Change = Our Opportunity to Grow

Do you ever stop to think about the remarkable ways in which you’ve developed yourself since you’ve been running a household alone? About how much more capable you are now than you used to be, when you had someone else to depend on?

Maybe it’s because it’ll be 10 years this year since my husband’s death, but the other day I was almost marveling at all the things I’ve learned, all the things I’ve done that I never thought I’d do, during the past decade. It’s kind of amazing when you realize that there’s so much more to you than you’d thought.

As I jot down my achievements, though, I can see that, on paper, they don’t really seem like much. Maybe it’s not so much the “achievements” themselves as what they represent to me – things like:

• Independence
• Freedom
• Competence
• Strength
• Resourcefulness
• Creativity
• Determination
• Survival

I hope I don’t sound boastful! On the other hand, maybe it’s good to pat ourselves on the back once in awhile for the things we can do, instead of only beating ourselves up (as we tend to do) for the things we can’t. We single parents all need a boost now and then!

Here are some of the things that make me – I hesitate to say it – feel proud of myself. They make me feel good about myself. Now don’t laugh!

• I can assemble things – bookcases, tables, chairs, vanities, grills, patio furniture, even a Bowflex!

• I can fix (some) things around the house. I’ve become semi-handy with a screwdriver, hammer, wrench, drill, pliers, nuts and bolts and nails.

• I have come to embrace technology! I own – and can use! – not only a cell phone, but also an MP3 player, Pocket PC, digital camera and digital camcorder. I know how to sync my iPAQ with my PC! That’s because

• I’m no longer computer-phobic. I run (and use) all kinds of software, connect various devices, attempt to diagnose (and occasionally fix) problems, and print photos. I can even install memory!

• I can get up on a ladder and clean out my gutters (I don’t enjoy it, but I can do it).

• I can handle major financial transactions (house and vehicle purchases, mortgages) by myself.

• I can run my own (fledgling) business!

• I can throw, catch and bat a ball! (Or at least I did when my son was younger.)

• I can be “one of the guys” on a Boy Scout overnight! (See my separate blog entry about this “accomplishment.”)

• I can travel to foreign lands accompanied only by a child! (OK, so they were cruises to various islands. That still counts.)

There’s more, but that’s already 10 and I don’t want to get too full of myself. So what do you think – what makes you feel proud of you?

Just for a change, let’s celebrate our successes!

(FranH)