Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Ten to One Meme -- Day 3

It looks like it's Little Women in yesterday's list, although I'd certainly like to find one of those combined volumes Jen mentioned. Now on to today . . . . .

Name EIGHT moments in your life that you're proud or happy to remember.

In chronological order, because Arwen's fussy like that:

Please note – there are no academic items on this list, not because I don’t have any good memories, but because there was never any doubt in anybody’s mind, least of all mine, that I would do academic stuff, and do it pretty well. I might as well be proud of breathing.

1. The time in college gym class where we were playing mixed basketball (two guys and three girls on a team) and the other team made a technical foul against my team. The guy who was captain of my team picked me to shoot it! You must understand that I am klutz personified – NOT an athlete in any way. But when I stepped up to the foul line and shot, the ball not only went in, it swished! (For you other non-athletes, that means it went straight through without touching the rim.) Never before or since, not that I’ve tried recently, but oh, what a moment!

2. The day I decided to move from home in Pennsylvania, where almost all my relatives still live, to Ohio. And by extension, when I moved from Ohio to Michigan. It took courage I didn’t know I had, and didn’t fully understand at the time, but that I’m glad I used.

3. My wedding. I can clearly remember looking down the aisle to where Roger was standing at the front of the church, and realizing that I was the reason for all that happiness on his face. Awe is a mild word.

4. Having my kids. This really needs subheads a). through f.). If I listed each child’s birth individually, I’d use up most of my eight moments, and though they’re all distinct and differently precious, they’re all the same KIND of moment.

5. Letting 15-year-old Arwen get into a car and drive away with her 16-year-old new driver friend. (Just to a soccer game.) I haven’t been the perfect mother, but this is one area I think I did mostly right – letting the kids go when it’s time. I’m glad I had practiced this a lot, because it’s the only way I was able to say a calm goodbye to George when he left for boot camp. With each kid it’s something different.

6. The day I got a thank-you note from my mother for the 50th anniversary celebration my brother and I had for my parents. It was all positive. This was probably the first unmixed praise I ever had from my mother. Looking back on it, I’m pretty sure she was in early Alzheimer’s, and had simply forgotten that “you’re NEVER supposed to tell your child that they did a good job.” My mother learned some real junk from my grandfather, and I now can feel sorry for all of us, instead of thinking that there was some innate problem with her, or with me.

7. When I realized that I had the mental tools and force of will to never have another panic attack . I had always been the anxious type, and had various run-ins with severe anxiety and panic attacks before I knew what they were, but the spring of Arwen’s junior year in high school I reached the point where I really couldn’t function. Fortunately, a friend recognized what was going on, and steered me to a great counselor. She recommended a particular workbook, and for me, knowledge truly is power, at least in this area. I learned that most of my symptoms were caused by bad emotional responses to normal physiological changes, and that I could learn to change my responses. [This is called Behavioral-Cognitive Therapy, and it worked wonders for me.] I still have to be careful to short-cut negative patterns, and I practice conscious relaxation once or twice a day, but I haven’t had even a heavily anxious 10 minutes in several years now.

8. More subheads – the births of grandkids Daniel and Camilla. Can’t wait to add letter c.) to this one this summer!

1 comment:

Jen said...

This is a lovely list. I really enjoyed reading it.

When is number 8, letter c expected to arrive?