I chose the name "Old Dog New Tricks" when I signed up to join an on-line daycare forum last year. I was pulling my hair out just a little bit and I thought that chatting with people who walked in my shoes would help me see things from a better perspective and perhaps learn some different/better coping mechanisms.
I never did have time to complete my thoughts and submit my question into the great big world of cyber space. Instead? I simply went with the flow of things and (sort of) figured things out as I went along.
Anyway (back to the title of this blog post), I woke up to a greeting from this forum entitled (you guessed it) "Happy Birthday Old Dog New Tricks". Those particular words all put together in one succinct phrase made me go "Hmmmm..."
Today is my birthday. I am not one who places great value on these non-events but the subject line of that particular email put a different spin on my outlook this morning. This year, I shall look back on the year that 'this old dog' just lived and see what 'new tricks' I've learned.
My Daycare World has come full circle. Only the circle is bigger and perhaps a little more three dimensional this second time around. Or perhaps it is 'me' that has grown.
Oh, I am still a far cry from the Mary Poppins figure that I see in my mind, as being the ultimate fun-loving care giver. The difference is that I forgive myself for not being able to do all, be all and encompass all aspects of perfection that I picture in my mind. I do the best with what I have ... and when I have a bad day, I stand up, brush myself off, examine how things could have been better, go to a quiet place in my mind (and in the house) and wake up the next morning determined to make it a better day. This is the best that I can do.
I have far more positive moments within my days than ever before. They may be crazy and hectic and loud and overwhelming at times. But I work with children. These moments are fleeting. I am learning to become more childlike in some ways. A child can cry like their heart is broken in a million pieces one moment. The next? They are back, living in the moment and joyous in whatever they are surrounded in. They don't hold grudges. I am learning from them. Bad moments don't last forever. The echoes of love, laughter and security reverberate long after the moment passes.
The words from a friend has known me for 'forever' ring through my mind. "You sound happy". We were talking to each other in the midst of a particularly trying day. My Daycare Day was challenging me but I was not defeated. In the midst of that very moment, she heard the difference in my voice. I am happy in this little world I have created for myself and my young charges. I am happy.
Last week is a week that may have taken me down in a different time and place. Not because of the week, but because I would have been looking too far ahead and thinking "I can't do this for forever". The reality of life is that 'forever' is unknown to the wisest of men. I have no idea what tomorrow will bring so I will not willingly bring 'forever' into my day (most especially when I'm having a tough one). I simply must get through the day. I admit that at this very moment in time, I have a bit of a heavy load. But I trust that one of three things will happen. I will get stronger as I adapt to the added weight. Or I will get wiser and find a way to lessen my load. Or 'life' will happen and the choice will be taken out of my hands and things will simply work out. They always do. Always.
The motto of this past year of mine would be the phrase from "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" - Everything will be all right in the end ... if it's not all right, then it's not yet the end.
In the midst of the worst of times, it is hard to hold onto and believe this little morsel of wisdom. But from the lessons that life has handed out to me, I have found this to be true.
I have had better years. I have had worse years. But I don't know if I can say that I have had a year where I have felt the serenity and trust that comes from simply believing that so many things in my life are completely out of my control. If I do the best with what I have... If I live a life which is enveloped in love, laughter and security.. If I do these two simple things and trust that all will work out in the end ... I am happy.
This old dog is learning some new tricks. The best trick of all is truly trust that it will all work out in the end.
“Most things don’t work out as expected, but what happens instead often turns out to be the good stuff.” - another nugget from The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.