"My life isn't perfect, but it is perfect for me."
I think that is my new motto. I said this out loud after living one of the most uncomfortable weeks in recent history. You know those days (weeks) when you obsess about something that really doesn't matter and you can't let it go? It had been one of "those" weeks.
I do a decent job of dealing with life as it comes along. If something is running through my mind and making me uncomfortable, I try to do what is within my power to ease the discomfort and let it go.
If an apology is required, I apologize. If I need to say something to stand my ground on some issue, I try to address it. I usually sit back and write it out carefully and send it off (i.e. my daycare newsletters). If I need to do something, I try to do it so I can be done with it.
My mind is a rotating door of mini-issues that I roll with on a daily basis. Most things are quite small. Other things need time to marinate. The odd little thing feels bigger than the rest but in reality, I have it pretty easy over here in my little corner of the world.
I work from home and make a decent living doing so. I work for incredible people and this week, I received the best compliment a caregiver can receive. One of my parents referred me to a co-worker who is considering changing daycares. This new parent may or may not decide to move forward with this plan but in the mean time, it gave me an opportunity to talk with all of my parents as I investigated the possibilities of adding "one more" to the mix. These conversations pick me up and carry me when I feel like I am "not enough".
I have discovered the most effective way for me to do my job is to sit on the floor with the kids and just roll with the day. How many people can say that about their job? Am I lucky or am I lucky!?
While I've been sitting on the floor, I've found a different vantage point to my little world. I've grabbed a notebook and started dreaming again. So far the dreams are free, attainable and revolve around working with what I already have. All I need is a little bit of time and energy (oh, and maybe one more set of muscles). I've been missing my dream state and I found it again. By sitting still, on the floor, with kids crawling all over me. Who knew it could be so easy??
When my doors close at the end of my daycare day and I seal ourselves off from the world by hanging our sheets (waiting for new blinds for the new living room windows), I feel awash with peace, joy, contentment and ease. I clean the kitty litter, scrounge up something for supper and revel in my wonderful little world.
I live in a world where my work comes to me. I earn enough to live a comfortable life. Everything I need is within these four walls and if it isn't here, I have the ability to pick up the phone, write a card or letter or email and bring a little piece of the outside world in here where it is safe and comfortable.
We have our health. That is huge. It is beyond huge. I am at "that age" where it seems I hear of all the ailments, health issues, chronic pain and bigger than life worries that seem to be affecting most people within my little circle. I know how fortunate we are to wake up to life as we expect it each morning. I know this could change in a New York minute. I don't obsess about that fact but it does make me appreciate that which we have.
I think of all I have and am so annoyed with myself for letting little things get under my skin. When I waste time worrying over things that really don't matter, I chastise myself. I know better!
I have developed the bad habit of comparing myself to others. I joined a Childcare Connection site and I read what other caregivers have to offer as they sell their daycare and their services to the masses. I don't have all they have to offer. I don't have the same education, letters after my name and all the food-safe courses under my belt. I run on 37 years of parenting experience, common sense and an open door policy where I communicate freely with the parents of my children. I'm "just me". I'm not "all that", that I read. When I compare myself to others, I'm nothing.
I "unfollowed" that group. I'm still a part of it but I don't get all of their notifications. While I was at it, I "unfollowed" a few other groups and several Facebook friends. I don't need to fill my head with that which makes me feel like what I have, who I am and what I have to offer is any less than anyone else.
I much prefer to live quietly in my bubble wrapped little world where I don't measure myself up to the world around me. I like to use "yesterday" as my measuring tool. If yesterday was not a good day, I will try to make today better. If yesterday was a good day, I'll try to measure up to it again. I won't even measure myself against "tomorrow". If I don't do all I set out to do tomorrow I will try not to beat myself up over it. I will do my best to just make the most of the day I have at hand, with my eye on the future so I don't waste too many (more) of those days. I will try.
I'm tired of beating myself up. It is exhausting and self destructive. I know I need a healthy dose of constructive criticism to make my today just as good, if not better than yesterday. But not at the cost of crushing my hopes and dreams.
It is a good life that I am living. I just need to sit myself back down on the floor and keep that new perspective in line with what I can effectively accomplish within the confines of this blissful little existence of mine.