"You have to acknowledge and accept the fact that you can't have or be everything all at the same time."
~ Teri Hatcher, as quoted in "Career Comeback: Repackage Yourself to Get the Job You Want," Lisa Johnson Mandell
Gentle Readers, you know how I am: If I find something that I think will help someone, I feel compelled to share it. Well, these past few days, I've been treated to -- no, blessed with --
some real words of wisdom that have not only lifted me, but freed me. Perhaps they'll do the same for you.
First are words of wisdom from my second-oldest sister (SOS). Before I begin, let me tell you the value of having older sisters around when your mother is deceased. Older sisters are like vaults of your late mom's wisdom, if for no other reason, because they knew your mom longer than you did and have more of her wisdom. When I'm feeling down or blue, I love talking to my sisters -- all of my sisters are older than me -- because they'll just say something that my mom would have said to me if she were here that snaps me out of my situation and gives me a better perspective. I'm so glad I was blessed in the birth order department, even if I didn't get the smokin' hot legs SOS got.
I was telling SOS how I felt tired and depleted after hosting a family meeting recently as part of my family's revolution
. We've finished all the education modules, and now we're discussing a book recommended by one of my BFFs, "The On-Purpose Person: Making Your Life Make Sense
," by Kevin W. McCarthy. SOS essentially gave my a spiritual b-slap with words to this effect: Stop trying to be everything to everybody. She counseled me that, as much as I have hopes and dreams for the younger folks in my family, people have to come into their own on their own and in their own time.
SOS told me that holding family meetings and trying to create a sense of family and support that others clearly don't want as much as I want for them -- as evidenced by their absence -- is a waste of time. "They're not there yet, " SOS counseled, and they will get there, if they do, on their schedule, not mine.
BOOM! Talk about a revelation! Now I don't feel so bad about reclaiming my one Saturday a month for my book club and delegating the hosting and organizing of family meetings to others, to the extent that they want to keep the meetings going. They're not there yet.
I was also blessed with words of wisdom from one of my book club members, Joann, who turned 70 last week and doesn't look a day over 45. God has been good to Joann. That's not to say she hasn't had her struggles -- who hasn't?
-- but she looks good and has a happy spirit. When I asked Joann for words of wisdom to reach the age of 70 looking and feeling like she does, she gave me these words of wisdom someone imparted upon her:
1) Find a church;
2) Keep a job;
Of these three, she said the most important was getting enough rest.
Well, if you're looking for a church, or a house of worship of any faith, my soror Pamay Bassey
has done the search work for you. Her book, "My 52 Weeks of Worship: Lessons from a Global, Spiritual, Interfaith Journey
," chronicles her visits to a different house of worship each week for a year. I have to admit -- Black Man Not Blogging (BMNB) is happily ensconced in the Baptist church, and I've not followed. I used to think that, as a married couple, we should endeavor to share the same faith for the sake of our kids (yes, we're moving along with our adoption plans.) As I get older, I'm not so sure. My dad is a member of the Apostolic church, an offshoot of the Church of God in Christ, while my mother's family has been in the African Methodist Episcopal church for decades (although I have a distant cousin who attends the same church as my husband.). My parents seemed to have reached a religious detente during their marriage. To be frank, I haven't even begun the search for a church, happily not worshipping at St. Mattress of the Springs in my bedroom on Sunday mornings. I'm letting go of the idea that BMNB and I need to share the same faith. I need to find my own spiritual path, even if it's different than his. Pamay's book is a good place to start.
As for keeping a job, I've done that, but I want more than a job: I want a calling. That leads me to some words of wisdom imparted upon me by a former law teaching colleague who, like Joann, has been blessed with fabulous genes (she doesn't look a day over 40 and she's in her 60's), and an even more fabulous spirit. I told her how frustrated I am about continuing in the practice of law when I feel I have other skills and talents I want to use, but I just don't know how. First, she encouraged me to just keep writing. Then she said these words of wisdom: "Be patient. Keep searching for your calling. When you find it, you will know." Patience has never been my strong suit, but I'd rather be patient and get what I want than be impatient and settle for something less.
Finally, SOS gave me some words of wisdom specifically for married women: "Don't get lost in your marriage." She cops to having done so in her marriage, which ended in divorce. "If you get all lost in your marriage, make that man your entire world, and stop keeping in touch with your family and friends, what will you have if he leaves you? Who will you have to talk to?" I wouldn't say that I'm lost in my marriage (and perhaps I'm in denial on this one), but I am abysmal at keeping in touch with people who have been there for me. In fact, I owe more than a few family members and friends some phone calls right now.
Perhaps I need to heed my own words of wisdom.
I hope these words of wisdom bless you as much as they have blessed me, Gentle Readers. Thanks for continuing to read and support my little postage stamp of the blogosphere.
Labels: BMNB, faith, finding your calling, My family's revolution, Pamay Bassey, Teri Hatcher, The On-Purpose Person, Words of Wisdom