Dwell /dwel/:think, speak, or write at length about (a particular subject, esp. one that is a source of unhappiness, anxiety, or dissatisfaction).
I LOVE the single parent. I do. I have a respect for him or her unlike ever before since becoming one myself almost seven years ago. When I began my blog it was important for me to purge my “unhappiness, anxiety, or dissatisfaction” with these cards dealt. However, I wanted to do it in a way that chose to acknowledge the facts while harnessing the ability to move forward, regardless, with a positive spin. I’ve grown a lot since this journey began, and my ability to DWELL on the difficulties of single parenting has dwindled. I take this as a gift. A HUGE GIFT.
I started following a Facebook page awhile ago dedicated to single moms, https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Jennifer-Maggio-The-Life-of-a-Single-Mom/110523905654162, if you’d like to check it out (there are single dads on there, as well). It’s an open forum with affirming Bible scriptures and daily discussions on the [sometimes] unique struggles we face on our single parenting journey. Of course, I relate a lot to what the women write and find comfort in the ability to say, “Yes! That is so my life!” But, one of the things I also try to do when I choose to comment on a post is to gently remind through my experience that we must not dwell on the negative. Complaining, purging, is okay….to a point.
Muddling around in our own mucky waters is not healthy, doesn’t change our circumstances, and doesn’t help us find solutions. It also keeps us from putting one foot in front of the other if we stay wet too long. I’ve learned this the hard way, and I’ve learned that while I need to grieve and feel and accept, cry and scream when the moment allows, or drop down onto the bed in exhaustion, I also need to dust myself off, stand up, and embrace what lies ahead-no matter how difficult the path. Pray to God, ask for help without shame, and steer clear of the “I cant’s”. Seek, and don’t stop seeking. Believe, and don’t stop believing. Focus on the goodness of humanity rather than the opposite. Because I can, and I do, and so can any single parent out there.
On the concept of “Me time”: many single moms say (and I’ve said it myself, so I’m lumping myself into this bunch) that there isn’t any time for “me time”. There is NO WAY to get it. But, there is…it’s how we look at it that makes the difference. If we want “me time” to mean an afternoon out shopping with financial abandon, then, well, yep-it’s pretty difficult to achieve. But, if we grab “me time” as reading a juicy magazine at the end of the day, or catching our favorite TV show for a change, or taking a long, hot shower once the kids are in bed, or waking up 15 minutes earlier than normal to just sit and listen to the silence, or dancing around singing an upbeat pop song while cooking dinner, then WE HAVE SCORED. My mom once told me (or probably many times told me) that she never even considered “me time” when she was raising me on her own. She didn’t even think about it….and I believe her. I think this “self” concept is probably generational to my age group and younger-we are more aware now-a-days how important being intrinsically true is. It salvages our souls.
So, I’m feeling grateful right now. I’m feeling blessed to be continuing to learn and grow and move forward with a little bit of grace under my belt. I want to encourage and support as well as be encouraged and supported as the days and months and years come. Single parenting IS tough. I have to dig deeply in my mind to remember what life was life “before”. But, I will not dwell on my plight, I will not make excuses, and this is the most LIBERATING benefit of having walked in my older shoes.
Thanks to all of you who follow my blog and share comments along the way. I treasure this experience and continually try to remain open to what’s around the next corner, chuckling, of course!