that can be uncomfortable. I know it’s uncomfortable because he pushes me! This accountability thing is actually a 2-way street in our home. He sees me declare my intention to attempt the 100 mile distance again this year, plunk down the registration fee for the Bryce 100, and commit to my training program. Does he ask if I did my run or my workout on any given day? You bet he does! Does his commitment to come home from school & get his homework done in time for his practices which sometimes last until 9:00 PM inspire ME to get my butt out of bed at 5:00 AM for a run to avoid putting a big fat zero in my training log for that day? YES!!! What kind of parent would I be if I said one thing and modeled another? OR, what kind of parent would I be if I said “Don’t bother trying anything hard or new or difficult….Just hang out there in your little comfort zone honey!” There has to be a balance.
I have, at times in my life, found that balance elusive. I spent faaaaaar too many years in the world of black & white. Extremes. Do it all or do nothing. Either way, I was left exhausted & hollow.
It’s a humbling thing to create and announce big goals for yourself in your 40s. Doing so can seem silly or selfish. “I’m the mom now! It’s his turn to shine! I’ll just sit back and watch!” Thing is: When I watch him, I am INSPIRED. I am energized in a very profound way. In a way that does not detract from his accomplishments but actually binds us even closer together as a team, united.
I feel I would be letting my son down if I asked of myself the bare minimum.
I would most definitely be letting myself down.
This year promises to be another year of growth, as long as I keep beginning again. I believe we all have “untold stories” inside us, yearning to be heard. It is never too late to share your story….or edit the old tired one you have been carrying around in your back pocket. Or, crumple up that sorry-ass excuse for a story and throw it in the fire. Write a new one. It’s YOUR story after all.
“If lines of disappointment crowd your brow and distant dreams seem hopelessly lost. If you realize you are not who you hoped to be.
If sadness rises from your gut, becomes a moan and threatens to escape your lips. If you begin to mourn something never even born.
It is not too late.”